How is Cushman Substation currently used?
The substation is currently energized and a functioning part of the utility’s power system. The building is used for heavy equipment repair and storage of materials.

How will the North 21st Street tower replacement project affect Cushman Substation?
Tacoma Power will replace 19 aging towers on and near North 21st Street with 12 steel poles. As part of the project, the utility will disconnect the Cushman Substation from the electrical system during the second half of 2018.

What will happen to Cushman Substation?
In the second half of 2018, Tacoma Power will disconnect the substation from the electrical system and it will no longer be energized. 

Tacoma Public Utilities is committed to working with the Public Utility Board and City Council to determine an acceptable, cost-effective future use for the Cushman and Adams substations and surrounding properties. TPU is also working with the City Manager’s Office to develop a Memorandum of Understanding about the substation, with the potential to transfer it to General Government in the future.

Tacoma Power will remove the equipment and structures within Cushman Substation fence by the end of 2018 after the North 21st Street tower and pole replacement project is complete.

What does the future hold for Cushman Substation?
A project is underway to determine the substation's future. Both Cushman and Adams substations are being placed on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places. In June 2017, the Tacoma City Council determined that these portions of the property be added to the register:

  • The exteriors of both substation buildings
  • The sites surrounding both buildings (not including the non-historic electrical switchyard equipment)

The Council also determined that the City of Tacoma and Tacoma Power will establish a process to encourage timely redevelopment of the two properties.