From the outset of the Tacoma Mall Neighborhood Subarea Plan effort, there has been community interest in whether the current name is the best representation of the larger neighborhood and its aspirations for the future.
In 1995, the City of Tacoma designated this area as the Tacoma Mall Mixed-Use Center. Because the Tacoma Mall is the largest and most visible entity in the area, the name was a logical choice. However, the Tacoma Mall itself is located in the southeastern corner of a much larger area which includes the Madison Neighborhood, the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood and area northwest of S. 38th and Pine Streets.
How people choose to refer to an area is largely outside of local governments’ direct control. Nonetheless, few things are more basic than the official name which, if nothing else, appears in official City discussions and documents. With luck, a name can be a factor in affirming a neighborhoods identity and promoting a positive image.
Over the past year, many people have expressed their perspectives on names:
• Most have expressed that Madison and Lincoln Heights should be re-affirmed to represent the southwest and northeast quadrants.
•Some have expressed support for changing the name of the larger neighborhood as way to capture a vision of positive change, to re-brand the neighborhood, and to more fully represent the larger geography. Suggestions so far often make reference to historical names, location or directions, or aspirations including green, park, commerce, and public gathering. • Others have expressed support for retaining the Tacoma Mall Neighborhood as the accepted, long-standing name of the area.
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