• Buyers not rushing to snap up National Guard armory


    TACOMA, Wash. - Tacoma's old National Guard armory is for sale.

    The century-old Tacoma landmark is, however, tough to sell. It has been a year since the National Guard vacated the building. So far, no buyers have come forward.

    The armory is priced at $1 million.

    Built more than 100 years ago, it housed soldiers, weapons and a cavalry unit for many years. It even served as a temporary jail at one point.

    The armory was first offered for sale to the city of Tacoma, but officials passed on it, leaving the old brick structure unoccupied.

    The state department of Enterprise Services now holds then deed and is looking for buyers.

    Steve Valandra of State Enterprise Services hopes someone looking for an office complex or a venue for large events like weddings or parties might buy the building. So far, however, there have been no offers.


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    Anyone who purchases the building will have to take into account not only its age, but its designation as an historic city landmark.

    "There is some historic nature to the building which kind of limits the potential buyers," Valandra said.

    For some in Tacoma, the armory is more than historic. It holds memories of a time when it was a home for soldiers and a gathering place for citizens.

    "My friend used to go to dances in the armory all the time when he was younger," Scott Conarty of Tacoma said.

    The fortress-like structure is just one of five armories the state is trying to sell.

    Five National Guard armories are for sale statewide. One in Everett is slated to become a mega church.

    "The real estate market is slowly recovering," Valandra said. "We're hoping that eventually these properties will sell as the market recovers."

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