Tacoma protest against 150-acre warehouse project turns violent after ‘manager’ intervenes

TACOMA, Wash. — A protest in Tacoma against a 150-acre warehouse project that is stirring up controversy turned violent after a “manager” intervened.


Climate Alliance of the South Sound, a south-Tacoma based grassroots organization that aims to empower people in the community to improve their living conditions through environmental actions, held a press conference on Friday to talk about last Sunday’s protest against Bridge Industrial Project’s 150-acre warehouse project on Burlington Way.

The project, which officials said is aimed to create jobs, is located in one of Tacoma’s low-income communities.

The project will create 2.5 million square feet of light industrial and warehouse space in four large buildings, according to the City of Tacoma’s website. The developer first applied for permits in 2021 and was later granted approval in 2023.

The group said it was peacefully protesting against the developer’s project last Sunday afternoon, claiming it would negatively increase commercial traffic and pollute the community’s air and water.

“We do not need another mega warehouse in this area. We do not need more pollution. We do not need more danger. We do not need more trucks. We do not need our aquifer harmed. We do not need our air polluted,” said Gemini Null, coordinating director of the organization.

Null said the group was cleaning up litter near the construction site last Sunday, where they had previously adopted to clean through a program held by the City of Tacoma.

KIRO 7 News reached out to the City of Tacoma to get further details on this program and the group’s involvement. We are still waiting for details.

Null said many families near the construction site are in need of critical resources.

“We need a grocery store. South Tacoma does not have a normal grocery store. We need more parks,” she said.

During the protest, members of the organization told KIRO 7 News a vehicle was spotted speeding towards the protest.

Paul Zuber-Fantulin, who was working as security for the event, witnessed the incident, he said.

“The vehicle came at an extremely high speed,” he said. “Then you can hear the driver completely flooring it. High RPMs. The engine is revving as loud as it possibly can.”

The vehicle quickly slowed down and changed speeds, he added.

“There’s no honking during this. No warning that she’s coming through,” he explained.

The vehicle passed through the protest, he said, and later parked on the other side of Burlington Way, near the construction site.

A woman and a girl got out of the vehicle, he said, and approached them.

“She said, ‘I’m a manager of this company. I’m here to check on the employees,’” he described what the woman said. “Coming in that day, I had no expectations something like this could happen.”

Protestors said the woman became physical and grabbed Andromeda Robinson’s phone, which captured the incident.

Robinson was taking part in the protest.

“I saw it as an attack immediately,” she said. “This woman said she was the manager.”

“I was shocked. I don’t understand why anyone would be upset that we’re out here other than the people who stand to profit off of it,” she shared. “I have been really anxious since this happened.”

“We were not threatening in any manner. There was nothing that we did to provoke this act,” said Zuber-Fantulin.

Leaders of the organization said they believe the woman is a manager of the site’s developer.

KIRO 7 News reached out to Bridge Industrial to verify the accusation. We’re still waiting to hear back.

Several members of the organization told KIRO 7 News that the project would create a significant amount of commercial traffic and would pollute the air and water, which would harm the health of nearby families.

“I didn’t have breathing issues before this and I’m worried it’s going to get a lot worse,” said Robinson. “This is blatant environmental destruction.”

“When the traffic increases substantially, which it will, this harms the community,” said Kit Burns, who lives near the site.

Burns told KIRO 7 News that he has more than 40 years of experience as an architect and has led a number of large projects across the Puget Sound.

“As an architect and a project manager, I was responsible for bringing together all of the consultants. I had up to 50 consultants to deal with soils, water, wetlands, department of natural resources,” he said.

“The fact that so many could be harmed and we just look the other way, it’s wrong. It’s the 21st century. We have a chance to keep things clean, but it costs money and it needs to be done right. We’re not doing that. Even now, even when we know better. We know better than to pollute our air and this won’t help,” he added.

KIRO 7 News reached out to Bridge Industrial to get more details about the project, Sunday’s incident, if the woman involved works for the company and its response about the protestors’ accusations.

We are still waiting to hear back.

Zuber-Fantulin said he has filed a report with the police department.

Tacoma police confirmed there were no arrests or charges have not been filed. No other details were shared.


KIRO 7 News reached out to the City of Tacoma to get more details about the project.

A spokesperson for the city said Bridge Industrial fulfilled a number of required conditions to develop the land, as required by state and local laws.

Officials said the developer was required to complete the associated environmental review that is required by the State Environmental Policy Act and complete a Critical Areas Permit related to the wetland and forested area on the western portion of the site.

The city said the conditions included the following:

· Completing restoration, enlargement, and enhancement of the wetlands and stream

· Protecting the Garry Oak trees on site and providing excess plantings to compensate for the one being removed

· Preserving and enhancing the steep slope and treed areas on the western portion of the site

· Recording these protections permanently on the title to the property

· Providing monitoring of all plantings until they are well established

According to the city’s website, the developer will be required to monitor traffic generated by each tenant and to ensure it does not exceed the required thresholds. The stormwater system is also in place to collect any water that will seep into the soil, the website said, which will filter the water and disperse it back into the stream or into the ground. However, there were no details on how much water collected would be filtered.

A spokesperson told KIRO 7 News that the city could not perform its own environmental impact assessment of the project at this point in time. The city said it had completed an environmental review before it issued the development permits, as required by state and local laws.

KIRO 7 News asked if the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department assessed the impact of the project.

The spokesperson referred us to the agency.

A spokesperson for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said they are working to get more information, and referred us back to the City of Tacoma and its website.

The City of Tacoma said it recently entered into a $150,000 pilot agreement with the health department to conduct comprehensive Health Impact Assessments on key zoning changes and land-use ordinances. The health department will assess the targeted land and inform city council members on the potential health implications of future land use and choices.

The current 150-acre project will not be affected by this new effort, the spokesperson said.

It’s not clear what the property taxes of the warehouse will be, officials said, since there are no details on the potential tenants.

The City of Tacoma said the public’s input was included and considered leading up to the project.

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