Historic Elevator Car Wins Preservation Grant

Thanks to a Preservation Special Projects grant from 4Culture, the historic visitor information kiosk in Occidental Park will soon be receiving a thorough structural assessment! This is the first step toward restoring the kiosk and relocating it to a new home in Pioneer Park. Its relocation will make room for a new Pavilion and expanded concierge booth in Occidental Park.

The kiosk, which started life as a pre-1900s elevator cab, is staffed by Park Ambassadors daily. Although its beauty and historic value are still evident, it is in disrepair internally and externally. Happily, 4Culture’s monetary support has provided us with the means to hire a contractor to carry out important assessment work slated to begin this summer. During the assessment, blueprints of the structure will be created and data about its structural integrity will be gathered. The assessment will give us the information we need to make an informed decision about how to best carry out the next steps toward removing, restoring, and relocating the kiosk without damaging it in the process.

The assessment project is a priority at this time because of our ongoing work as a member of the Urban Parks Activation Partnership, a public-private collaboration involving the Downtown Seattle Association, Metropolitan Improvement District, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Alliance for Pioneer Square, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and Seattle Parks Foundation. The Partnership is well on the path to place a new Pavilion and expanded concierge booth that would replace the existing kiosk. The new structure will be more comfortable for attendants and better equipped to serve an increasing number of park users. It is necessary that the old kiosk is relocated out of the park in order to make room for this upcoming development.

After it is restored, the hope is to ultimately relocate the historic kiosk to Pioneer Park. Currently, Pioneer Park hosts a small, temporary information cart only staffed on fair weather days. The historic kiosk will serve to expand park programming and staffing opportunities at Pioneer Park. The restored and relocated historic kiosk will be more inviting and interesting for visitors and will allow Park Ambassadors to staff the area more frequently. Relocating the restored kiosk has the potential to kick off revitalization in Pioneer Park similar to Occidental Park’s renaissance.

A big thank-you from us to 4Culture for making this work possible! We look forward to these upcoming projects that will help make the parks in Pioneer Square even more welcoming, beautiful, and engaging places.

March Business Development Update

New businesses keep coming to Pioneer Square. They choose our neighborhood because of what you– all who work and live here right now–have put in place. They’re eager to work with you and make their own contributions to the Pioneer Square story. And like you, they believe future opportunities outweigh the headaches of our current construction challenges.

Lindsey Miller Photo

Here’s a quick look at who’s new to the neighborhood and who will be here soon:

Welcome to:
  • 13 Coins –This 24-hour Seattle institution is now open at the base of the new Embassy Suites hotel at 255 S King.
  • Browne Family Vineyards Tasting Room – The space is lovely and the wine is amazing. 411 1st Ave S.
  • A special welcome to our new corporate neighbors at Avalara and Saltchuk. We’re delighted you’re here.
Coming soon:
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square – 255 S King St. Very soon.
  • General Porpoise Coffee & Doughnuts – 411 1st Ave S. We’ll be enjoying doughnuts before the end of the month.
  • The 101 –101 S Jackson. A new gallery and event space opening this summer.
  • Counter Culture Coffee Training Center – 319 1st Ave S. They plan to open before the end of the month and are planning a neighborhood event. Stay tuned.
  • Even Stevens – 211 1st Ave S. We don’t have many details yet. We do know the lease was signed and plans are underway.
  • RPM Pizza – 2nd Ave S & S Main, between Manu’s Tacos and Elm Coffee. They’ll be reopening soon. (Hooray!) Stay tuned.
  • Evergreens – 104 1st Ave S. They’re building out now and plan to be selling their amazing salads this summer.
  • Dollop Coffee Co. – Pioneer Building. Stay tuned for more details.
  • Canton Lofts – 123 Third Ave S. Spectrum Development Solutions received their certificate of approval to build apartments from the Pioneer Square Historic Preservation Board last month. This is great news for the neighborhood. Stay tuned.
  • Lady Yum – 116 S Washington. The buildout is underway and will be a fabulous addition to the beautiful alley resurfacing. We’ll keep you posted on progress.
  • citizenM – The new hotel concept is looking to build on what’s now the surface parking lot at Yesler Way & Western.
  • Best Western Pioneer Square is building an annex/addition, just south of their current property.

It’s easy to be excited about who’s new and who’s coming to Pioneer Square. Please stop by and introduce yourself soon. It’s also easy to be excited about our existing businesses. Their fierce commitment to the future of our neighborhood is inspiring. They’re going the extra mile and delivering their very best to customers and clients during these crazy times of construction. In return, now is the time for all of us to recognize and support the businesses who make Pioneer Square the neighborhood we love.

For example, let’s look at a particularly hard-hit block. Have you noticed the scaffolding on buildings on the west side of 1st Ave S between Yesler and S Washington? On that block are neighborhood favorites: The Sovereign, Turabi Rug Gallery, Rudy’s Barbershop, Taco del Mar, Kigo Kitchen, Delicatus, and Caffe D’arte. Venture down Yesler to find: Café Paloma, Fresh Tangerine’s new retail space, and the spaces in the Best Western Pioneer Square: Fenix Tattoo, Millheads Barbershop, Julie’s Garden, and the Pioneer Square Saloon. And in back of the Best Western Pioneer Square, an addition is under construction. Walking west toward the water on S Washington, you’ll find neighborhood gems: Sake Nomi and Planet Java Diner. Come on – what’s a little dust and noise? Step out and show them a little love.

We’re eager to help you spread the word about what your business is doing these days. Be sure to post your events on the Pioneer Square calendar (here’s the link) and be sure to tag us on your social media. @PioneerSquare. We can’t promote events if we don’t know about them. And please let us know if you’re trying something new or making changes. We want to hear about it.

Thanks for all you do to make this such an extraordinary place every day.

Alliance for Pioneer Square Announces New Executive Director

Lisa Dixon Howard will assume leadership of the organization

We are pleased to announce the selection of Lisa Dixon Howard as our new Executive Director. Lisa will fill the vacancy created by Leslie Smith’s departure in January to join Vulcan Inc. as their Public Policy Director of Government & Community Relations. Lisa has most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the past 3 years.

“The Transition Committee discussed and debated what lies ahead for the organization and what type of leadership is needed to guide us successfully through those challenges, explained Ryan Smith, Co-Chair of the Alliance Board of Directors. “I’m pleased to report that we came to unanimous agreement, in that the leadership we currently need resides within the organization with our current COO, Lisa Howard. Lisa’s deep knowledge of the neighborhood and strong network will serve her well in this new role.”

Lisa holds a Masters of Business Administration through the University of Washington – Michael G. Foster School of Business. She has been active in helping to shape the environment of downtown Seattle for the last decade, with experience in strategic planning, management, problem solving, and operations. She previously served as the Interim Executive Director of an early precursor to the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and currently serves as a board member for the Friends of the Benson Trolleys.

“We are so pleased to have Lisa Howard stepping into the Executive Director role,” stated Barry Blanton, Co-Chair of the Alliance Board of Directors. “In March, Lisa will be celebrating her 10th Anniversary with the Alliance, and the organization couldn’t be in better hands as we move forward.”