GiveBIG to the Alliance for Pioneer Square!

GB APS Event Hero-02-02
The Alliance for Pioneer Square’s work is critical to the trajectory of Pioneer Square. Everyone benefits – businesses, property owners, employees, residents, and visitors. Your financial support ensures our continued success. We ask for charitable donations only once a year. Not another golf event or breakfast. Just one day of giving on-line. The Alliance participates in GiveBIG, Seattle’s biggest day of charitable giving.

Help us to maintain our momentum, if you give between now and midnight May 3rd, any gift up to $2,500 will be stretched through matching contributions from the Seattle Foundation.

Visit the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s GiveBIG page ( and GiveBIG today!

Thank you in advance for your support.

Public Safety Survey & Street Civility in Pioneer Square

Public Safety & Street Civility in Pioneer Square

Horse Patrol

On Tuesday August 11th, 2015 we conducted a Public Safety Open House to continue the conversation about public safety and street civility in Pioneer Square. We had a great turnout, but the conversation didn’t stop there! We also created a brief online survey which closed August 21st to hear more opinions on how to make a safer Pioneer Square. On behalf of the Alliance for Pioneer Square, the Pioneer Square BIA, and the Pioneer Square Residents Council we thank you for sharing your concerns and ideas. Your input was vitally important and will be key in developing a multifaceted set of strategies regarding street civility and public safety.

Those strategies will include:

  • Advocacy with the Mayor, Police Chief, City Departments and the City Council
  • Implementation of tools and strategies for neighborhood residents and businesses
  • Communication

Please check back to hear the results from your input and the next steps we will take to make our neighborhood even better!

All of the Above: What’s Behind the Revitalization of PSQ

The Washington Shoe Building with cranes at Stadium Place in the background

I’m the first to say that I’ve got the best gig in town.

People seem most intrigued by the “retail recruitment” aspect of my work for good reason. What’s not to like about being the neighborhood matchmaker? I get to connect brilliant retail and restaurant businesses with fabulous spaces in our beautiful historic district. Beat that.

It’s not about filling vacant street level spaces with whomever is ready to sign a lease. Far from it. It’s about finding those quality, intriguing, and relevant retail businesses that will make Pioneer Square an even better place to live, work, and visit. The recruitment strategy developed in 2012 with the help of community stakeholders suggested guidelines for a particular mix of restaurants, retail, and services. It also recommended leading the recruitment effort with food. 26 new storefront businesses opened in Pioneer Square in 2013, 15 of them restaurants. More are scheduled to open in this summer. Not a bad start, right?

What kinds of retail businesses are great candidates? Sometimes it’s an existing business ready to expand or try a new concept. Other times it’s a new venture that’s been the dream of someone working behind the lines for someone else. Sometimes it’s someone I’ve personally invited to take a walk around the neighborhood. Others find their way here all on their own. My goal is to generate a buzz about all that’s happening in our business district. When creative entrepreneurs are ready to “set up shop”, we want them to think about Pioneer Square. Regardless of how they get here, my job is then to help new businesses understand the vision of the neighborhood, help navigate the waters of administrative permits and approvals, connect them to whatever resources might be useful, introduce them to other businesses, and help them spread the word.

As the story of Pioneer Square’s revitalization gets more attention, I’m often asked “what was the real turning point?” Was it the restaurants? The apartments at Stadium Place? The tech companies? The King Street Station renovation? The streetcar? The waterfront? The stadiums? The ….?

Of course, you know the answer. It’s all of the above. And it takes time. Stadium Place, for example, was over ten years in the making. No one program, including the retail recruitment and business development program that fills my days, stands alone. If the Alliance for Pioneer Square hadn’t partnered with so many community stakeholders to weave a sustainable infrastructure based on a comprehensive neighborhood plan, the changes we’re buzzing about wouldn’t stand a chance.

For instance, if it hadn’t been for those long-fought battles:

  • The streetcar route would have ended in the Chinatown/International District.
  • Metered parking would still go until 8:00 PM.
  • After losing those hundreds of parking spaces under the viaduct, there would have been no mitigation dollars to subsidize short-term parking in four neighborhood garages to be cheaper than street parking – and fund free parking for First Thursday.
  • There’d be no marketing of the neighborhood. (Think maps, social media, and those awesome bus ads!)
  • There would be no advocate at the table to make certain our interests are represented in talks about the waterfront, street civility, transportation and public transit, parks, historic preservation, stadiums, housing, etc.

We’re not done. Not even close. We’ll continue to move things forward, welcoming all who care about the future of Pioneer Square to be part of the effort. I’ll continue to watch for cool retail to complement the anchors who have been here for decades, as well as the newest kids on the block.

I welcome all ideas and suggestions about possible retailers – or other kinds of cool uses – that you think might add to the magic of Pioneer Square. What have you seen in another neighborhood or what did you see during that trip to Florence, Prague, or Nashville that would be perfect here? I want to know. The coffee’s on me.

Oh, and be sure to sign up here to join me at the neighborhood Spring Clean on April 19.

Director of Business Development

Update to the Neighborhood – January 2014

Kristen Honeycutt Photo Co.-021Happy New Year. Hope you had a lovely holiday season and are ready to get back to it.

The Alliance staff and boards are looking forward to a very busy year. In addition to our on-going work in neighborhood advocacy, marketing and promotion, and recruiting even more retail and restaurants we will be launching some additional initiatives.

We will be updating the neighborhood revitalization plan. The neighborhood has delivered on its revitalization commitments from the prior plan and an update will be a great way to take stock, inform and include more people in a vision and shared set of strategies for maintaining our momentum. We are committed to Pioneer Square being a fabulous neighborhood for everyone.

The newly expanded BIA has an interim board in place but that too will be expanding; ensuring inclusive and broad representation of our diverse businesses in Pioneer Square. We anticipate electing the permanent board during the 1st quarter of 2014. Please let me know if you would like to participate.

We will be adding new staff positions: 1) a person to do B2B outreach, specifically focused on the subsidized parking program and managing our parking supply to ensure parking for shoppers, diners, and clients and 2) a person to coordinate and communicate across the various construction projects in the neighborhood and take on the work of improving the pedestrian realm.

We anticipate continuing our critical work to improve street disorder and safety with the new administration, working towards humane solutions that work are critical to the future of Pioneer Square and all of downtown.

Stay tuned, there will be many opportunities to become informed and involved. Thanks for your support and see you in the neighborhood.


Leslie Smith

Executive Director