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James Center North

From an auto-dominated environment into a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use community.

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FFF partnered with Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) to actualize an innovative vision for James Center North in West Tacoma. This commercial property, once dominated by automobiles and underperforming, is poised to pioneer the transformation into a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use community. Aligned with a burgeoning multi-modal transportation hub and community college, the project actively engaged key stakeholders, neighborhood residents, and officials to craft a site plan that authentically captures the community's voice and addresses its needs. The transformation plan incorporates vital placemaking strategies, honing in on critical urban design components like regional connections, site access, circulation, public realm, tree canopy, street design, community open spaces, frontages, edges, and the encouragement of active uses.

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This collaborative effort aims to rejuvenate and redefine James Center North as a model for sustainable, community-centric urban development in the heart of West Tacoma.


The objective is to have a broadened view of the site and establish strong connections with James Center North's neighbors and the broader West Tacoma community. Recognizing the potential for growth, the City of Tacoma designates existing crossroads centers as focal points for significant development and change over the next twenty-five years. The focus is on channeling new growth and development within these centers to cultivate compact, walkable neighborhoods. The goal is to facilitate convenient access for Tacomans to goods, services, and multimodal transit within five-minute trips, aligning with the city's vision for sustainable urban living.

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*all designs, drawings, and concepts were created while working as lead designers at Ankrom Moisan Architects, Portland, OR. All images copyright Ankrom Moisan Architects.

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