Views from the waterfront homes include the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, Commencement Bay, Mount Rainier and downtown Seattle.

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RUSTON — In the case of Ken and Priscilla LaBelle, when opportunity knocked, it paid to open the front door.

They are among the newest homeowners at The Commencement, a luxury condominium community near downtown Tacoma. And it happened quickly: In about two months, they had found their home, finalized the purchase and moved in.

“We wanted to move into The Commencement a few years ago,” Priscilla says. “We saw it when it was being built and I said, ‘That’s where I want to live.’ But we ended up buying a condo in Des Moines instead. However, we took a ride for Mother’s Day, made a phone call and took a tour. We ended up going home and putting our condo on the market, and we moved into The Commencement on July 18.”

Three of the 62 homes at The Commencement remain for sale. “It’s been a whirlwind at The Commencement this year,” says co-listing broker Cindy Stewart.

Priscilla thought The Commencement would be the perfect place to live when it was being built because it overlooks the water. Now, she says, it’s about much more. The energy of the area adds to the fun, and she’s glad that she and her husband can walk to the movies or to one of the area’s new restaurants.

There were several “wow factors” that made Priscilla and Ken even more sure of their decision. “One was that it had a big enough kitchen that I could make a big mess in,” Priscilla says. “This is good. The master bath and the master closet, with all of the room to spread out, were also wow factors for me. But I think the biggest one was just walking in and saying, ‘This is it.’ My husband said, ‘If you could have seen your face when you walked in, that just told it all.’ ”

She says the overall layout of the condo, its high ceilings and the windows that open so they can enjoy the breezes coming off the water are all ideal.

Ken and Priscilla LaBelle recently purchased one of the final homes at The Commencement.
Ken and Priscilla LaBelle recently purchased one of the final homes at The Commencement.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to do this,” Priscilla says. “We didn’t think we ever would, and it was just a chance thing. Everything flowed together and I’m here to stay. We’re here until they kick us out.”

The Commencement has model units available for viewing Mondays through Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

“There isn’t anything quite like The Commencement in the greater Tacoma area,” says JoAnn Jett, co-listing agent with Stewart. “Ruston is an exceptional place to live, and this property is arguably the best buy around. Buyers recognize that and are jumping at the opportunity to own here.

“Quality construction, location and ease of living seem to be the three most common reasons that our buyers decide to move to The Commencement.”

View these homes: Open noon–4 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays and by appointment at 5204 N. Bennett St., Ruston

Information: 253-370-3473 or