City sells land to Tribe for justice center

On July 24 Tacoma City Council approved the sale of a small parcel of land on the East Side to Puyallup Tribe that will allow it move forward on its criminal justice center project.

The action vacates an alley right of way. The parcel is between East 30th and 31st streets and Portland Avenue and East ‘R’ Street. The Tribe will pay $26,410 for 2,641 square feet of land.

Rich Price from the city’s Public Works Department said the city originally acquired the land when developers were in the planning process for an office building, which was rented out by a state government agency. The Tribe eventually bought the structure and it is the Administration Building.

The Tribe houses its criminal justice operations in a nearby complex of temporary structures. For several years the Tribe has planned to replace this with permanent structures. The first phase is a 46-bed jail with 20,327 square feet. Construction of it is scheduled to be finished in January 2013. It will cost $8.8 million. The second phase is a police station, at a cost of $4.5 million, and the third phase will be a small courthouse at a cost of $6.8 million.

As part of the agreement between the two governments, the Tribe will build a vehicle turn-around on the parcel.

City Councilmember Marty Campbell, who represents the East Side, said the criminal justice project represents a $20 million investment in this section of Tacoma.

“This is going to be a big step forward for the Puyallup Tribe,” he remarked.

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