Now that the Anderson School project has been successfully completed in Bothell, McMenamins is turning its focus to the old Elks Lodge in downtown Tacoma. We first reported on the plan to transform the historic building into an entertainment destination back in July of 2009 (see that story), so this project has been in the works for some time.
Like the Anderson School project, the Elks Lodge endeavor will accept outside investment, something new for Mike and Brian McMenamin, who opened their first neighborhood pub back in 1983. The redevelopment of the property in Tacoma is expected to cost over $25 million. The plan calls for work to begin in the spring of 2016 with an opening date in 2017.
When completed, the Elks Lodge will offer a 46-room hotel; a ballroom for live music, weddings and meetings; three restaurants; small bars; an outdoor cafe and bar along the “Spanish Steps;” and a garden that will provide fresh, seasonal produce to the restaurants. And, of course, a brewery.
“This long-anticipated project will transform a beloved historic building into a family-friendly brewpub and hotel with distinctive art, live music and entertainment options. With the expansion of Link light rail, this will be another stop that connects our museum/university district with the Stadium and Hilltop neighborhoods,” said Mayor Marilyn Strickland. “A revitalized Elks Lodge will be a regional destination. We look forward to working with the McMenamins to help fulfill the vision of an entertainment and dining district that benefits Tacoma residents and visitors to our great city.”
The Tacoma Elks Lodge was built in 1915-16 when fraternal organizations were an important part of the community and had the money to build ornate buildings. It was designed by É. Frère Champney, a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, in the second Renaissance Revival style. Adjacent to the building is a stairway called the “Spanish Steps” that winds up the hillside adjacent to the building. These steps, modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, were rehabilitated in 2011 by a grant from WSDOT and the Federal Highway Transportation Enhancements program.
Elks Temple Properties LLC, the company McMenamins created to raise approximately 30 percent of the project costs, owns and is renovating the Elks Lodge site in downtown Tacoma. Architectural plans have been designed, permits obtained and the property is ready for renovation. To learn more about investment opportunities, visit www.ElksTempleProperties.com.