The Tacoma City Council formed the seven-member Foss Waterway Development Authority Board in 1996 to oversee development and marketing of the publicly-owned Foss Waterway properties.
Today the mixed-use development includes housing, retail and restaurants, recreation and education opportunities.
THE PUBLIC ESPLANADE
Public Esplanade Connects People, Properties
A ribbon of park benches, landscaping and walkways draws crowds to the esplanade that lines the west edge of the Foss Waterway. This public space will eventually span 1.5 miles and connects the waterway with downtown Tacoma.
Esplanade visitors can watch boats enter and leave the marinas. Restaurant patios provide stunning views of Mount Rainier. Wide, flat walkways support serious runners and those who prefer a casual stroll.
Cooperation Brings Economic Growth Back to the Foss
The economic energy growing along the Thea Foss Waterway today is reminiscent of the site’s role in Tacoma more than 120 years ago.
Marine trade, railroads and sawmills made Foss Waterway an industrial center. Thea Foss started Foss Maritime Company in 1889, offering tug boat services, rowboats and naphtha launches.