February 2018

Neighborhood News + Updates
February 2018

Nord Alley

Leslie leaves the Alliance for Pioneer Square to join Vulcan

It’s with highest regard and sincerest thanks that we announce the departure of Leslie Smith from the Alliance for Pioneer Square. Leslie was one of the founders of the Alliance and served as Executive Director for nine years. She shepherded the neighborhood and organization through some of the most challenging and ultimately successful times in our recent history, advocating for a strong business district and a vibrant urban environment. Her leadership has ensured many positive outcomes for Pioneer Square, including supporting new and existing businesses, advocating for better policy and planning around transportation and human services, and negotiating a positive outcome for the neighborhood in the waterfront design process. We would like to take a moment to extend our greatest appreciation to Leslie for all she has done to strengthen Pioneer Square, and we wish her the greatest success in her future adventures at Vulcan.

Press Coverage in the Puget Sound Business Journal:
Leslie Smith leaves Pioneer Square Alliance for job with Vulcan

Lend your comments to the new initiatives

Thursday, February 27th
Grand Central Building Atrium (accessed via 214 1st Ave S, or Occidental Square Park)
11:00am – 1:00pm

The activation of Occidental Square Park, beginning in 2015, has galvanized significant interest in the park. Two separate initiatives have moved forward, and on February 27th you’ll get a chance to weigh in on them both. The first is a children’s play area. The second is a new Timber Pavilion and concierge station. Stop by the Grand Central Building Atrium during your lunch hour to connect, learn, and share your thoughts on both initiatives. For more information on improvements to our neighborhood parks, head here.

Resurfacing has begun in Nord Alley and Pioneer Passage

In November, Nord Alley and Pioneer Passage began getting a major upgrade to their paving and storm water systems. This project is part of a multi-year effort that has focused on improving and activating these unique public spaces.

This project was first spearheaded by the International Sustainability Institute (ISI) to develop a community-driven alley design process in 2013-2014. With support from the Department of Neighborhoods, ISI hired engineers and architects to create a design that speaks to the area’s history, makes alleys accessible to everyone, and creates an easy-to-maintain surface. The Alliance took up the torch to lead these efforts and see the alley renovations through implementation.

SDOT’s contractor, Gary Merlino Construction Company, is wrapping up work in Nord Alley and will continue to work in Pioneer Passage. SDOT sends out regular email updates providing information about the construction and its impacts, and is making direct contact with adjacent properties and businesses that are being directly impacted. If you would like to be added to the email list, please write to  paul.elliott@seattle.gov.

More information about SDOT alley construction can be found here.


Provide feedback on new light fixtures

Seattle City Light is piloting new light fixtures in Pioneer Square and wants your feedback! Two different kinds of lights will be installed on 2nd Ave S between S Washington St and S Jackson St. The new fixtures will be evaluated for appearance, historical integrity, and light levels.

A survey will be open from 2/12/18 to 2/26/18 for you to comment on the lights. Feel free to join Carl from the Alliance staff on site on February 20th at 6:30pm to get a sense for how the lights look and feel, discuss, and compare notes. For more information on the project head here.



Improving ADA and pedestrian access

Keep an eye out for new curb ramps in Pioneer Square. Currently contractors are installing these at 6 intersections in Pioneer Square. The community started identifying a number of inefficient or non-existent curb ramps back in 2011. Over the years the Alliance has worked with community members and SDOT staff on identifying intersections and securing funding to complete these improvements to our public realm.

For more information on capital projects funded through the Levy to Move Seattle, please visit the link below:

Final stages of restoration are underway

After being removed during Seawall construction, crews recently reinstalled the historic Washington Street Boat Landing (WSBL) Pergola in its permanent home in Pioneer Square. Crews will be completing final restoration work in the next few months.

The Pergola has been an important piece of Seattle’s waterfront since the early 20th century and serves as a symbolic gateway to the city from the Puget Sound. The historic structure was stored at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 25 during Seawall construction.

The Pergola will remain closed to the public during nearby construction for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program and future Waterfront Seattle roadway and promenade construction. When the new Alaskan Way and promenade are complete, the City will reopen the restored Pergola.

The Pergola restoration includes new lighting, heating and facilities to support food concessions, casting and replacing missing historic ornamentation, restoring the historic office, and updating the structure to meet seismic standards. The Pergola is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In December 2017, the Pergola was moved from storage back to its home in Pioneer Square. Check out the video below to watch the Pergola’s journey:


Utility Construction is underway

For more information about what to expect during construction, please visit the Center City Connector project website here: 

Looking ahead to 2018

There’s a lot to be excited about in 2018 as WSDOT plans for the opening of the SR 99 tunnel. Based on the contractor’s latest schedule, the tunnel could open to drivers as soon as this fall. Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) has a lot of work to complete before then, however, so it’s too soon to accurately predict a tunnel opening date.

While STP continues their work, a new project is beginning this winter. The SR 99 Connections project will finish the ramps and roads at both portals connecting the new tunnel to SR 99 and local streets. The work in the south end will take place mostly within the current work zone, and will include some nighttime work.

Send an email to viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov if you would like to be added to the SR 99 Connections construction email update list.

Pioneer Square Impacts

Nord Alley and Pioneer Passage Resurfacing
Columbia St 2-way Transit Corridor
Center City Connector Project (Overview)
Central Waterfront Transmission Line Relocation
Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project

Gridiron Condos
255 S King Street

For more detail on upcoming projects and events in the region see SDOT’s three week look ahead.

Highlights from January’s press

Top Highlights:
Millheads in Pioneer Square takes Best Barber honors (King 5 News)
Flaming Lips lead first round of Upstream’s 2018 lineup (Seattle Times)

Arts & Culture News:
It’s a Trap: Francisco Guerrero at 4Culture (City Arts Magazine)
BLACK Imagination: The States of Matter Is Like Home-Baked Bread with Butter … But Art (The Stranger)
Evening Magazine, Tues 1/9, Pilchuck Glass School (King 5 Evening Magazine)
Why My Experience of the Excellent Black Imagination Exhibit Might Be Different From Yours (The Stranger)
First Thursday art walk guide – Feb. 1 (Real Change)

Restaurant & Retail News:
Science be Damned, Spiritual Crystals Are Making a Major Comeback (Seattle Magazine)
13 Coins Restaurant closing SLU location this weekend after 50 years (King 5 News)
Browne Family Vineyards adds downtown Seattle tasting room (Great Northwest Wine)
Walla Walla Winery Is Opening a Tasting Room in Pioneer Square (Seattle Magazine)
Dead Line bridges the gap through food (King 5 Evening Magazine)
Best Coffee Shops in Seattle (Glasswing Blog)
Salumi, Cafe Racer and other familiar restaurants have new owners. Here’s what to expect. (Seattle Times)

Other News:
One year later, the F Bomb Breakfast Club has become a haven for female entrepreneurs (GeekWire)

Have you seen an issue in the neighborhood, but didn’t know how to report it to get it taken care of? “Find It, Fix It” is a smartphone app offering mobile users one more way to report selected issues to the City of Seattle. Reporting an issue is as easy as snapping a photo with your smartphone, adding detailed information, and hitting submit. Help us keep our neighborhood clean and well maintained. Be on the lookout to report graffiti, potholes, street lights out, abandoned cars and other issues through the Find it, Fix it app, online, or by calling 206-684-7587. If graffiti shows up on your property, make a police report by calling 206-625-5011.