TACOMA, WA-Technology mogul Jeff Von Schmauder is promoting the renaissance of downtown Tacoma with enthusiasm. Schmauder is the head of a partnership that has taken over three aged buildings on Broadway in order to renovate them for new high-tech tenants.

The acquired properties include the 75-year-old Kress Building at 934 Broadway, abandoned by Kress in 1972, the 50-year-old Woolworth Building at 955 Broadway, vacated by Woolworth in 1993, the 94-year-old Payless Building at 930 Broadway that Payless deserted in 1979. Also thrown in was the parking lot at 920-922 Broadway, across from the Pantages Theater and Theatre on the Square, which may turn into a three-story parking garage.

Cost of the Theater District resurrection: $15 million. “My world is technology,” Von Schmauder says. “I got into real estate to diversify.” His real focus is to help downtown and the renaissance that’s truly happening here,” has says. “We want to create a habitat for technology of synergistic companies that can grow from each other. We have the performing arts at one end of this block and Broadway.com at the other end.”

Von Schmauder, who has already moved Capital Connection, his 10-year-old commercial equipment leasing and financing company, from University Place to the third floor of the four-story Kress Building, says the interior renovation of the Woolworth Building is underway. He intends to turn the historic corner into a technology center. Von Schmauder’s partners include real estate broker Eric Cederstrand of Colliers International Ken Cederstrand; an uncle, and Eugene Cederstrand, his father.

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