PUYALLUP RESERVATION, Tacoma, Wash.—The Puyallup Tribe has broken ground on a brand new Tribal Administration building.
About 100 people turned out on a cold Friday morning for a ceremony held for Tribal community members and employees on March 24. Heritage Manager Connie McCloud gave a blessing, and the Culture Department sang before Tribal Councilmembers shared their thoughts about the site’s history, the new building’s importance and symbolism of how much the Tribe has grown in the decades since administrative functions took place out of trailer space.
Chairman Bill Sterud and other councilmembers noted that the old Cascadia center, once Cushman Indian Hospital, once towered over the area. The Tribe occupied Cascadia in the 1970s and used it for administration until it was torn down and replaced by modern facilities.
- Chairman Bill Sterud – “There are a lot of chapters in our book, and one of them is right here as we build our own admin building.”
- Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller – “Through all the things we have gone through, our ancestors have gone through, this is a blessing.”
- Councilmember Annette Bryan – “My heart is full with all that we’re able to do today from where we came from.”
- Councilmember James Rideout – “To be standing up here today thinking about how important it is to encompass all of our programs in one central place, that’s a big feat in itself.”
- Councilmember Anna Bean – “This new project has everything to do with healing and resiliency of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. We started out over here in the graveyard, we were here at Cascadia, they went out to the boat property, now they’re on Portland Avenue and it’s basically a homecoming.”
- Councilmember Monica Miller – “I witnessed all of this, worked here all my life. This is one big happy great adventure for all of us.”
- Councilmember Fred Dillon – “The future is so bright, just to know where we are going and everything we have in front of us.”
Construction will begin in earnest the first week in April. The four-story, 95,000-square-foot administration building is the first phase of redevelopment for the 17.6-acre site of the former Emerald Queen casino tents in Tacoma. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024 and include a four-story parking garage. Plans for future phases include a museum and an entertainment district.
“With this new building, we are excited for the future of our Tribe and the future of this area,” said the Puyallup Tribal Council, the Tribe’s governing body, before the groundbreaking. “This new administration building gives our Membership and employees an exceptional location for business.”
Wright Runstad & Company is the Tribe’s development manager for the project. Freiheit Architecture designed the building, and JTM Construction, whose clients include Evergreen Health and Tacoma Art Museum, is the builder.
The new Tribal Administration building is the latest in a series of economic development initiatives the Tribe has launched since 2020, when it opened its new $400 million Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. In 2021, the Tribe announced a partnership with Amazon on a sort center, opened the EQC hotel in Tacoma, launched the BetMGM @ EQC sportsbook and opened a fourth Commencement Bay Cannabis store. In 2022, the Tribe announced partnerships with Kenmore Air to operate a seaplane service and with celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi to open a Native-inspired international cuisine waterfront restaurant. Earlier this year, the Tribe launched its own international logistics company, Tahoma Global Logistics.