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Tacoma To Hold `Economic Showcase' To Attract Developers And Tech Companies

A Chinese company is slated to build a new 300-room hotel next to Tacoma's Convention Center

Tacoma has a message for all the technology companies competing for space in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood: Look south.

On Wednesday, Tacoma will hold an economic showcase to sell the city as a good place for locating a business or developing property, and the man whose job it is to attract developers and executives to the city is Ricardo Noguera, community and economic development director for Tacoma. 

Noguera said tech companies should consider Tacoma for a number of reasons, including all the people graduating from the University of Washington Tacoma campus with degrees in computer science and engineering. And the South Sound has an advantage when it comes to the cost of living because housing is cheaper than in Seattle, he said.

"More and more people are moving from Seattle to Tacoma to stretch their dollars and more and more companies will follow them," he said.

Noguera said there’s a lot of development in the works for downtown Tacoma, including a 300-room Marriott hotel next to the convention center. That will be developed by a Chinese company and Noguera said construction is scheduled to start next spring.

If the housing market stays strong, he said the company plans to build a second tower of either apartments or condos in 2019. 

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.