Downtown Tacoma Developer Hall of Fame

Presented as a Most Wanted Deck of Cards
posted Oct 4, 2011
Tom Price, Hyn Um, George Webb, Ron Gintz, Grace Pleasants, Rick Moses, Tim Quigg, Chester Trabucco
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RIPPED from the headlines or inspired by current events, but on a hyper-local scale... we submit a satirical list of the top 8 most infamous names in present-day downtown Tacoma "It's the thought that counts" developer tragi-flop history. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure some of them are just victims of recession--and maybe they're good people; while others would appear to any reasonable person as slime which if the C.I.A. would so choose to explode with a horrible robot model airplane would a rain-cloud descend on anybody's day?   YOU PERFORM THE THOUGHT EXPERIMENT! 

NOW A TOP 10 LIST, AND BY 10 I mean 8

NO.8 - Chester Trabucco, 2 of Spades (Winthrop)

NO.7 - Tim Quigg, 5 of Diamonds (Winthrop)

NO.6 - Ron Gintz, Jack of Clubs (Luzon)

NO.5 - George Webb, Joker (Old City Hall

NO.4 - Grace Pleasants, Queen of Hearts (Elks Project)

NO.3 - Rick Moses, King of Diamonds (Elks Project)

NO.2 - Hyn UmAce of Hearts (Jay Heights, Hanna Heights, Courtney Heights, Winthrop

NO.1 - Tom Price, Ace of Spades (Jay Heights, Hanna Heights, Courtney Heights, Winthrop)



RR's Wyatt James Boy Detective COVER PAGE #24hcd


by fredo on 10/4/2011 @ 7:52am

Always look forward to the Tuesday morning Tacomic. This one is fun, RR.

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 8:22am

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 8:23am
quiggly down under
Tim Quigg and Chester Trabucco working on the Winthrop Hotel.

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 8:25am
Miserable Failure Ron Gintz!

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 8:30am
Horrible George Webb!  (be sad for the Old City Hall... be very sad)

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 8:33am
Jackals !

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 8:40am

"Where once Tacoma had business leaders who would step up and make things happen, it doesnít any more. What it has is folks who will complain about government and a few Ė very few Ė who will make investments as long as government is the risk-taking partner."

Read more:

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 9:27am
just added a fun youtube clip (above) 

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 10:38am
I call for a citizen's arrest of the entire hall of fame!

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 11:18am
Nice!  the TNT seems to be aligning with my satirical faux-stance that assassinating U.S. citizens with robots all willy nilly is A-OKAY

by scout on 10/4/2011 @ 12:18pm
RR: Not sure how or why you put Tim Quiqq on this list but you should fact check. 

Tim Quigg worked hard to energize the local community to return the Winthrop to a five-star hotel and develop a much needed economic anchor to the north end of Downtown Tacoma.

Citizens like myself, Eric Bjornson, Tacoma Housing Authority Executive Director Michael Mirra and twenty to thirty people from the Police Department, hotel industry, and development community, along with architects and contractors discussed the Winthrop hotel project exhaustively. The group met weekly at 6 am every Monday morning for several months to move forward with returning the hotel to something other than the vertical ghetto that it remains since Prium took control from the Quiqq group more than three years ago.

Quigg headed up a strong team of stakeholders that would have moved the low income residents that weren't criminals or drug dealers into better housing than the current situation, which is a disservice to the poor and elderly that stigmatizes, isolates and leaves them vulnerable to grifters and criminals.

After Quigg and the community did the tedious footwork to make certain that the hotel was viable, Prium swooped in and wooed Mayor Barsma into giving Prium the million dollar subsidy from the City. Prium, with absolutely no experience in the hotel industry or relocating low income residents, was selected over the Quigg group that had actually done this kind of project successfully and moved the tenants within two months of the deal going through.

Meanwhile Prium moved through the city pillaging projects and stuffing their pockets at the behest of the city.

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 12:26pm
thank you for your comment, yes Tim Quigg isn't a bad guy... I took all that into consideration by giving him the least priority most wanted cards in the deck.   Decided to include because plans failed and the hope died farting. 

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 12:59pm

by NineInchNachos on 10/5/2011 @ 2:34pm
some life starting to trickle back into the comment threads on exit 133

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 10:14am
there is something stinky going on here  
shouldn't the fuzz be raiding these guys offices ? 

by low bar on 11/3/2011 @ 10:42am
if chief seattle called tacoma the land of the invisible dead, then surely ghosts are to credit for the present activity at exit133.

by NineInchNachos on 11/3/2011 @ 10:54am
you sir are a warrior poet

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 10:41am

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 10:41am

by Jesse on 11/10/2011 @ 10:56am
McMenamins Hotel at Old City Hall!!!!

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 11:02am
give them both buildings.  McMenamins colony! 

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 11:20am
What good are tourist developments in the non-tourist economy of Tacoma? UWT needs to expand, massively. I mean, UCLA is a fun school and all but UC Berkeley, the UC flagship, is one fuck of a killer alma mater as well. Why do you think the Oakland Occupy movement went fucking braveheart? So why can't the same be true about the Seattle and Tacoma campuses Fuck, Oly is the fucking state capital and there isn't even a fucking UW campus there. Assbackwards logger economy of the south puget sound thank you very much.

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 11:36am
first priority is to save the buildings from ruin... can reprogram them later. 

by scout on 11/10/2011 @ 11:38am
This is off topic a bit but I need to rant. I'm tired of seeing broken clocks in downtown Tacoma. We have several beautiful, iconic timepieces in public places that used to work and now they are broken. The most obvious is at the top of Old City Hall and please, no more excuses about no one knows how to fix it! Bullshit.

Now the cool old clock in front of Tully's on 9th St. has stopped.

Think of time metaphors and the message these dead time pieces convey about downtown Tacoma. "Time is money" is the biggest that comes to my mind. And we want to call this area of downtown the new Financial District? Seriously, we should be cognizant of the public face we present; Downtown Tacoma is broken, dead in its tracks. Downtowns are supposed to reflect the best and the brightest. Our end of town is anchored by vertical ghettos such as the Winthrop and Olympus Hotels, both driven into the ground by mismanagement, neglect and businesses that feed off the trough of public assistance - businesses that pay their "conscience" driven CEOs big fat salaries, as the walls of the public housing complexes rot from the inside out. And yes Im talking to you Peter Ansara. His employment trajectory: from director of the Tacoma Public Housing Authority - to CEO at Prium - to current big wig at the Korean Women's Association (owner of the Olympus Hotel)

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 11:47am
Well at this point Tacoma should just straight out gift those buildings to McMenamins and give thanks to those ben and jerry developers. The country needs research and development, like Billy says, and Universities are fucking corner stone to economical growth. Research = jobs. McMenamins = heartburn. I'd say the biggest mistake besides the condo's (though those could be filled when you've given that income bracket reason to move in), is this stupid hospitality development in a virtually stagnate tourist economy. Fuck hamburgers, UWT should get those buildings.

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 11:57am
fix the clocks  SECONDED! 

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 12:01pm
the clock on the corner of st helens and tacoma ave south is busted too. old news never mind. LIARS

dudes i'm telling you, the port is killing the DT. Freakonomics 101.

by Jesse on 11/10/2011 @ 12:24pm
@Scout:  There's a lot about downtown that sends the message that noone cares...or very few do.  Have you noticed the number of different types of light fixtures downtown?  The cool gothic ones on Pacific Ave say "this is an important street" while thier absence on other streets says "we don't care".
What about the lack of parks?  Building condos and noplace for kids to play?
The hill hasn't been addressed as a problem.  There's nothing you can do to make dt flat but you can putin a cable-car.  Think about the populations who CAN'T live downtown because of the hills: Handicapped, old, overweight, families (because of lack of parks), how much of a percent of the population do those groups represent? A LOT!!!
What about the plans to build on the Foss?  Condos overlooking industrial brownsfields with a freeway AND a train running right through it?  What people with money are going to buy there?
What about the complete and utter lack of shopping?  Shopping equals money and women living nearby.  Women in turn equal young men.  They'd rather build an empty convention center than turn the damned thing over to a mall management company.  The f-ing thing is surrounded on most sides by lots big enough to house big box retail too! 
I'll stop there... I could go on and on... but basically you're right. Most communication is non-verbal and what downtown says with that non-verbal communication is somewhat frightening.

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 12:52pm
Jesse for City Manager!

^ check it out! 

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 12:53pm
uh  damn it kevin can barely read jesse's inspirational thing there

by fredo on 11/10/2011 @ 2:03pm
Downtown is too big for a city with a population of only 200,000. Probably it sprawled out because of lax building codes or because of the peculiar topography. If it were more compact it would probably be more attractive and sustainable. The city doesn't have nearly enough funds to provide proper infrastructual maintenance to a site this irregular and this massive with large undeveloped and unattractive tracts, but hey, at least we can afford to send the city council on a vacation to Arizona.

by Jesse on 11/10/2011 @ 2:25pm
Downtown spreads out lengthwise because of the hill.  A series of steps.  Downtown is only a few blocks deep but about twenty blocks long.  If you started growing up the hill instead of on those flat steps (Pacific, Commerce, A St.,etc.) it would end up being more walkable. How doyou make downtown more square instead of long rectangular?  Address the hill as a problem and devise a solution!

by Jesse on 11/10/2011 @ 2:28pm
Thanks for the vote of confidence RR!!  But, I've only managed hundreds of VOLUNTEERS and only a few paid executives and a few dozen staffers.  I don't think I'm qualified. 
If there were an opening on that team though, I'd do that in a minute!!!

by fredo on 11/10/2011 @ 2:44pm
Well, here's A solution
Go with the topography. Have a downtown that's only 3 or 4 blocks deep but 20 blocks long. Start turning all the uphill area to terraces and just greenbelt all that area. Perhaps turn it into the urban equivalent of Buschart Gardens.

by Jake on 11/10/2011 @ 2:47pm
Downtown: Dome to Stadium, Foss to MLK (probably even further east) is larger than Downtown Seattle (stadiums to SLU, Elliott Bay to I-5). Makes you wonder why our Downtown is so big for a city our size.

by Jesse on 11/10/2011 @ 3:52pm
@fredo:  Vacant lots equal farming? Farming food for school lunches, the shelters, and for education purposes.
@Jake:  Tacoma was supposed to be the New York of the west when it was founded. City of Destiny.  But ya, the Dome District was a neighborhood at one time though.

by NineInchNachos on 11/10/2011 @ 3:54pm
just make sure anything you grow in Tacoma is not coming from  the poisoned Earth.  Thanks Ruston Smelter! 

by Jesse on 11/10/2011 @ 4:04pm
"Welcome to Ruston! Don't touch the dirt."

by KevinFreitas on 11/10/2011 @ 9:32pm
@scout: Right on! I've wanted to get a guerilla clock fixing group together. I know nothing about fixing such things but, any takers?

@Jesse: Yes, yes, and yes! Think of Frost Park -- act now and ask for forgiveness/blessing later. Let's starting digging up empty lots and plant acres of food! Let's have the downtown YMCA create a workout program where fitness craving members pull people up/down the hill!
Let's occupy Tacoma and make it our own!

by low bar on 11/10/2011 @ 9:34pm
DT spreads out lengthwise yes, and it all faces the port or as it's called on google maps "New Tacoma". Seattle's port is called Harbor Island, it's half the size of New Tacoma, is nowhere in sight from (and smell) from Seattle's DT. New Tacoma is poison real estate within spitting distance of Tacoma's DT. It's a blight on the city. Why are we even letting foreign cars into this country to be sold during such an economy? Because car dealers can buy them cheaper and sell them for more? To collect the sales tax? Those stupid barges filled with crap from China to fill Walmarts and ugly ass Hyundai's is all I see the port really being used for. F that crap. Might as well not have a port. Or turn the thing into a giant NW riviera. F crap from Asia. I'm sick of it. Its all crap quality and aesthetically assbackwards. 

by KevinFreitas on 11/10/2011 @ 9:37pm
Also totally down with @low bar re: UWT. Let's give them the old Russell building and see what they do with it!

by NineInchNachos on 11/11/2011 @ 7:54am
liberate empty buildings owned by out of town deadbeats!  give em to UW tacoma!  #occupytacoma with LIFE! 

by Jesse on 11/11/2011 @ 8:04am
@Kevin:  Ha!  Thinking of Seinfeld when Kramer had the rick-shaw.

by The Jinxmedic on 11/11/2011 @ 8:06am
The port handles a significant amount of export as well.

by low bar on 11/11/2011 @ 10:33am
It should be export only. Like put the refinery and pulp mill on a giant ship and send that crap to the middle east where they don't really mind strong odors. 

by NineInchNachos on 12/30/2011 @ 12:41pm

by NineInchNachos on 1/20/2012 @ 9:11am
is George Webb is a deadbeat!?  you decide.

by fredo on 3/26/2012 @ 1:27pm
Moses and Pleasants hotel development north of McMennimins is kaput.

Anybody else want to buy a $900,000 vacant lot?

don't be shy

by NineInchNachos on 3/26/2012 @ 1:34pm
occupation park is way cheaper... and level! 

by NineInchNachos on 3/27/2012 @ 8:16am

by cisserosmiley on 3/27/2012 @ 8:23am
Elks on Broadway Holdings has a California address...why did we even entertain these lunatics?

by NineInchNachos on 3/27/2012 @ 8:29am
these people need to go far away.

by cisserosmiley on 3/27/2012 @ 8:46am
Who would have thought Tacoma ALREADY employs an economic development team...I thought this was a NEW idea...these folks should consider hari-kari over their dishonorable actions in front of our entire community. How do they cash that paycheck each week without crying? Replace EVERYONE!!!

by NineInchNachos on 4/26/2012 @ 2:33pm
Rick and Grace next big hustle

by NineInchNachos on 11/19/2012 @ 8:28pm
Early Warning system is good.  maybe an Iron Dome next?

by NineInchNachos on 3/22/2013 @ 7:35am
Go Prium!

by NineInchNachos on 9/25/2013 @ 9:03am

by NineInchNachos on 9/25/2013 @ 9:13am
elsewhere in the world of terrible building owners