Tacoma’s 909 A Street Building is starting a new chapter.

Some 10 years after Russell Investments shuttered its home base there, the building is reopening as a multi-tenant Class A property.

The revamped property is offering space to established businesses looking to relocate or open offices in the South Sound region, according to a press release.

After full-building tenant State Farm officially vacated the building at the end of 2018, the building was purchased by the 909 Destiny Fund LLC, a single-asset corporation managed by Canyontree LLC, according to the release. The building’s redevelopment was invested in by Canyontree, Ilahie Properties, and others, according to the release.

It has taken about two years to redevelop the property. COVID-19 affected the process “in a number of ways,” Canyontree’s chief executive officer Scott H. Luttinen told South Sound Business in an email.

“We were fortunate to have a significant amount of tenant space construction in the pipeline when we entered the first shutdown about a year ago … safety protocols impacted efficiency, but the team was still able to deliver completed spaces on schedule which was quite an accomplishment,” Luttinen said. “We came into 2020 with strong interest and leasing activity and were in active negotiations for the balance of the available space in the building. The pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home order delayed the plans of prospective tenants due to the general uncertainty about how COVID will impact the office environment and subsequently how prospects will manage the balance between work from home initiatives and office workplaces … Activity is picking up again now.”

Now, the 909 A Street property stands as a multi-use building with customized common areas and new tenant spaces. The lobby has been rejiggered to feature a waterfront view and a gathering space sizable enough to host events.

Other new perks include a digital concierge, a large shared-used conference room, and floor-to-ceiling views of downtown Tacoma, Mt. Rainier, and Commencement Bay. Across the street at 914 A Street, construction on gym facilities available to 909 A Street’s tenants is underway. BCRA Architects of Tacoma; the City of Tacoma’s Community & Economic Development, Planning and Development Services, and Public Works Departments; Tacoma Public Utilities; and Sellen Construction of Seattle comprised the redevelopment project team, according to the release.

“Pursuing multi-tenant occupancy helps the property — and the city’s downtown core — avoid the “all or nothing” issue that has plagued its past,” the release stated.

The release confirmed the new tenants will include:

  • Catalyst Workplace Activation
  • Eisenhower Carlson PLLC
  • Heritage Bank
  • Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC, attorneys at law
  • Stifel Nicolaus, a St. Louis-based brokerage and investment banking firm
  • The Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 2

The anchor tenant is TOTE Alaska, which announced in 2019 that it would be relocating its Federal Way headquarters to the 909 A Street building’s top two floors. 

Luttinen added that 100 percent of the new tenant spaces have been completed but the majority of tenants have yet to have their entire workforces return to the office.

“As companies return to work over the course of 2021, we expect a noticeable vibrancy will emanate from our building and positively impact the greater downtown area,” Luttinen said. “We feel the transformation of the 909 building brings to market the premier class A office building in the downtown Tacoma market. The tenant profile and active leasing activity brings opportunity for tenants to experience the benefits of a first-class office building at affordable rents in a great community supported by strong leadership.”

The release notes that the Tacoma commercial brokers Neil Walter Co. have facilitated the lease of about 80,000 square feet of the building. About 128,000 feet remain.

Luttinen said that, for him, the highlight of the 909’s revamping has been the support of all the members of the redevelopment team, which the executive offer characterized as an “impressive group who has the foresight to seize the opportunity, make the commitment, and contribute towards the revitalization of the property.”

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said in the release that it was “marvelous” to see the building “come back to life.”

“Bringing more high-paying professionals to our downtown core helps support retailers as the economy starts to safely recover from the COVID-19 shutdowns,” she said.