City of Seattle Awards $1.6 Million to Neighborhood Businesses Districts

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
  • Roosevelt
  • 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 Only in Seattle program is a great complement to the city’s neighborhood planning efforts that have happened throughout the years,” said Council President Sally Clark. “These investments help the major players in neighborhood business districts execute concrete steps towards a common vision.”

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.

Mayor McGinn Proclaims February 5 to be “F5 Day” in Seattle

 F5 Networks, a global leader in application delivery networking based in Seattle, has been recognized by Mayor Mike McGinn today in a ceremony at F5 headquarters in which he proclaimed February 5 to be “F5 Day.” 

The proclamation is part of the In Good Company recognition from the City commending F5 for its technology innovation, continued growth as an employer in the region, and commitment to the community.

“I congratulate F5 on its success as a technology company and its role as one of the leading high-tech employers in the region,” said Mayor McGinn. “F5 has a great, positive impact in our city’s community and beyond.”

Founded in Seattle in 1996, F5 employs more than 3,125 people worldwide, with nearly 1,200 based in Washington. F5 continues to be recognized as one of the region’s premier employers. In fiscal year 2012, F5 recorded revenue of $1.38 billion.

The company was also commended for its community involvement. In Seattle, F5 has partnered with many organizations to better serve the community, including the Detlef Schrempf Foundation, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics, and Swedish Medical Center.

F5 Day was also covered by: The Seattle Times, and The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Be sure to check out the In Good Company Episode on F5 Networks, as well as the “Gangnam Style” parody put together by F5 this year; “IT Style”.

New Plan to Develop Ultra High-Speed Broadband in Seattle Maintains City’s Leadership

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced today that the City of Seattle has reached an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to develop and operate an ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home/fiber-to-the-business broadband network. The initiative, which will leverage the City’s excess fiber capacity, the expertise of Gigabit Squared, and the community leadership of The University of Washington, aims to stimulate business, advancements in health care, education, and public safety, and aims to enhance quality of life for residents and businesses in Seattle. According to University of Washington President Michael Young, this joint effort is meant to make Seattle the most wired and connected city in the nation and help maintain its role as a major leader in the innovation economy of the 21st Century. The full press release can be found here.

The network, called Gigabit Seattle, includes three components: fiber directly to homes and businesses in twelve demonstration neighborhoods, dedicated gigabit broadband wireless connections to multifamily housing and offices across Seattle, and next-generation mobile wireless internet. These three components together will provide broadband, wired and wireless network, and Internet services, giving Seattle customers new choices. This is the first demonstration project by Gigabit Squared’s Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP), which will eventually promote gigabit network innovation in six selected university communities across the U.S.

“This exciting public-private partnership serves as an example to communities all over the world of how universities and their local stakeholders can collaborate to drive economic opportunities by putting private investment to work alongside public capital,”  said Blair Levin, executive director of The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U).  “We’re thrilled to see our Gig.U member, University of Washington, at the center of this innovative initiative to help Seattle communities benefit from the advanced applications and services accelerating the meaningful use of this gigabit speed network.  Congratulations to all involved in the Seattle Broadband Initiative, in developing this world-class fiber network, that will support not only today’s needs, but foster innovation and serve the research and community development needs of tomorrow.”

Photo courtesy of
Coverage areas for Seattle’s fiber network, wireless network, and wireless neighborhood cloud.

Mayor-appointed Construction Codes Board seeks new applicants

Volunteer boards offer a great way to get involved with the city while giving back a bit of your time.

Mayor Mike McGinn is looking for applicants to the Construction Codes Advisory Board (CCAB).  Board members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for renewable, three‐year terms.  Membership on the Board affords an opportunity to give input on important issues that affect the building and design professions.

Currently there is an opening for an apartment building owner or operator. The position is open until filled.

The CCAB is a 13-member voluntary board that serves as an advisory hearing body for Seattle Building, Mechanical and Electrical Codes. Board members are appointed to a three year term of office and serve without pay. The Board meets at noon on the first and third Thursdays of each month.

CCAB is composed of the following positions: an architect, a structural engineer, an electrical engineer, a general contractor, an electrical contractor, a member of organized labor, three members of the general public, a heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning engineer, a commercial building owner or operator, an apartment building owner or operator and a developer or contractor of residential projects.

To be considered, please send a résumé and complete an on-line application  to Mayor Mike McGinn c/o:

To send a paper submittal, address it to: FAX 206-386-4039 or U.S. Mail – Maureen Traxler, Department of Planning and Development, PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019.