In the 1800’s Tacoma took on the nickname “City of Destiny” when it beat Seattle to become the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The rail access, combined with a bustling port, solidified the blue-collared and diverse population that still exists today. Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city located on the Puget Sound and is a major maritime shipping hub. This industrial city has experienced ebbs and flows of prosperity over the years that mirror other major American manufacturing epicenters. Recent downtown revitalization efforts have helped to bring back the cultural offerings of the city and draw more residents and tourists in.


Young professionals, singles and younger military tend to show interest in Tacoma. Families often focus on areas outside of the city for more space and school considerations, but younger couples and singles enjoy the amenities and social pace of a larger city. Families tend to settle in the suburbs and outskirts to the north and east.

Neighborhood Feel

Condos, apartments, townhomes, single family homes — you name it — are available in Tacoma. Nautical, historic neighborhoods are found nearer the water and in pockets throughout Northeast Tacoma. Newer developments and buildings are becoming more widely available and offer fantastic amenities. Most of the area is walkable to dining, shopping and entertainment.

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Neighborhood Location

McChord Field Main Gate (exit 125)
Drive Time to Gate
10 to 20 minutes
By Transit
30 minutes – short walk to the gate from the Lakewood Station

Neighborhood Info

Tacoma - Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA - gomillie.com

Points of Interest

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Theater District/Museum District

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Farmers Market

Dock Street Marina

Big Plus

There are great shopping options in Tacoma including a mall and other big brand stores and grocers.

Proximity to I-5 is great for a quick trip to Seattle.

Relatively affordable for a city.

Things to Consider

Tacoma is an industrial city and has seen periods of economic stress. Some areas are going to be hit or miss and we recommend not buying or renting sight unseen here, or without researching crime statistics.

The commute to JBLM is only 11 miles, but the traffic on I-5 going south is a serious consideration and is typically very congested. You also have usual city traffic to contend with getting in and out of Tacoma, on top of JBLM commuters.

How’s the Market?

The median home value is $214,900 according to the Zillow Home Value Index

Home Values are forecasted to increase by 5.6% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single-family homes in Tacoma is $1,577.

School Scoop

Tacoma has 71 primary and secondary schools. One of the best schools is Washington-Hoyt, which is rated 10 according to GreatSchools.org. The school has 421 children. Public schools in Tacoma are part of Tacoma School District.

While several of the schools in the northeastern edge of this district rate in the “high” range, according to GreatSchools.org’s rankings, the district as a whole scores a 5 and 44% of its students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Evaluate the whole picture and be sure to interview the schools when deciding to purchase or rent in this district. Any student zoned to a Title I school (there are several in this district) has the right to attend a higher performing school within the district. Title I Schools are schools that have been granted supplemental funds by the government based a high number or high percentage of low income students in attendance to help bridge the achievement gap.  

Highlighted Areas

Northeast Tacoma

Point Defiance