Neighbors concerned about mega-warehouse proposed in South Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — Neighbors are concerned about a proposed warehouse complex in a residential area of South Tacoma that would be about two-thirds the size of Boeing’s Everett plant.

The future warehouse proposed by international real estate operating company Bridge Industrial at 5024 S. Madison St. would be 2.5 million square feet. This is comparable to 50 football fields, and would put the Tacoma site among the largest warehouses in the world.

Heidi Stephens, a member of the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council, said besides being in a residential neighborhood, the prospective warehouse would sit directly on top of the South Tacoma Aquifer. Stephens said this aquifer is capable of providing up to 40% of Tacoma’s backup water supply.

“We are wanting to keep that area open and green so the water that infiltrates down is cleaned before it gets to the aquifer, and that enough water can infiltrate down to keep the aquifer filled,” Stephens said.

The SEPA checklist estimates the warehouse complex would bring nearly 5,000 new daily vehicle trips, 1,400 of which would be semi trucks. In addition to more traffic in a residential area, that would increase diesel exhaust in a neighborhood that, according to maps from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, already has some of the worst pollution and lung problems in Pierce County.

“We’re very concerned about the environmental impacts, impacts to public health, on an already quite disenfranchised, marginalized community of some of the lowest-income and diverse residents in the City of Tacoma,” Stephens said.

The City of Tacoma says no decisions have been made and it is still accepting public comments through March 10. The city plans to hold a public meeting by the end of March. To learn more about the project, visit the city’s Accela page and type in LU21-0125 in the search field.

Bridge Industrial has not responded to a request for comment.

This story was originally published by MYNorthwest.