And yet for some reason the article is framed as a hard-luck story for Tacoma. I dunno, but these seem like pretty great things going on, despite some challenges (ie, Russell and MorphoTrak leaving).

  • Before the recession, retail taxable sales increased at a faster annual rate than in Seattle.
  • The value of construction activity in Tacoma jumped 38 percent last year.
  • Pierce County also has logged more consistent growth over the past 30 years than economically volatile King County.
  • Tacoma has stable high-paying employers: heavy industry, such as the Port of Tacoma, as well as Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
  • A new university downtown is making Tacomans smarter and better qualified for high-tech jobs.
  • The Center for Urban Waters will help municipalities improve stormwater treatment and serve as a test bed for clean water research.
  • Tacoma over the past two years has reduced its local business-and-occupation tax to the lowest in the Puget Sound region.
  • Tacoma has approved plans for a Residence Inn and 150-room Hilton on the Foss Waterway and supported redevelopment of a McMenamins hotel, restaurants, brewery, movie theater and parking garage on the north side of downtown.
  • The Myers Group in September plans to open the first major downtown grocery in decades.
  • The Children's Museum of Tacoma plans to break ground in April on a building that essentially will double its space.
  • The LeMay Museum will open in spring 2012. The museum expects to attract about 425,000 visitors in its first year.

I think a lot of cities would give their eye teeth to have these things happening in their community.