The Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth (Partnership) officially launched its year-long initiative last week at the Ballard Library with a “Joint Kickoff” meeting that packed the meeting room with Ballard community and business leaders.
“As I look around this room, I can’t recall a time in recent memory when such a broad cross-section of our Ballard community has come together in such a unified way to jointly create a commercial revitalization plan that will help guide Ballard in the years ahead,” said Scott Ingham, Co-President of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
The Ballard Chamber of Commerce was recently awarded an Only in Seattle grant through the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development to will help lead an effort – dubbed the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth – that will create a framework for a commercial revitalization plan for Ballard.
“There was an impressive 50 people at the kickoff event representing the residential community, commercial, nightlife, manufacturing and other key sectors,” said Steve Johnson, Director of the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development.
“It was very inspiring to see all of those different elements – which are really assets of Ballard that make it as unique as any neighborhood in this country in terms of traditional maritime, single family, emerging multi-family, still strong retail, and nightlife – come together and figure out how they themselves want to organize and ask the City for assistance,” said Steve.
The Partnership engages stakeholders from throughout the Ballard community to participate in designing a commercial revitalization plan that represents a consensus approach to future growth and development. A Leadership Group has been formed and will guide the overall effort.
Members of the Leadership Group represent primary stakeholder sectors in the core Ballard community. Those sectors include the following: retail merchants, residents, maritime/industrial businesses, restaurant/nightlife, major property owners, social services and Swedish Ballard Medical Center. The Ballard Chamber of Commerce will coordinate the Leadership Group and the overall process.
The Leadership Group will collaborate closely with the four Working Groups that have been established to explore and ultimately prepare specific proposals to be included in the framework for the commercial revitalization plan. The Working Groups will focus on issues in the following areas:
– Business Retention and Development
– Urban Design and Transportation
– Marketing and Promotions
In addition, the Partnership will receive ongoing facilitation support and engagement from critical City of Seattle departments and Sound Transit. Participating City departments include: the Department of Planning and Development, the Office of Economic Development, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Neighborhoods, and the Seattle Police Department.
Periodic updates outlining the Partnership’s progress will be available on the Chamber website and information will be shared during upcoming Chamber luncheons, Ballard District Council meetings and other community events throughout the year.