Waterfront Projects

What's Building on the Waterfront?

There is always something going on near the water. Projects are being planned, construction is taking place, ideas and input are being requested. Check here regularly to see what is happening!

The Parks on the Foss initiative is a public/private partnership involving:

FWDA (Foss Waterway Development Association)

City of Tacoma

Metro Parks Tacoma

Pierce County

Port of Tacoma

Individuals, companies and family foundations.

If you are interested in finding out more about the parks or donating to them, please contact FWDA.

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Owen Beach Gets a Makeover!

Construction set to begin in mid-February


Owen Beach updates are designed to improve traffic flow, parking, and recreational spaces while honoring the park's character. Improvements include:


  • A new restroom building

  • Picnic pavilion

  • Children’s play area

  • Repositioned lawn and pathways adjusted for sea level rise

  • Reconfigured parking lot

  • Kayak hand launch


The project marks the first major improvement to Owen Beach infrastructure in nearly a half-century. Construction is anticipated to be completed in summer 2022.


Public Access During Construction


In order to safely complete the project, all of Owen Beach, including its entry and exit roads, stairs, parking, beaches and the access point at the north end of the promenade will be closed to the public during construction, which is slated to begin in mid-February.


This project is a part of Destination Point Defiance, a long-term comprehensive planning initiative to enhance visitor experiences and honor the park's character. Owen Beach improvements are funded in part by the 2014 voter-approved Park and Zoo Bond.

Waterway Park

Waterway Park is slated to start in 2022 at a cost of $8,525,000. It will be located at Dock and D streets on Thea Foss’ southern end near the East 21st Street bridge. It will be four acres and is planned to support “human-powered” watercraft (kayaks, canoes, dragon boats and paddleboards. To accomplish that goal, it will include a launch and storage for up to 200 craft.  It also would have a boathouse to store rowing shells and sculls, and a workshop and restrooms.

There will be green space for picnics and an off-leash dog park.

Read more here:



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Melanie Dressel Park is in the planning stages. This small (3/4 acre) but special park is where downtown workers could eat lunch amid a boardwalk, a bridge with a viewing platform over the shoreline and an elaborate playground with a tower and slide. It will be located

at 1147 Dock St., south of the 11th Street Bridge and the Foss Marina parking lot.

It was named for the longtime Columbia Bank leader, who died unexpectedly in 2017 at age 64 and was widely regarded as a leader and approachable executive.

The Foss Waterway Development Authority in conjunction with Metro Parks, Pierce County, and Columbia Bank are looking for additional funds to complete the park. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 once the additional funds are raised.

Read more here:



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