This block has served as housing for decades, although the residents have changed over the years. The first major building on this site was the Jefferson House, a two-story concrete block structure spanning the entire block that cost $148,000.
It was built in 1945 to provide temporary housing for single men working at the defense plants for World War II, but the war ended shortly after construction was completed, so the housing was used instead for returning servicemen and war workers in transition.
In 1957, with its original purpose largely served, Jefferson House was converted to a nursing home and operated as such until it closed in 2001.
Through a public-private partnership with Lorig Associates, the University purchased the property and demolished Jefferson House in 2006. A parking garage was built and Lorig leased the "air rights" above it to construct a five-story, 128-unit apartment building. Initially, the units were leased as market-rate apartments.
As UW Tacoma's four-year student population grew, so did demand for campus housing. The University began leasing blocks of apartments in the building to use as student housing and, by 2015, was leasing two full floors.
At that point, given the rapidly growing demand, it made more financial sense for the University to purchase the entire building from Lorig and convert it to student housing. In Autumn 2016, Court 17 Apartments officially became the University's first residence hall, entirely occupied by students.