Land in Tacoma
Things to do
Tacoma Land offers the best view of Mount Rainier and Commencement Bay in the South Sound
If you’ve been considering a parcel of land in Tacoma to situate your dream home upon, or are looking for Tacoma land to invest in, property values in Tacoma are holding steady, but the stunning vistas and good quality of life are priceless.
With the perfect location in the Puget Sound region and abundant jobs and recreation to keep you busy, the secret is out about Tacoma: it's a happening place to be. With buyers being swiftly priced out of the Seattle real estate market and our nationwide shift to more remote work, Tacoma land for sale is being bought up as quickly as it comes to market.
History of Tacoma
History of Tacoma
Prosperous Tacoma Commencement Bay got its modern name from an 1841 surveying party led by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes. Wilkes named the bay for, (give you one guess), the place where his survey commenced. What Wilkes found when he visited the modern-day Tacoma land area was a region rich in natural resources that were carefully tended to by the Indigenous peoples, as these were their ancestral lands and waterways. The Puyallup Tribe called the land in Tacoma and surrounding areas home, and they revered the sacred Mount Takhoma, (renamed Mount Rainier by European explorers), and the water that flowed toward the banks of the Salish Sea, or what we today call Puget Sound. They hunted and gathered on the lands around the lakes, rivers, and streams that lay at the base of the majestic mountain, and they fished along the shorelines for year-round sustenance. The first white settler to the region was Nicolas Delin, a Swede who built the area's first water-powered sawmill in 1852. A small community grew up around the mill but was abandoned during the Indian Wars that followed after the signing of the Medicine Creek Treaty. The rich and fertile landscape of the Pacific Northwest was attractive nonetheless, and though the area was remote and notoriously hard to reach, settlers continued to make their way north to the newly-minted Washington Territory. Job Carr and Morton McCarver had each found their way to the region, and by 1864, both were working to put the City of Tacoma on the map. McCarver worked hard to attract the railroad to Tacoma, as the Northern Pacific was looking for the best site to build the terminus of a railroad that was to stretch across the West, originating in Minnesota. In 1873, Tacoma had won the prize of the era when the railroad announced that Commencement Bay would be the opposite of the beginning, but would be the end of the line for the continental railroad, and Seattleites, for lack of a stronger word, were: outraged. The railroad unlocked the region and turned Tacoma into a boomtown. In 1880 the city had roughly 1,098 inhabitants, and just eight years later had swelled to a population of 36,006 people. The city was industrious, and land in Tacoma was fertile and resource-filled. Settlers came from across the nation to try their hands at making a new life in the Pacific Northwest, a call that is still heard by many Americans today as the City of Tacoma continues to grow at a rapid clip. Troubled Tacoma The swift march of industrialization is not without a footprint on the land in Tacoma, however, and in any urban area for that matter. The bulk of Tacoma’s industry, like oil refining, milling, pulp manufacturing, and all manner of industrialization that it took to make the city hum also made a scar on Tacoma’s waterways and its reputation. In the 1930s, the nickname Tacoma Aroma began to infiltrate the Pacific Northwest and beyond because the industrial area of the city was emitting an acrid and sulphuric smell. Simpson Tacoma Kraft, a pulp and paper plant that made pulpwood and linerboard, a type of corrugated cardboard, was likely to blame for the majority of the stench. Although, the refinery and the sheer fact that the industrial area was located on Tacoma's tide flats (a naturally stinky place to be) may have also contributed to the smell. By the 1990s, the Simpson plant had employed new advances in technology and had dramatically reduced its emissions on the Tacoma waterfront, and unsurprisingly, the smell was largely eliminated. But the reputation persisted, and this bad press was said to have depressed real estate prices, even those of raw land in Tacoma, for decades. Another scratch on the shine of Tacoma’s glossy veneer was the detriment of the once pristine Commencement Bay. The pollution assault on the bay was in full force and for much of the 20th century, a large smelting facility poured its refuse into the bay, eventually forming a long peninsula. Commencement Bay became a Superfund site and the Thea Foss Waterway was declared polluted beyond belief in 1983. It was a wake-up call for the region, and less than 10 years later, after diligent and unrelenting cleanup efforts, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the St. Paul waterway, once one of the most contaminated portions of Commencement Bay was the first marine Superfund site to be fully remediated. Nowadays, with the waterways clean and new life abounding in Commencement Bay, the focus has now turned toward making sure they remain that way through heavy monitoring and regular testing. Tacomans are fighters. They’ve fought with Seattle for prominence and notoriety since the 1850s, and they fought to protect the environment once they realized that they nearly destroyed it. One thing that is not up for a fight about Tacomans though, is that they are a close-knit community filled with hard workers, and it's been that way since day one.
Things to do in Tacoma
Things to do in Tacoma
Things to do in the city are limitless, especially if you enjoy being out upon the waterways and land in Tacoma. Of course, a visit to Point Defiance, the largest city park west of the Mississippi is an absolute must-see, and while you’re there you can walk over the new elevated pedestrian bridge connecting you to the Point Ruston Waterfront.
There you can walk a two-mile paved path and explore the sights, shops, dining, theater, and lodging that this up-and-coming area of town offers, and from there you can easily connect to the downtown area for even more walkable explorations of the hippest and most happening parts of the city.
Tacoma is 58 miles from Mount Rainier National Park. The mountain is on full display from nearly every piece of land in Tacoma city limits and beyond. It’s no wonder that property buyers look to Tacoma land for perfect parcels. You can look in one direction and see a 14,411-foot stratovolcano, and in the other direction a vast inland ocean. It's hard to reconcile buying land in any other city. North Tacoma and Northeast Tacoma are favored by shoppers, and though the land there is not cheap, it is certainly worth the premium price. Brown’s Point and Dash Point in Tacoma are favorites, for the arresting views, abundant green spaces, and even a Washington State Park. The City of Tacoma bleeds into the surrounding communities of Lakewood, Parkland, University Place, Steilacoom, Puyallup, Fife, and many more cities and suburban areas. It is nearly in the exact center of the metropolis of Seattle and the capital city of Olympia, being a 31 and 30-minute drive, respectively. Tacoma is the anchor of Pierce County, and is its most populous city and is mainly bordered by King County to the north, Yakima County to the east, Lewis County to the south, and Thurston County to the west, with Kitsap and Mason County brushing up against parts of it as well.
Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington State, and as of the 2020 Census, the population was 219,346 people. The owner-occupied housing rate in the city is around 54%, and the median value of those dwellings is $311,700.
Tacoma is the largest city in the South Sound region and an area that is home to close to a million residents. The county that Tacoma is located in, Pierce, reports that the cost of living is 31% less than Seattle and that utilities cost 30% less than the national average.
Tacoma is a highly urban to suburban city, with small pockets of rural-feeling areas. Depending on what part of town you’re looking in, Tacoma land can be found for a great value, but the popular areas and those still-open spaces with views often sell for a premium.
Workers in Tacoma find jobs in the aerospace, healthcare, logistics, and technology industries, and the largest employer is Joint Base Lewis-McChord which employs 54,000 people and has a population of 110,000 active-duty soldiers, their families, and civilian contractors.
Arts in Tacoma
Arts in Tacoma
Niche, a website loaded with user reviews of various cities across the nation ranks Pierce as the twenty-first best county for outdoor activities in America.
Tacomans don’t need a website to tell them that. They’re too busy getting outside and enjoying all of the outdoor recreation the region has to offer. Yes, Tacoma does have its share of rainy days, but in those instances, there’s an abundance of history, arts, and cultural museums to visit, in addition to many live music and theater venues.
The real star of Tacoma is Point Defiance Park. The park is situated on peninsular land in Tacoma that juts out into the bay, and the public green space is an impressive 760 acres. That’s nearly the same size as Central Park in New York, (Central Park is 843 acres in comparison), and what sets Point Defiance apart is its miles and miles of shoreline.
In addition, 560 acres of the park are forested, and an impressive 500 of those acres are old-growth forest. Old-growth forests have a unique ecosystem that younger forests have yet to develop, and the treasures you find in nature among the old-growth are awe-inspiring.
Also located at Point Defiance are a pavilion, pagoda, historic buildings, botanical gardens, outdoor art, and even a zoo, aquarium, and living history museum.
The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest and its footprint encompasses 29 acres of the park. With the recent aquarium renovation completed, that facility is all-new and does a great job educating visitors about the world beneath the waves in the Puget Sound and beyond. The aquarium even offers special events like a guided dive with sharks, and touch tanks for kids and adults alike.
The living history museum in the park, Fort Nisqually, is a replica of the Hudson’s Bay Company fort that was located a few miles away in DuPont. There are two original buildings, the Factor’s House and the Fort Nisqually Granary, and the granary, built in 1843, is the oldest surviving building in Washington State and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Schools in Tacoma
Schools in Tacoma
Tacoma has the esteemed honor of being home to a satellite campus of the University of Washington, so UDub students no longer have to make the traffic-clogged journey north to the Seattle Campus. Tacoma is also home to a historic university, Pacific Lutheran University, or PLU, which was founded by immigrants from Scandinavia in 1890 and grew from a one-building college to the sprawling university it is today. K-12 learners have a lot to choose from in Tacoma too, as the Tacoma Public Schools is the third-largest school district in the state.
There is nothing more promising than a new parcel to call home. Land in Tacoma is unique because it is complete with all of the amenities you’d expect to find in a large city, but for a fraction of the price compared to its northern neighbor.
Tacoma is vibrant, resilient, and an undeniably-cool place to live. A city that is making a name for itself, and not in a bad way, all of this makes land in Tacoma a smart investment.
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