Mayor Mike McGinn joined staff from the Office of Economic Development and representatives from Seattle’s neighborhood business districts to announce the City’s $1.6 million investment in 17 neighborhood business districts across the city.
The investment was announced at Maya’s Mexican Restaurant in Rainier Valley. Neighborhood business leaders from Ballard, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, Chinatown/ID, Columbia City, Georgetown, Madison Valley, Pioneer Square, Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, South Park, University District, and Wallingford spoke about the projects and exciting visions for their neighborhoods.
“Seattle’s neighborhoods are one of the reasons we attract talented people and growing companies,” said Mayor McGinn. “That’s why investing in our dynamic neighborhood business districts is critical to our overall economic vitality.”
A large portion of the funding went to neighborhoods that have developed comprehensive, multi-year strategies, in which the city is investing a total of $727,000 in 2013. Which breaks down as:
- Beacon Hill $ 57,500
- Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue $100,000
- Chinatown / International District $168,500
- Columbia City $ 65,000
- MLK (Rainier Valley) $ 76,000
- Pioneer Square $100,000
- Rainier Beach $ 65,000
- University District $ 95,000
“I’m excited that the city is investing in the three major business nodes of the Rainier Valley: Columbia City, Rainier Beach and Othello,” said Susan Davis, Executive Director of the Rainier Chamber of Commerce. “This funding will help ensure that we can bring business leaders together to maximize the potential of each of these major business areas.”
“Ballard is a great place to live, work, shop and play. As a result, we are bursting at the seams. The Only in Seattle grant allows us to assemble community stakeholders – from retailers and restaurants to industrial businesses, major employers and Ballard residents – and create a unified vision for commercial revitalization that makes sense for Ballard today and in the future,” said Scott Ingham, Co-President of the Ballard Chamber Board of Directors.
OIS is also investing $115,000 to support focused investments in additional neighborhoods, Focused investments will be made in these neighborhoods: Ballard, Georgetown, Madison Valley, and South Park.
This year, $450,000 was also granted to neighborhoods for capital improvement projects that enhance the commercial district experience. In 2013, those neighborhoods are:
- University District
- Pioneer Square
- Chinatown/International District
- Pike/Pine Corridor – Downtown
“In the Chinatown/International District, we’re pleased to continue our façade program and clean and safe activities, and we’re especially excited that the Only in Seattle funding this year was expanded to include infrastructure projects,” said Joyce Pisnanont, IdeaSpace Manager at Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). “For us, we’ll be able to continue our work on Maynard and Canton Alley, which are two alleys of major cultural significance to our neighborhood that have been priority projects for a long time.”
Other Program Highlights – The Only in Seattle funding will also include approximately $300,000 that will invest in the following programs.
- The city will continue the Only in Seattle marketing campaign in 16 neighborhoods, which highlights the hidden gems of shopping and dining in Seattle’s neighborhoods (Also on Twitter and Facebook).
- The city also will invest to build strong business-focused organizational capacity to sustain the efforts of neighborhood business districts in Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue, Central Area, MLK (Rainier Valley), Georgetown, Roosevelt, Wallingford and White Center. Support for Business Improvement Areas (BIA) will occur in the following neighborhoods: Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue, Chinatown/International District, Madison Valley, Pioneer Square, and University District.
- Support a façade improvement program in the Chinatown/International District to develop and improve three façades through the business community.
OED will fund and manage this program in partnership with Impact Capital, a Seattle-based community development financial institution serving underserved communities throughout Washington.
The Office of Economic Development (OED)’s Only in Seattle Initiative (OIS) is a partnership with Impact Capital, which supports investments in neighborhood business districts, and focuses on the following strategies to create healthy business districts:
- Business and retail development (supporting businesses, enhancing business mix);
- Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising);
- Clean and safe (graffiti removal, dumpster free alleys, lighting);
- Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, façade, public art); and
- Business organization development to sustain the effort, including participation of an existing Business Improvement Area (BIA) or commitment to form one.
More information can be found in the Press Release from the Mayor’s Office.