City to Enhance Support for Businesses along 23rd Avenue Corridor Project

At the direction of Mayor Ed Murray, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Office of Economic Development (OED) announced today project improvements and community financial assistance to support businesses impacted by the 23rd Avenue Corridor Complete Streets Project.

Responding to community concerns about the project, the City of Seattle will reorder its construction schedule to reopen 23rd Avenue between South Jackson Street and East Yesler Way in March, earlier than the currently scheduled April/May re-opening of those blocks. The Office of Economic Development is providing $102,000 of new funding as part of the Only in Seattle Initiative. This builds on recent grants of $220,000 for economic and cultural development projects.

“As we reconstruct 23rd Avenue, we will do more to respond to the needs and concerns of business owners, with marketing assistance, improved signage and individualized consultations. We want all of our Central Area businesses to succeed during the disruption,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “When the project is complete, neighborhood businesses and residents will enjoy a more walkable, active atmosphere with improved access to shops and services.”

To minimize business impacts as much as possible, SDOT will dedicate an inspector to the 23rd Avenue project to closely monitor contractor construction activities, and to hear and respond directly to business concerns. The department will additionally audit its construction closures, detours and signage to ensure impacts to the neighborhood are minimized. To ensure that customers are aware of open establishments, SDOT will create and post street signs specifically tailored for local businesses.

The Only in Seattle Initiative works with businesses, property owners, and other community leaders to organize around a common vision for a business district and attract investment. The $102,000 grant supports a group of business and community leaders that have come together as the Central Area Collaborative to align and expand community focused efforts. Similar efforts in neighborhoods like Pioneer Square have used this funding to bring fun activities to city parks, in Chinatown-International District they supported businesses through the Lunar New Year and Dragon Fest, and in Othello they launched a neighborhood brand that celebrates their international community. In the Central Area, the Collaborative wants to support small businesses with programs like Hack the CD and Black Dot arts and business co-working space.

Additionally, OED has dedicated staff working with businesses impacted by construction. They provide one-on-one consultations and help design business specific plans to help them operate during periods of construction. Additional services include marketing through print and digital sources, if appropriate help with qualifying for the City’s WMBE directory, and assistance with events to draw more traffic to the neighborhood, to name a few.

The City is investing $43 million along 23rd Avenue to upgrade its transportation infrastructure, which will better serve residents and businesses along the corridor. When completed, the corridor will feature new pavement, improved and widened sidewalks, new streetlights, upgraded traffic signals, consolidated bus stops to improve transit speeds, a new water main to replace a 100-year-old water main, public art near 23rd Avenue and E. Union Street, and a new greenway adjacent to 23rd Avenue that will be a safer route for people to bike and walk.

During the project, SDOT and OED have focused on maintaining customer and supplier access to businesses, keeping establishments informed about project developments, encouraging business patronage, supporting community events to bring customers to the neighborhood, and securing a grant to support advertising for local businesses.




Director Surratt’s Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream of a Person-Oriented Economy


Mayor Ed Murray’s Office of Economic Development Director, Brian Surratt shared his reflections on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a “person-oriented” economy.

When Mayor Ed Murray appointed me as director of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, it was a powerful moment for me and my family.  I know the unique challenges many African-American men experience as we navigate, struggle and attempt to thrive in our country.  From an early age, my father drilled into me and my brother that we must work harder, be smarter, and dream bigger to overcome the institutional racism that remains our nation’s original sin.  Few people have the honor and opportunity to help shape the economic future of a city as dynamic as Seattle, and I feel a tremendous responsibility to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the countless civil and human rights champions who paved the way for me so that I could serve as public servant.  This is a burden I proudly accept.

And yet, even as I work hard to support Mayor Ed Murray’s vision for a prosperous, innovative economy, I share his deep concern for those left behind. Despite the many successes African Americans have achieved in Seattle, the past still haunts us and many current policy failures continue to hold us back.  The impacts are real: graduation rates are lower for people of color; people of color are more likely to die by gun violence; discrimination is rampant in employment and housing; and backbreaking poverty and its effects, especially on children, dehumanizes us all.

In 1967 Dr. King said, “We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society.” When I think about an economy that puts people first, I think about one that is intentional about resolving the disparities people of color face.  When we resolve the issues facing the most disadvantaged, we will lift everyone up.

A person-oriented economy is one that rewards innovation that makes our children smarter, our planet healthier, and our communities more livable. In a person-oriented economy, a worker can earn a wage that affords them a good life, a home, healthy food and college educations for her children.  When we shift towards this philosophy, our economy—our people—will be stronger.

Putting people first will help heal the wounds of the past, address our most pressing challenges, and give us a future where anyone who wants to can design a life they are proud of.  Mayor Ed Murray and I are committed to this vision and we are looking forward to partnering with the business community, labor, educators, and all those who want to shape an economy that builds a more prosperous future for all Seattleites.

Mayor’s Youth Employment Intern DeAndre Coulter Heads to State of the Union

DeAndre Coulter with Chief O'Toole and Mayor Ed Murray

DeAndre Coulter with Chief O’Toole and Mayor Ed Murray


DeAndre Coulter, an intern at the Office of Economic Development, will join Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole in Washington D.C. this week for President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

From the Blotter:

The White House today announced that Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole will be in attendance for President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address at the invitation of First Lady Michelle Obama. Chief O’Toole will be seated in the First Lady’s Box.

Since being selected by Mayor Murray to lead the Seattle Police Department in 2014, Chief O’Toole has overseen a department that is now moving forward on a number of reforms and implementing new policies – becoming a national leader on the issue of reform. Last year, SPD presented policies at the White House Police Data Initiative as part of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Increased public transparency with a six-month pilot program for body-worn cameras to which the Department of Justice awarded SPD $600,000 to expand the program.

“Under the leadership of Chief O’Toole and through the commitment of the men and women who serve in the department, SPD has made significant strides towards reforming our department and becoming a national model for urban policing. Across the nation, communities are looking to Seattle and the reforms we’ve made regarding training, transparency and accountability,” said Mayor Murray. “While we still have much more work to do, it’s a strong statement that the Administration is recognizing Seattle’s leadership on this national priority during the President’s final State of the Union. I am also pleased that DeAndre Coulter, a participant in my Youth Employment Initiative, will be accompanying the Chief for this historic occasion.”

“I’d like to thank Mayor Murray for giving me the opportunity to lead the Seattle Police Department. SPD has come a long way in the last two years and is now at the forefront innovation. While others are contemplating reform, we’re well down the road and our efforts are paying off,” said Chief O’Toole. “This recognition by the President of the United States and the visit last summer by Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks volumes about the hard work and dedication of the men and women of SPD and the Seattle community. I’m truly honored to attend the State of the Union representing Mayor Ed Murray, SPD, the Seattle community. I thank the President and First Lady for their invitation. ”

At the invitation of Mayor Murray, DeAndre Coulter a Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative Intern who participated in the Summer of Safety, the city’s coordinated approach to public safety providing jobs for youth and young adults will accompany Chief O’Toole to Washington, D.C.

“As one of the thousands of young people in Seattle who have benefited from Mayor Ed Murray’s Youth Employment Initiative, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to watch President Obama’s final State of the Union Speech from the White House. Since I was a young child, I wanted to be a positive male role model for my younger siblings and I wanted to make my mom proud. I’ve worked hard in school and sought opportunities like my internship at Mayor Ed Murray’s Office of Economic Development. I hope my story will serve as an inspiration to not only my siblings, but to young people throughout this country. Work hard, seek opportunity and opportunity will find you” said DeAndre Coulter. DeAndre will watch the State of the Union at the White House along with other distinguished guests.

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, 2016 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET

Seattle Companies at CES


CES is ramping up in Las Vegas, and Seattle companies are out in force. Here are few Seattle-based companies we’re following:

Picobrew (@picobrewbeer)

Seattle-based Pictobrew boasts they created the “World’s first all-grain, fully-automatic, beer brewing appliance.” What could be more Seattle than that?
Gemio (@gemio)

This writer remembers friendship bracelets that were, um, low-tech… or rather no-tech. But Gemio, a Seattle-based company has reinvented the tradition with their light-up and friend-synched networked friendship bracelets.

Ram Mounts (@RAMMOUNTS)

It makes sense Ram Mounts has their roots fully planted in Seattle, where tech-savvy outdoorsy customers love using their USA made products to mount their gadgets to cars, bikes, and more.

Glympse (@glympse)

Glympse lets you share your location in real time with who you choose. Big things are happening for Glympse, including integration with Ford.

Glowforge (@glowforge)

Glowforge made history with the largest three-day crowdfunding campaign in history. Now the laser 3d printing company is working to bring their unique printers to the market.

Real Networks   (@RealNetworks)

Real Networks is a foundational tech company who called Seattle home longer than most. They were the first company to offer an audio streaming solution for the Internet, and they’re still building and launching technology to make access to digital content more accessible.

Amazon (@Amazon)
Amazon has a significant presence at CES this year, including several different business units:


Levl (@LEVLnow)

Levl is working on a device to help you track how well your diet is working by measuring the amount of fat you’re burning via a pod that senses the level of acetone on your breath.

Click here to learn more about CES and Seattle’s impact on this important international event.


Small Business Saturday Kicks Off Holiday Shopping in Seattle’s Business Districts



Seattle’s neighborhood business districts are gearing up for the holiday season to support small businesses, and promote shopping and dining locally. Most business districts will launch their holiday shopping activities on Small Business Saturday (November 28). Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the United States, and the Shop Small campaign continues until December 24. A variety of events will help you to explore new businesses and find unique gifts for your friends and family. Choose one of the events below or drop into stores you’ve never visited before. Not only is this a good way to keep local dollars in your community, but it will give you time to digest that extra Thanksgiving serving.

Love_160x600_V4_BannerIn the Chinatown/International District, Wing Luke Museum’s Shop-O-Rama is hosting events each weekend including an art and jewelry trunk show. In the Central Area, check out Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute for a popup marketplace and a concert to follow, and just a few blocks away, Pratt Fine Arts’ annual Holiday Sale offers one of a kind, locally-made products. Stop by Capitol Hill and check out the Shop the Hill promotion, and don’t forget about Beacon Hill’s Bar del Corso Holiday Gift Popup. For special deals at business in all these neighborhoods, visit Ethnic Seattle (#ethnicseattle) where you will find everything for the food and wine lover to the trendsetter at Seattle’s ethnic businesses.

Head down to Rainier Beach for the Light up the Beach challenge where you’ll be able to vote on the best business decoration, and on your way, swing by the shops in Hillman City and enjoy the holiday craft bazaar at Tin Umbrella Coffee. If you looking for that special gift, Georgetown has you covered with unique items during Funderdome: Georgetown’s second annual holiday market located in the Trailer Park Mall.

Nothing says holiday shopping like Hometown for the Holidays in the West Seattle Junction, and be prepared for Ballard’s Holiday Festival with a visit from Santa Clause. For the dog lovers, round out your holiday shopping during Pioneer Square’s Howlidays for a costume contest with your pup, and for the music lovers, check out a free concert celebrating Record Store Day at Silver Platters in SODO.

Can’t get enough Shop Small activities throughout the holiday season? Follow #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat on Twitter and Facebook, @onlyseattlegems on Twitter, Only in Seattle on Facebook, and check out the Shop Small Neighborhood Champions in Seattle. Get out and explore your local businesses this holiday season!

City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Former Fire Station 6

Request for Qualifications
Fire Station 6 Cultural Innovation Hub, Feasibility Study RFQ

November 2015



The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (“OED”) is seeking qualifications to develop a feasibility study for use of the City-owned Fire Station 6 as a cultural innovation hub.   The focus is on culturally relevant programming and business development for entrepreneurs in the creative economies such as music, film, gaming, digital design, software, industrial design, culinary arts and fashion. The purpose of the RFQ is to provide a thorough analysis of possible uses of Fire Station 6 as identified by the Black Community Impact Alliance (“BCIA”) in its William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation Center proposal. The RFQ is for a consultant or team of consultants that can analyze the real estate implications of BCIA’s proposed uses, including the costs associated with building renovations and ongoing operations.

OED is committed to creating a vibrant economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities. OED works to maximize Seattle’s potential as a thriving hub for businesses, jobs, vibrant neighborhoods and economic opportunity for everyone in our city. As part of this, OED’s approach includes a focus on supporting the city’s entrepreneurs and identifying innovative ways of supporting their development.



Former Fire Station 6 is excess to the needs of the Seattle Fire Department and the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS). The City recommends the sale of this property with the proceeds placed in the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Fund. The City will give priority to a buyer who will use the property in ways that will benefit neighborhood residents.

Originally constructed in 1931, the former Fire Station 6 is located at 101 23rd Avenue South.  Due to its small size and historic landmark designation, the station was replaced with a state-of-the-art facility located at 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Way South. This decommissioned station is being utilized by the Seattle Police Department’s Parking Enforcement division during the construction of a new parking garage for the East Precinct.

Former Fire Station 6 is on the southwest corner of the intersection of 23rd Avenue South and East Yesler Way in the city’s Central District.  The property dimensions are approximately 115 feet (fronting 23rd Avenue South) and 180 feet (fronting East Yesler Way) for a total area of 20,400 square feet (0.47 acres).  The lot slopes down to the west an estimated 16 feet.  The building is set back 15 feet from the northerly property line (fronting East Yesler Way), 40 feet from the easterly property line (fronting 23rd Avenue South, traditionally firefighting apparatus entered and exited from this side), 55 feet from the westerly property line, and 25 feet from the southerly property line.  An existing fence on the westerly portion of the property extending from the southerly boundary to northern boundary is approximately 10 feet from the property. There is parking for up to sixteen vehicles on the westerly portion of the property.

The station now comprises of approximately 6,300 square feet of interior space, including the partial daylight basement housing an exercise room, laundry room, storage and furnace.

BCIA has proposed to renovate Fire Station 6 as space to support business development for entrepreneurs in creative economies such as music, film, gaming, digital design, software, industrial design, culinary arts, and fashion.  Also, BCIA has proposed to include a café in the building.  BCIA proposes that the goal of this property is to expand opportunities for African-American entrepreneurs, with a focus on equitable outcomes. Finally, BCIA proposes to construct residential units benefiting homeless youth in a new structure located behind the current building.

See more information on the Fire Station 6 on the City of Seattle website and Fact Sheet.



The consultant(s) will evaluate the feasibility of BCIA’s proposal in developing and operating Fire Station 6. The acquisition of Fire Station 6 is not in the scope of this analysis and will need to be determined at another time. In particular, the consultant(s) will be required to address the following issues:

Phase 1: Building Wide Issues – the property will require a certain base level of development costs and operational needs, regardless of the type of uses/tenants selected

  • Development Feasibility: Full development budget describing construction/renovation costs, professional fees, financing fees and all other soft costs; Development analysis should include the following:
    • Exterior: potential roof repair/replacement and other needed exterior improvements consistent with historic building status
    • Code upgrades: potential seismic and other improvements needed to bring the building up to current code standards
    • Electrical: building-wide upgrades
    • HVAC: building-wide upgrades
    • Fiber/internet: building-wide upgrades
  • Operational Feasibility: Full operational pro forma describing expenses and revenue needs; Operational analysis should include the following:
    • Fixed expenses: taxes, insurance, management fee, utilities, janitorial, repairs and maintenance
    • Projected vacancy rate
    • Reserves: replacement and capital reserves
    • Revenue needed to cover operational expenses/costs


Phase 2: Specialized Needs for Uses – following evaluation of the building-wide issues, the analysis will focus on specialized development and operational needs for certain uses in BCIA’s proposal



  • Electrical specialized needs
  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease

Business Incubator

  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease

Industrial Design/Maker Space

  • Space requirements: analysis regarding the size and/or location of this use in the building to accommodate ventilation and floor load for manufacturing activity
  • Electrical and HVAC specialized needs
  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease


  • Space requirements: analysis regarding the size and/or location of this use in the building to accommodate ventilation for cooking activity
  • Electrical and HVAC specialized needs
  • Operational revenue from rent and clarification whether gross or triple net lease

Event Space

  • Space requirements: analysis regarding the size and/or location of this use in the building
  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease

Culinary Arts

  • Space requirements: analysis regarding the size and/or location of this use in the building to accommodate ventilation for cooking activity
  • Electrical and HVAC specialized needs
  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease

Fashion Design

  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease

Digital Design

  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease

Software Design

  • Operational revenue from rent, fundraising or membership; gross or triple net lease



Phase 3: Housing

  • Development feasibility analysis regarding the construction of residential units in a new structure that will be located behind the current building. Analysis will include full development budget.
  • Full operational pro forma describing expenses and revenue needs; Operational analysis should include the following:
    • Fixed expenses: taxes, insurance, management fee, utilities, janitorial, repairs and maintenance
    • Projected vacancy rate
    • Reserves: replacement and capital reserves
    • Revenue needed to cover operational expenses/costs and the anticipated revenue source (fundraising, operational subsidies)




November 4, 2015 – RFQ released

December 4, 2015 – RFQ due

December 18, 2015 – RFQ decision made

January 1, 2016 – Signed Contract



Up to $50,000 available.


If your organization is interested in developing the feasibility study for Fire Station 6, please prepare a letter outlining qualifications.  Describe in detail your organization’s experience in providing feasibility analysis on the development and operational issues identified in the Scope of Work section above.  OED will accept a response that includes multiple consultants working together as a team to complete the Scope of Work; however, OED will require the identification of a lead consultant who will be responsible for the other consultants in the team.

Hardcopy or electronic submissions must be delivered by 4:00 p.m. PST on December 4, 2015 to:

Mikel Davila
City of Seattle
Office of Economic Development
700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5752
Seattle, WA 98104 (hardcopy hand delivery and FedEx)

Mikel Davila
City of Seattle
Office of Economic Development
P.O. Box 94708
Seattle, WA 98124-4708 (hardcopy US mail) (electronic)

A Selection Committee will review responses, conduct interviews and select the most qualified candidate. You will be notified if you have been selected for an interview. The City of Seattle retains the right to reject any responses and is not required to award any funds if in its opinion the response failed to meet its requirements.

If you have any questions about this Request please contact Mikel Davila, City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, (206) 386-97483 or

Download a copy of the complete RFQ.

Request for Qualifications: Business Improvement Area Consulting

Business Improvement Area Consulting

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is seeking one or more consultants to assist neighborhood business districts in creating and/or modifying Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in conjunction with OED and the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS). BIAs are funding mechanisms for business district revitalization and management. BIA technical assistance and support is an integral part of the Office of Economic Development’s Only in Seattle Initiative services.

For more information, contact Theresa Barreras at (206) 684-4505 or

View the complete RFQ here.  Read a description of the Only in Seattle Initiative.

An electronic submission of your response must arrive no later than 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, November 22, 2015 to:


Only in Seattle RFA Public Meeting Presentation

Did you miss the Only in Seattle Initiative Request for Application Information Sessions? Please review the PowerPoint presentation below that provides a brief overview of the program.

To learn more about the initiative and to apply, please visit our Bottom line blog post with more information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Only in Seattle Team:

Theresa Barreras at or 206-684-4505

Heidi Hall at or 206.733.9967

Mikel Davila at or 206.386.9748

Mayor Murray Celebrates National Manufacturing Day, Awards $100,000 to Grow Manufacturing Businesses

Mayor Ed Murray today celebrates National Manufacturing Day with an announcement that Industry Space Seattle, LLC will receive a $100,000 award to create an incubator to benefit multiple emerging manufacturing businesses.

Industry Space Seattle owns 47,500 square feet of industrial space to be used as an incubator to develop startups and emerging industrial businesses within Seattle’s industrial core. They plan to use the funds to rehabilitate industrial property into shared space where emerging manufacturers will have access to heavy equipment and common office space. The Industry Space building is located in South Park at 8009 7th Ave. S.

“Seattle has a proven history of making things that change the world,” said Murray. “I’m proud to support Industry Space Seattle, a project that shows Seattle’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. Maritime and manufacturing businesses are vital to our economy, and this repurposed industrial facility will help the next generation of businesses thrive.”

The city of Seattle sought a proposal to promote networking, information sharing, and mentoring among co-located, early-stage manufacturers.

Johnny Bianchi, owner of Industry Space Seattle, LLC called the project “a win for Seattle’s manufacturing community,” saying that “the funds will help spur innovation and allow companies to emerge that may not have been able to manage the initial costs of space and equipment on their own.”

Business owners are already benefitting. Hans Hofstee, owner of HGH Metalworks, a small metal fabricator, moved his business into the Industry Space building in April 2015. “Thanks to the building’s heavy lifting capacity, compressed air, and access to heavy power, I was able to spend money on the machines I need, rather than improving a new space,” he said. “I look forward to a long future at Industry Space where I can be part of building a community and building Seattle.”

The award is funded by fees generated by the city’s New Markets Tax Credit (“NMTC”) program, a federal tax credit financing tool. NMTCs attract private investment to important development and business projects benefitting low-income neighborhoods.

“It’s smart for Seattle to invest in emerging local businesses that grow our economy,” said Seattle City Councilmember John Okamoto, Investment Committee member of Seattle Investment Fund LLC, the city’s NMTC entity. “The fees collected from NMTCs are an innovative way to support these businesses.”

Seattle’s manufacturing sector represents a wide range of subsectors, including maritime, industrial machinery and fabricated metal, aerospace, printing and publishing, stone, clay, glass and concrete products, home and office furnishings, food and beverage production, construction, transportation, and wholesale distribution.

Only in Seattle Initiative Request for Applications Available Now

The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is partnering with Seattle Investment Fund, LLC, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON), and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS) to make approximately $1,600,000 available for the Only in Seattle Initiative in 2016. The Initiative provides grant funding and staff support to foster neighborhood business districts that allow small businesses to grow and flourish, make a positive contribution to the city’s economic health, reflect the unique character of the neighborhoods where they are located, contribute to their vitality, and empower business owners to organize around a common vision and attract investment.

Applications are due 11:59 pm PST on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 via the online grant system. Late applications and paper copies will not be accepted.

Review the links below to apply:

Apply today!

Public Meetings
Two public meetings will be held to answer questions about the program and RFA. All interested applicants are encouraged to attend at least one session. If you are unable to attend and have questions about the RFA, please contact the Only in Seattle team directly.

Wednesday, October 7 at 10 am
Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Ave Floor 60, Room 6070
Seattle, WA 98124
Register here

Wednesday, October 14 at 4 pm
2100 Building
2100 24th Ave S, The Board Room
Seattle, WA 98144
Register here

For more information, contact:

Theresa Barreras, Business Districts Manager at (206) 684-4505 or

Heidi Hall, Business Districts Advocate at (206) 733-9967 or

Mikel Davila, Business Districts Advocate at (206) 386-9748 or