The Commencement is a 62-unit condominium community that overlooks Commencement Bay and includes views of Puget Sound and the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

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Provided by The Commencement

RUSTON — Keith and Ann Thye had lived in Seattle for 20 years when several changes in their lives prompted them to search for a new home. The couple’s four-story house in the north end of Seattle was wonderful, they say, but they were looking to downsize to something smaller and, preferably, on one level.

In addition, Ann had sold her Seattle business, leaving the couple with just a Tacoma business location to handle.

“The traffic in Seattle is just getting atrocious,” Keith says. “At 3 a.m., we can make it from our house to downtown in 20 minutes. During the afternoon, or rush hour, it can take well over an hour for that same drive.”

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Ann says the traffic challenges were causing them to avoid doing the things in the city that they had always loved. “Our world was getting smaller and smaller due to traffic. It was not fun there anymore.”

So the couple decided to direct their home search toward Ruston, located just outside of Tacoma. They were familiar with the area and say they were impressed with its museums, highway system and retail options, including a particular grocery store that they both love.

The couple had a very specific list of new-home requirements: it had to be a single-level unit with around 2,000 square feet of living space; they wanted it to be on the ground floor for ease when taking out their dog; and they wanted a high level of security and parking for two cars.

They say they found all of that and more at The Commencement, a 62-unit condominium community in Ruston that overlooks Commencement Bay.

“We saw an ad for The Commencement in the paper so we drove down and stopped by,” Ann says. “It just fit — it was everything we wanted.”

“We saw it and we knew immediately,” Keith says. “When we took a tour, we knew that this was right. Not only did it meet all of our requirements, but the bonus of the views of Puget Sound, Commencement Bay and Mount Rainier and the fact that we are within walking distance to a lot of things that we’ll be visiting and requiring, it’s going to be wonderful.”

The seven floor plans at The Commencement range in size from 1,680 to 2,300 square feet. Prices start in the $500,000s.

Building amenities include sound-absorbing concrete-and-steel construction, a lobby with floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, outdoor atriums, two elevators, an underground parking garage and private storage for each home.

The building is located above Ruston Way’s waterfront and Promontory Hill, which is to become a public park.

“This area has a lot to offer us,” Keith says. “It’s very expensive in Seattle, and we can make the move to Ruston and have a very comfortable existence at a lower cost.”