Photos by Rachel Coward
2. Grand Entrance The foyer makes quite the statement with tall 10-foot high ceilings and a black-and-white color palette.
4. The Grand Plaza is designed to be a community favorite — with an amphitheater, spraypark, shopping, dining, and entertainment.
5. That View Look left; see the Olympics. Look right; see Mount Rainier. Look forward; it’s all about the water.
6. The custom breakfast bar counter is made of walnut.
7. Meet the Developer Mike Cohen is developing Point Ruston. It is a labor of love, he says, and the results are turning out better than even he could expect. He anticipates Point Ruston will become one of the top destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
8. Office Envy This chair from Seldens Designer Home Furnishings is a stunner, as is all the furniture they contributed to showcase this penthouse.
10. What is a penthouse? Penthouses are on the top of a condo or apartment building. They usually are large and more expensive and have the best views. One of the first penthouses belonged to publisher Conde Nast in the 1920s in New York — on Park Avenue, of course. And it was the site of many fancy parties.
11. Master Bath It features a large soaking tub from Best Choice Plumbing and carrara marble slab throughout.
They say first impressions are everything.
When you walk into the Point Ruston penthouse, the first impression takes your breath away. Inside the stately entrance the views suddenly open up like a giant jewelry box. You are instantly drawn in by the dazzling view — the 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the mountains and islands in the distance. And how the sun’s rays touch the water and sparkle like a million dancing diamonds.
The asking price for this 3,041-square-foot penthouse, plus massive deck on Tacoma’s waterfront is $1.74 million.
“I’ve been building for more than 40 years, and I feel privileged to work on a property of this caliber,” said Point Ruston developer and president of MC Construction, Mike Cohen.
The penthouse is just one highlight of the Point Ruston neighborhood. The 97-acre property is split between Tacoma and Ruston and is being built on the former Asarco site. Millions of dollars were spent cleaning up the site to make it ready for redevelopment.
“We are creating a legacy — to take a contaminated property and turn it into a favorite spot in the community,” Cohen said. His goal: to create a place residents are proud to call home, and a place the community and region also will embrace. “I want Point Ruston to be the place people take their friends and relatives from out of the area on one of their ‘must-see’ visits.”
Construction on Point Ruston began in 2006 and it is evolving into the mixed-use, walkable community Cohen envisions. Currently it has 173 apartments, with 95 more under construction, and 44 condominiums, with 43 more being built. There are 29 luxuryhomes in the hillside district called Stack Hill, and seven more lots are ready for custom homes. Eventually, Point Ruston will be home to about 3,000 people.
The property also will feature The Grand Plaza, which will include an amphitheater for outdoor waterfront concerts that will convert to an ice skating venue in winter. It will serve as the hub for activity and the centerpiece for what will become the Shops at Point Ruston.
NW Fitness 24/7, Two Town Pub & Café, and Franciscan Plastic Surgery Associates (with a full-service spa) already moved in and are operating. Mio Sushi; WildFin American Grill; and a nine-screen, state-of-the-art Century Theatres are slated to open soon. Additional restaurants, businesses, offices, a hotel, and grocery store are expected to join the lineup.
No doubt about it: The Point Ruston penthouse, which will be open this summer for tours, is a world-class home. Everything about it, from the warm wood floors to the airy ceilings, stainless steel appliances, and 700-square-foot deck, is on point.
The kitchen and living area, complete with a breakfast bar and a wet bar, is in the center of it all. The main living areas are flanked by two bedrooms on one side, and the master bedroom on the other side — each bedroom is en suite with a private bathroom. The home is rounded out with a library, half bath, and laundry room.
The floorplan flows nicely and even though the penthouse is large, it still feels cozy — a nod to great design. There are beautiful touches — like black painted moulding along the ceiling in the entryway, several modern light fixtures, soaking tubs, and a modern flat
fireplace on a wall of white quartz.
“Similar to many of our existing condominium owners, I believe the buyer who will be the most attracted to this penthouse is someone who already has a good-sized water view home on a large piece of land,” said Chris Murphy, marketing director at Point Ruston. “They will be immediately attracted to the fact that they can still have a fairly large home, but with the security, low maintenance and amenities one would expect in a luxury condominium building.”
The waterfront deck might be the best part. With room for a large table, grill, fire pit, and reading and relaxing area, it would be hard to go inside. The spectacular view of Mount Rainier is breathtaking.
Meet the Neighbors
Point Ruston is shaping up to be a social, active community. There are kayak and bike racks, and community rooms where people can mingle.
One of the first things the developers did was connect the missing link between the Ruston Way waterfront with Point Defiance Park. The path is flanked with benches and features local art installations.
Within eight years, Point Ruston is set to be complete — but with the economy humming along, things seems to be moving quickly. Cohen is happy to bring a “walkable” community to the South Sound. “It’s the new, old way,” he said with a chuckle. “I always say creating walkable communities is a revolutionary idea. I mean, before the Revolutionary War.”
Before cars were invented, towns and communities were built to serve residents’ needs — Point Ruston is going to mirror that. Everything a resident should want or need — from food to entertainment or the gym or doctor — will be within a five-minute walk when the development
is done, Cohen said.
“Walkable communities are gaining more traction. It has always been on the list of amenities in an urban environment people want. For health and recreation benefits and for the ease of it. It actually takes more energy to go from a suburban home and jump in the car and go, than it does to take a quick walk.”
Hallway of History In the early 1900s, a giant smokestack anchored the Asarco property along the shores of Commencement Bay straddling Tacoma and Ruston, and was regarded in the early years as an engineering masterpiece. As time marched on and people began realizing the environmental effects of the smelter, it became a statewide problem.
The smelter processed copper, gold, silver, and more. The slag was a byproduct of copper smelting, and it was sold to manufacturers for all sorts of products.
In 1993, the smokestack was razed during a very public, controlled demolition — the area that was once the site of Pierce County’s largest employer, where thousands earned their paychecks, was now one of the most contaminated areas in the West.
A permanent exhibit highlighting the history of the site through the cleanup is open to the public at The Copperline Apartments. In fact, the names Copperline and Stack Hill Homes pay homage to the history of the area.
The exhibit also features smelter artifacts; newspaper clippings; and large black-and-white photographs that show plant workers, hot furnaces, and what the property once looked like. It’s free and open to the public. You can watch a video of the smokestack implosion, too.