Cushman Substation

UPDATE: September 8, 2023

Cushman Substation 2The Cushman and Adams Study was paused in 2020 due to impacts resulting from the pandemic. Staff are now working to restart the project, complete the Existing Conditions Report and resume community engagement to collect input on possible redevelopment options.  

Timeline and next steps:

  • 2023- General Government and TPU update the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and timeline. Tacoma Power works with TCF Architecture to complete scoping and programming for the new facilities. 
  • Mid 2024-2025- Planning and development of Community Engagement led by Otak, Inc.
  • 2025-2026- Permitting and construction of the Tacoma Power Storage Facility occurs.  
  • 2027- Tacoma Power vacates the Cushman Substation.  

Required steps to be scheduled:

  • Surplus process of properties, including first right of refusal to local Tribes.
  • Environmental Clean-Up of site.
  • Request for proposal for developers of the selected project.

*We will post a more detailed timeline once we update the MOU.

Read more about this project on the City of Tacoma’s website.


The Cushman and Adams substations were built in the mid-1920s to bring electricity from the Cushman Dam to Tacoma. For many years, the substations served as active parts of the electrical system. 

In 2017, Tacoma City County placed both Cushman and Adams substations on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places. The designation includes the exteriors of both building and the sites surrounding them.  

In 2018 General Government and TPU signed A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stating that General Government will lead, with TPU support, an outreach effort to ensure broad community involvement and input regarding the future re-use of the properties and the timeline to surplus the building. TPU initiated planning for a replacement facility and clean-up initiatives according to the terms of the MOU and informed by any future redevelopment plan(s) for the properties approved by the Public Utility Board and Tacoma City Council. 

As of Aug. 27 2018, the substation is no longer energized and is not a functioning part of the utility’s power system. Tacoma Power uses the building for heavy equipment repair and storage of materials. 

2019 The City selected a consultant team led by Otak, Inc. to support a broad, inclusive community engagement effort. 

2020 – The Cushman and Adams Study paused due to impacts resulting from the pandemic. Tacoma Power continues to use the facility for large equipment and material storage until a new facility is constructed and the property is surplused, per the MOU.