The Foss Waterway Development Authority (FWDA) was chartered by the City of Tacoma in 1996 and is charged with the revitalization and redevelopment of City and FWDA owned properties located along the Thea Foss Waterway.  Over the past 24 years, it has been successfully managing this downtown waterfront shoreline.

FWDA will be ending operations on or before December 31, 2020 when its Operating Agreement with the City officially ends.  Throughout 2020 various FWDA functions will be transitioning over to a variety of City of Tacoma departments.


For further information, please contact FWDA at: 253-597-8122.

The 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.


Downtown access is easy and eye-catching, with a brief walk from the esplanade across the Museum of Glass plaza and the Bridge of Glass to bustling Pacific Avenue.


Foss Waterway Esplanade Design


The design team was led by Architects Reed Reinvald Johnson Willows in association with the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership.


Bruce Dees & Associates was a core design team member, charged with creating a Master Plan for this linear park and urban revitalization project. In addition, a schematic design was developed for the first one-half mile portion of the esplanade between 15th and 21st streets, and construction documents were completed for the first phase between 15th and 18th streets.


The design team went beyond the initial scope of work for the project by studying how private development that will ultimately front the esplanade will look.


Architects/Designers: Thomas Cook Reed Reinvald; BCRA; Tsang Architects; Bruce Dees & Associates

Certain public documents maintained by the FWDA may be downloaded on our Public Notices & Documents page.