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‘Tacoma has grown, rents have definitely gone up – but they’re still not close to Seattle’s’

Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. – Take a walk along the Tacoma waterfront, and it’s easy to see a lot has changed in just a few years.

One change you might see are the brand new apartments dotting the waterfront, like The Henry.

The building has views of Puget Sound, an enclosed dog park, stainless steel appliances, even paddle-boards and kayaks for rent, all starting at  $1,600 a month.

Scott Carino is the guy behind the sleek project, and others like it around Tacoma. He’s one of several developers with a hand in Tacoma’s changing landscape.

"We believe there is an opportunity for growth," Carino said. "All of the sudden you saw Seattle developers coming down, you saw out-of-state developers coming down, and even local developers came in."

Carino said there is still plenty of room for more growth, especially as more people move to Western Washington.

"When you think of everything being built, they are all 98-100 percent full," he said. "So does that mean we still need more housing? Yes."

Even with all that growth, Tacoma residents are able to avoid Seattle's cost of living.

According to Zillow data through December, the average Tacoma rental price is just over $1,600 a month, compared to $2,200 in Seattle.

"Tacoma has grown, rents have definitely gone up - but not close to Seattle," he said.

Carino sees Tacoma’s affordability as one reason to consider a move south. It’s a change he made himself, relocating from downtown Seattle to Tacoma.

"When you compare the prices - and I love Seattle - but Tacoma, I'm sorry, I don’t miss the commute," he said. "It would take a half hour just to get to the highway, and I don’t miss that."

And he is betting that many others will follow. He's planning more apartment projects as Tacoma continues to grow.

"We have more museums in Tacoma than Seattle does," he said. "And a beautiful, accessible waterfront, and Point Defiance Park. I could go on and on as a Tacoma boy. I can't help myself."