The Alliance for Pioneer Square

Strategy

In 2010 Pioneer Square received pointed and poignant recommendations: stop our whining and infighting; systematically identify short, intermediate and long term priorities, assign responsibilities and get to work; develop market rate housing; and hire a CEO. The neighborhood listened.

Seattle’s historic neighborhood has experienced unprecedented change in the ensuing five years. Through the investment and hard work of so many, Pioneer Square is finding its way to a preferred future. New housing. New businesses. New energy. A resurgence of restaurants and retail. New pride in our public realm, making it walk-able and accessible to all. While respecting and protecting our history and historic fabric, we are writing a new story for an old neighborhood.

We are proud to share the newest plan for the neighborhood: Pioneer Square 2020.

A printable version is available here

Summary of Goals

Community Goals
Goal #1: Actively Engage Businesses and Property Owners in Supporting Economic Growth
Goal #2: Build the Neighborhood’s Organizational Development and Advocacy Capacity
Goal #3: Focus on the District’s Historic Building Assets and Enhance the Built Environment
Goal #4: Effectively Market, Brand, and Promote Pioneer Square

City Goals
Goal #1: Ensure an Environment of Public Safety and Civility
Goal #2: Support Pioneer Square’s Historic Buildings and a Positive Development Environment
Goal #3: Provide Economic Development Support and Investment through Supportive Pedestrian, Utility, and Parking Infrastructure

Community Goals + Actions
1. Actively Engage Businesses and Property Owners in Supporting Economic Growth
A. Support Existing and Emerging Economic Clusters, Engage Property Owners, Brokers, and other Stakeholders around the Pioneer Square Economy and Needs for Retention and Expansion
• Identify desirable new businesses, including missing complementary businesses; implement strategies to fill specific niches
• Identify and support needs regarding technical assistance, emerging business issues and other business needs
• Facilitate connections among businesses across Pioneer Square to increase engagement and collaboration
• Continue recruitment and welcoming activities to attract additional businesses
• Continually improve systems for tracking business openings and closings to identify trends in activity and for business outreach and engagement efforts

2. Build the Neighborhood’s Organizational Development and Advocacy Capacity
A. Support Safety and Public Civility Improvement Efforts
• Work with the Mayor’s Office, city departments, and other partners to increase access regionally to human services to address unmet need
• Work with the Mayor’s Office and Seattle Police Department to increase police engagement with individuals committing crimes and infractions, working to continuously improve civility in Pioneer Square
• Develop tools and additional supports to provide businesses with clear paths of action when faced with civility and street disorder issues
• Advocate for public restrooms in Pioneer Square and across downtown
• Advocate for improved standards for nightclubs, human service agencies and sports venues responsibilities regarding clients in the neighborhood

B. Participate/Advocate in Transportation, Utilities, and Other Infrastructure Improvements
• Advocate to increase positive impacts on Pioneer Square during public and private improvement projects
• Ensure governmental agencies observe regulatory responsibilities to a National Historic District
• Advocate to leverage benefits and opportunities of being part of a comprehensive transportation hub
• Advocate to increase efficiency and connectivity of utilities, including broadband
C. Continuously Develop Neighborhood Capacity for Leadership and Engagement
• Work with Alliance Board, Pioneer Square BIA Ratepayer Board, Residents Council, business owners, and other volunteers to build strong community engagement and participation

3. Focus on the District’s Historic Building Assets and Enhance the Built Environment
A. Increase Residential Development and Density in Pioneer Square
• Provide leadership for stakeholder dialogue regarding residential and other development
• Build relationships with property owners and developers and facilitate advancement of residential and other development opportunities
• Target smaller, infill projects in key areas needing improvement

B. Advocate for the Design, Improvement, Maintenance and Activation of Public Spaces
• With all development projects, public and private, advocate for design which enhances our historic fabric while improving walkability, our sense of place, and access to the waterfront and other public amenities
• Advocate for continuous improvements to enhance the walkability and positive pedestrian experience in Pioneer Square
• Create a neighborhood-driven design framework for streetscapes
• Create a neighborhood-driven concept plan for Pioneer Square parks and gateways into the neighborhood
• Partner with DSA, the City of Seattle, and other partners to pilot an Urban Parks Partnership, leveraging the Biederman Redevelopment Ventures plan for Occidental Square Park

C. Address Vacant, Dilapidated, and Underused Buildings
• Engage property owners directly in efforts to improve the appearance, tenancy, and upkeep of the District
• Work with the Metropolitan Improvement District to improve the appearance and upkeep of the District, including graffiti removal
• Develop targeted strategies for each dilapidated, neglected building in the Square
• Encourage changes in the City code regarding minimum maintenance to avoid demolition by neglect

D. Facilitate a user-friendly Preservation Board process and experience
• Work with the Pioneer Square Preservation Board to amend the District Guidelines to require an increased percentage of active retail use at street level and to streamline processes and create user-friendly, illustrative guides

E. Support neighborhood initiatives to improve Pioneer Square alleys as public space
• Facilitate public/private partnership in replacing utility infrastructure and resurfacing alleys
• Support neighborhood alley stewardship including resource and permitting processes for other alley enhancements
• Encourage businesses to upgrade alley facades and open towards alleys
• Work with city to evaluate and enforce Clear Alleys Program

4. Effectively Market, Brand, and Promote Pioneer Square
A. Develop a Comprehensive PR, Marketing, and Branding Strategy for Pioneer Square
• Continue to promote Pioneer Square as a cool, artsy destination for both locals and visitors
• Develop strategies to connect and market Pioneer Square’s unique mix of cultural assets: architecture, National Park, museums, Art Walk, Trail to Treasure, restaurants and retail and accessibility by public transit
B. Develop and Implement a Communications Plan
• Continue positive media strategy; generate positive stories about the neighborhood
• Implement a customer relationship management system to improve communication with all segments of the neighborhood, delivering relevant information in a timely manner

City Goals + Actions
1. Ensure an Environment of Public Safety and Civility
A. Implement Strategies to Improve Public Safety Experience and Perceptions
• Collaborate with neighborhood on community policing strategies, partnering enforcement with access to services regionally
• Work with Pioneer Square, DSA and other partners on piloting an Urban Parks Partnership to activate public space
• Partner with the neighborhood in an effort to de-concentrate human services in Pioneer Square
• Establish a public restroom in the neighborhood and explore options to install others across downtown
• Work with neighborhood and sporting venues, nightclubs, and human service providers to decrease impacts on the neighborhood

2. Support Pioneer Square’s Historic Buildings and a Positive Development Environment
A. Facilitate Development and Adaptive Reuse Incentives
• Work with neighborhood stakeholders to improve the balance between low income and market rate housing
• Lead an initiative to amend the District Guidelines to require an increased percentage of active retail use at street level and to streamline processes and create user-friendly, illustrative guides
• Commit to consistent enforcement of District Design Guidelines
B. Address Vacant and Blighted Buildings
• Explore the development of a City Code regarding minimum maintenance to avoid demolition by neglect
• Work with the neighborhood in developing targeted strategies for each dilapidated, neglected, building including exploring the implementation of the state statute regarding spot blight

3. Provide Economic Development Support and Investment through Supportive Pedestrian, Utility, Parking, and Transportation Infrastructure
A. Support Transportation and Infrastructure Improvements and Mitigation
• Work with neighborhood stakeholders to protect and promote a walkable, accessible, pedestrian first environment
• Work collaboratively with the neighborhood to mitigate impacts of transportation, infrastructure, and construction projects in Pioneer Square
• Lead an initiative with stadiums and surrounding neighborhoods to ensure traffic control reflects the current urban environment (construction, shrinking parking supply, increased traffic and special events)
• Work with the neighborhood to manage the diminishing district parking supply, including reclaiming street parking from government use

B. Ensure Effective Utility and Technology Systems
• Lead an initiative to identify and execute an investment strategy that delivers reliable broadband and electrical service to Pioneer Square


A list of all the appreciations would be endless. All the long term businesses that stayed and the new ones who decided to be part of this rich chapter, the staff and boards of the Alliance and the Pioneer Square BIA, the resident’s council, our many collaborators, partners, and schemers. Many, many thanks to each person that made a conscious choice to step up and be part of the solution.

Events

Contact Us

Alliance for Pioneer Square
310 1st Ave S, Suite 201
Seattle, WA
Phone: (206) 667-0687
Website: http://allianceforpioneersquare.org/
Email: info@pioneersquare.org

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