TACOMA, Wash. (Aug. 5, 2015)—Pacific Lutheran University’s Human Resources Department kicked off the move-in season early on Aug. 3 when it became the first occupant of retail space in the brand-new Garfield Station.
The new space, minus the futons and movie posters expected from a different sort of collegiate move-in, is located on the corner of C Street and Wheeler Street. Human Resources formerly was located in a small building near the parking lot at 122nd Street and Park Avenue.
That space meant limited resources and access—Joe Bell, Director of Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Programs, didn’t even have an office in the building. The new space provides breathing room and ample opportunity for growth.
“Our new space will have a good-sized conference room, allowing us to welcome new employees with orientations on-site,” said Teri Phillips, Associate Vice President of Human Resources. “We will have training kiosk(s) allowing employees, especially brand-new employees, to do online training in the HR office.”
Human Resources is one of two PLU departments that will occupy space in Garfield Station—Marriage and Family Therapy is planning to move in before September, Director David Ward said.
Retailers also will be moving into Garfield Station, although none has been confirmed yet. Development managers are looking to add local businesses as well as regional and national chain stores and restaurants.
Affinity President and Co-Founder Kirk Rector said in June that some retail possibilities include a frozen yogurt chain and a full-service sushi restaurant. The goal is to complement the amenities already in the area.
Rector said this is a process they are taking very seriously. “We’re looking for a certain credibility, experience, and really trying to be careful as to who we select to go in there and who can help the neighborhood, community and complement what’s here,” he said.
The new addition to the PLU community was a $20 million project developed by PLU and a group of local private investors and built by Korsmo Construction. Planning for Garfield Station began in 2009, modeled after modern apartment complexes in the Tacoma and Seattle metropolitan areas, and the project broke ground after securing investments in fall 2013.
Brenna Sussman ’15 and Taylor Lunka ’15 contributed to this story.