Business Improvement Area

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

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

When does the stakeholder board meet?

The 2024 meeting schedule is as follows. Please RSVP by emailing BIA[at]pioneersquare.org.

Monday, Februrary 12 3-4PM (Hybrid)

Monday, May 13 3-4PM (Hybrid)

Monday, August 12 3-4PM (Hybrid)

Monday, October 21 3-4PM (Hybrid)

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.

Pioneer Square BIA 2024 Work Plan and Budget

View the complete BIA 2024 Work Plan here and Budget here. The Alliance garners additional revenue from grants, mitigation and fundraising. BIA assessment dollars are used in support of all revitalization activities. The BIA works to maximize its impact on the neighborhood by leveraging investments into Pioneer Square. 

2024 Activities

Alliance staff implements programs for Neighborhood Leadership & Capacity Building, Business Development, Communications & Marketing, Improvements to the Public Realm, and Advocacy.

Leadership, Advocacy, and Capacity Building

  • Lead on-going board, staff, and volunteer development
  • Continue to build on relationships built through Northeast Pioneer Square Framework Plan and other efforts
  • Continue to support and collaborate with the Pioneer Square Residents Council
  • Act as district representative on large-scale projects including ST3, the Waterfront Construction Project, and King County Civic Campus planning.

Business Development

  • Continue Inspiration Fund program to spur creative ideas for Pioneer Square
  • Support work to promote Pioneer Square as a local and regional arts and cultural destination
  • Host (3) neighborhood networking events, including an event targeting office managers
  • Focus on relationships with property owners and managers to steward changing tenant landscape
  • Connect businesses with appropriate City, County, and State resources
  • Work with businesses to navigate city departments

Communications/PR/Marketing

  • Implement a summer and winter advertising campaign
  • Refresh Pioneer Square brand to support marketing efforts
  • Continue successful PR lifestyle campaign
  • Produce 2024-25 Pioneer Square Map and Guide
  • Organize 2024 Holiday Market

Public Realm

  • Continue summer flower basket program and winter holiday lights installation
  • Support Pioneer Square Parks & Gateways with Northeast Pioneer Square work and a redesign of Pioneer Park
  • Work with SDOT and property owners in the E/W Streets enhancement project
  • Support neighborhood branding in the Public Realm with updated banners and bike racks

Public Safety & Civility

  • Advocate for a safe and clean neighborhood
  • Support work outlined by the PSQ Public Safety whitepaper and plan

For a more in-depth look at our 2025 Strategic Plan, follow this link: www.allianceforpioneersquare.org/strategy

2024 will be a busy year of recovery for the Pioneer Square BIA!