The popular neighborhood of Central Tacoma, WA is known for its mixture of urban and suburban settings blended with historic properties as well as a creative arts scene.
As part of Tacoma, the area is often referred to by the nickname “City of Destiny”.
Tacoma was named after the local Mount Rainier, which was previously known as Mount Takhoma.
Some of the notable people who have lived in Central Tacoma include singer/actor Bing Crosby, NBA player Isaiah Thomas, actor Cam Gigandet, and actress Pamela Reed.
The culture of Central Tacoma has strong non-discrimination laws, making it a safe haven for people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations. It has many of the city’s top attractions such as the Tacoma Central shopping mall, the local Allenmore Golf Course, and many other destinations.
Is Central Tacoma a good place to live? Even though it’s a small neighborhood in the northern part of the city, there are many great reasons people are moving to Central Tacoma.
History of Central Tacoma
In 1873, the area now called Tacoma was chosen as the location for the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Only two short years later, the community was officially incorporated as “Commencement City” in November 1875. The name was changed to Tacoma shortly after, matching the Native American name for Mount Rainier.
Central Tacoma was quickly established as the downtown portion of the city and blossomed into a beautiful hub of culture and affordable housing. It has since become one of the most popular places to purchase property, offering plenty of great amenities nearby.
The area of Central Tacoma now encompasses the communities of Hilltop, Delong Park, The Wedge, McCarver, Bryant, and College Heights.
Central Tacoma Location & Transportation
The area of Central Tacoma covers about 4 square miles near the northern side of Pierce County and is generally considered the downtown area of Tacoma. It is bordered by New Tacoma, North End, South Tacoma, West End, Custer, Dower, Eastside-ENACT, Northeast Tacoma, Oakbrook, Oakwood, Park Lodge, South End, Southgate, and Twin Lakes.
Central Tacoma extends from 6th Avenue along the northern border down to the WA-16 and Center Street along the south. It follows the curve of the WA-16 along the west side and then goes over to South L Street and Tacoma Avenue S on the eastern border.
The main zip codes in Central Tacoma are 98402, 98403, 98405, 98406, 98409, and 98465. The most common area code in Central Tacoma is 253.
When it comes to local transportation in Central Tacoma, people living in the area have easy access to the convenient Tacoma Link Light Rail for free. It consistently runs every day of the week with stops every 10 to 20 minutes on average.
Residents living in Central Tacoma can also use the Pierce Transit bus system to get around the neighborhood.
The average commute time in Central Tacoma is 28.6 minutes. On average, local households have 2 cars since the area tends to require a vehicle.
Many people moving to Central Tacoma may decide to commute from Tacoma to Seattle, which is about 36 miles away and a trip of around 40 minutes each way.
People & Culture of Central Tacoma
Who lives in Central Tacoma, WA? The population in Central Tacoma is 20,554 residents. More than 31% of people living in Central Tacoma are between the ages of 40 and 64 years old, while about 30% are between the ages of 22 and 39 years old. About 23% of the population is children under the age of 18 years old.
The median household income in Central Tacoma is $56,000 per year.
Central Tacoma demographics show the area is made up of 61% Caucasian, 14% Black or African American, 11% Hispanic or Latino, and 5% Asian. Some of the population’s most common ancestry backgrounds include 17% German, 13% Irish, 9% English, 7% Subsaharan African, and 7% Norwegian.
Is Central Tacoma a safe place to live? The crime rate in Central Tacoma is 221% higher than the national average with violent crime about 217% higher than average. Like any community, there are some areas to avoid, but you’ll also find some safe places to live in Central Tacoma as well.
About 37% of households in Central Tacoma are married couples. More than half of the neighborhood’s population are single individuals.
Around 60% of residents are employed with some common occupations being in business administration, food service, sales, education, and management. The unemployment rate in Central Tacoma is about 6.4%.
Places to Eat, Things to Do, & Shopping in Central Tacoma
Everyone living in Central Tacoma enjoys the benefits of top-rated restaurants, popular activities, and plenty of places to shop.
One of Central Tacoma’s best places to eat is Dirty Oscar’s Annex, a New American restaurant serving up delicious meals all day long. Their menu features tasty dishes like chicken & waffles and sliders, which can then be washed down by one of their unique cocktails or soft drinks.
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Another highly-rated restaurant in Central Tacoma is Southern Kitchen, which has been featured on Guy Fieri’s television show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The popular diner offers mouthwatering soul food including fried chicken, catfish, chicken fried steak, and many other options.
Fun Local Activities
If you’re moving to Central Tacoma and want to make sure there are enjoyable things to do in the area, make sure you plan a visit to Franklin Park. This beautiful neighborhood park has a community garden, a children’s playground, a splash pad, and so much more for people of all ages.
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A can’t miss thing to do in Central Tacoma is the Tacoma Nature Center and its 71 acres of gorgeous landscapes. The combo of forest and wetlands is near Snake Lake with plenty of hiking trails as well as access to a visitors center.
Convenient Shopping Destinations
There are more than enough convenient places to shop in Central Tacoma such as CVS, Target, Walmart, Safeway, Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and Tacoma Central mall.
List of Amenities
- Dirty Oscar’s Annex, 2309 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403 (253) 572-0588
- Southern Kitchen, 1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405 (253) 627-4282
- Franklin Park, 1201 S Puget Sound Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405 (253) 305-1000
- Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S Tyler St, Tacoma, WA 98405 (253) 404-3930
- Allenmore Golf Course, 2013 S Cedar St, Tacoma, WA 98405 (253) 627-7211
- Jefferson Park, 801 N Mason Ave, Tacoma, WA 98406 (253) 305-1000
- Tacoma Central, 3326 S 23rd St, Tacoma, WA 98405
Map of Central Tacoma
Central Tacoma Real Estate
How much does it cost to live in Central Tacoma, WA? The average cost of living is about 10% higher than the national average but it’s also about 8% lower than the Washington state average. Most local expense costs are right around the same as the rest of the state.
As you look at Central Tacoma, WA homes for sale, you’ll find the area offers everything from small manufactured homes to large single-family properties. The average price of a home in Central Tacoma is $435,000 with a median sale price of $305 per square foot. The average down payment is less than 10%.
The average price of rent in Central Tacoma is $1,499 per month, an amount that has increased by about 10% in the past year.
Searching for jobs in Central Tacoma, WA? People on the lookout for career opportunities will find great places to work in the area include:
Local schools in Central Tacoma are part of the Tacoma School District and the Franklin Pierce School District. The top-rated schools in the neighborhood are:
- McCarver Elementary School
- Franklin Elementary School
- Jason Lee Middle School
- Foss High School
The nearest colleges and universities to Central Tacoma include Clover Park Technical College, the University of Puget Sound, and Pacific Lutheran University.
Moving to Central Tacoma, WA?
It’s easy to see the many advantages that come with living in Central Park as you look at these details. If you’ve decided that relocating to this popular community is right for you, then our trusted Central Tacoma movers are the best choice! Give All Ready Moving a call at (360) 507-2447 or fill out the Request a Quote form to get a free moving estimate!