Environmental Equity Concerns Over Proposed Tacoma Warehouse
The Tacoma Mall Neighborhood has seen health impacts from a lack of green space. Now a warehouse proposal the city is considering has some residents concerned that the problems will only get worse.
A proposal by real estate developer Bridge Industrial to develop a warehouse in the Tacoma Mall neighborhood is facing a torrent of opposition from community members.
During a meeting hosted by the city in April, people expressed environmental and equity concerns with the 2.5 million square feet development.
“The site is next door to a neighborhood whose health is already compromised by pollution. It’s a very diverse neighborhood, largely people of color. And we have a history of sacrificing frontline communities,” Janine Profozich said during the meeting.
The Tacoma Mall Neighborhood falls in an area with a low environmental health rating, according to the city’s equity index, with more people in close proximity to heavily trafficked roads, among other concerns,
Resident Heidi Stephens worries that the paving required for the driveways and parking lots alone would add to heat absorbing surfaces and higher temperatures.
“[The development] would also be covering some of the last open green space we have in the South Tacoma neighborhood,” Stephens says.
In response to these concerns, the city is requiring Bridge Industrial to submit additional studies, including an assessment of potential environmental impacts.
During the April public meeting on the proposal, Matt Gladney from the developer acknowledged the impacts the warehouse would have on the community.
And he says the company has plans to improve the site, including rehabilitating wetland areas.