The Alliance for Pioneer Square

Business Improvement Area

The oldest Business Improvement Area in the city, the businesses of the Pioneer Square BIA fund beautification, marketing and promotion, and support to the Alliance for neighborhood advocacy and activation.

What is the Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area?

Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are special assessment districts that are established to revitalize and enhance neighborhood business districts. The BIA is a self-help mechanism whereby Pioneer Square business owners choose to assess themselves. The oldest BIA within the City of Seattle, the Pioneer Square BIA was formed as a local business community effort to remain competitive in the marketplace. BIA’s include programs and services such as parking, marketing, beautification, security, and public area maintenance. The legal authority for the establishment and management of BIAs is set forth in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 35.87A and Seattle City Ordinance 111244. Each BIA is required to have a ratepayer advisory board made up of ratepayers within the BIA district who are in good standing. :

The Advisory Board officers and members shall be current ratepayers representing the various business classes and geographic diversity of the district. Each Advisory Board shall:

  • Represent the body of ratepayers in giving guidance to the BIA manager and/or management agency about programs.
  • Adopt its own bylaws governing its operation. Bylaws shall outline the role and purpose of the board, operations of the Board: selection and term of Board members, selection of officers, meetings, grievance resolution and any bylaw amendments.
  • Appoint officers
  • Sponsor an annual meeting, to approve the following year’s work program and budget, elect officers and members to the Advisory Board, and review and approve the recommendation of the Advisory Board in relation to professional management of the BIA program.
  • Hold regular meetings, which shall be open to the public; and
  • Investigate and respond to all ratepayer issues, concerns and complaints regarding the BIA

The City of Seattle Department of Facilities and Administrative Services (FAS) is responsible for developing BIA policies and setting the overall BIA program direction. Once a BIA is adopted by City Council, FAS is responsible for negotiating a management contract with the manager or management entity selected by the advisory board to run the BIA. FAS is responsible for ensuring that the manager or management entity completes all the provisions of the contract signed with the City of Seattle. FAS is responsible for the revenue collection and disbursement of funds, including preparing and distributing all assessment forms to business and/or property owners, collecting all assessment funds, depositing those funds in the BIA Fund Account in the City Treasurer’s office and reimbursing BIAs for eligible expenses.

Who manages the Pioneer Square Business Improvement Area?

The Alliance for Pioneer Square.

What is happening?

The programs primarily include neighborhood advocacy, beautification, business development, and promotion. BIA resources are used to fund activities that directly support ratepayers and in support of activities that will benefit the entire neighborhood. Where activities support the entire neighborhood the Alliance garners additional revenue from corporate underwriting, grants, mitigation and fund raising.

2016 Revitalization Activities

Alliance staff implements programs for neighborhood business development, improvements to the pedestrian realm, marketing, civility, advocacy, and data management.

  • Beautification, Enhancements and Maintenance
    • Median maintenance
    • Pioneer Square Spring Clean
    • Completion of Parks & Gateways and the Streetscape Design Framework
    • ADA accessibility within the district
    • Repaving alleys
    • Holiday décor and lighting
    • New neighborhood bike racks (December 2016)
  • Public Space Activation
    • Pioneer Square and Occidental park staffing and activation
    • Alley Network Project
  • Marketing
    • and Map & Guide
    • Pioneer Square advertising campaign
    • Holiday and retail promotions
  • Advocacy
    • Waterfront design and construction impacts
    • 1st Avenue streetcar design and construction impacts
    • Access Seattle Steering Committee and member
    • Street Civility & Public Safety
    • Viaduct Mitigation Marketing/Parking Group
    • Viaduct Mitigation Budgetary Oversight Group
    • Bicycle Sounding Board
    • Parking Sounding Board
  • Business Development
    • Retail recruitment
    • On-boarding businesses into neighborhood
    • Working with businesses to navigate city departments including Preservation Board
    • Assisting businesses with access to capital and other services
    • Member of Community Partnership Forum with stadium
  • Capacity Building
    • On-going board, staff, and volunteer development
    • Continued collaboration Between Alliance and Ratepayer Boards
    • Development of new By-Laws and processes in response to changes in city policies
    • Continued improvements to data systems and communication
    • Continued support and coordination with Residents Council


Contact Us

Alliance for Pioneer Square
310 1st Ave S, Suite 201
Seattle, WA
Phone: (206) 667-0687

What’s Happening?