Historic Pioneer Square is proving to have an ideal mix of available space, culture, and access to transportation and parking, providing a prime location for employees and businesses to work, grow and live.
The City of Seattle has been investing in the neighborhood. A key part of the area’s revitalization was bringing high-speed fiber-optics broadband service to Pioneer Square. Companies now have all the amenities they need to compete globally and to attract the top talent in the ultra-competitive jobs market.
Recently, Discovery Bay Games, OneHub, Zynga Inc., Sharebuilder Inc, HTC Corp., EMC Isilon, Blue Nile Inc., and Jones Soda, among others, have all expanded or moved into the neighborhood. Discovery Bay Games CEO Craig Olson explains, “What won us over to Pioneer Square ultimately was we really wanted to get into a loft space. We also wanted a wide diversity of restaurant options for our employees, and ease in getting there via public transport, bike, or driving.”
Isilon founder Sujal Patel agrees: “Pioneer Square is a base of innovation and of startups within the community, it’s a vibrant area that’s undergoing a revitalization, and it’s an area with a lot of life and activity…Pioneer Square has an ideal mix of space availability, great neighborhood, accessibility with respect to transportation options…and it really formed the ideal base for us to plant a flag for many, many years to come.”
The area has had to manage some high-profile retail business losses. Iconic anchor tenant Elliott Bay Book Company left last year and the 80-year-old Masins Fine Furnishings furniture has put its building up for lease. Despite some of the recent losses, one flight up from the storefronts, the red-brick and cobblestone neighborhood is the thriving home to businesses with about 1,800 employees and $1 billion a year in combined revenue.
The recent influx of tech companies reflects the push on behalf of local business leaders, the City of Seattle and The Alliance for Pioneer Square to revitalize the area by shining a spotlight on its tech industry and unique neighborhood attributes in the hopes of drawing more attention and more tenants to the area. And this push isn’t just beneficial for tech companies but for all types of businesses.
Local business owner Bob Schoenfeld, owner of Schoenfeld Interiors, recently touted his business at 115 South Jackson St, and marketed the aesthetics of the neighborhood in his new television ad.
With all of these efforts combined to revitalize the Pioneer Square neighborhood, the area is primed and ready for new residential development. Kevin Daniels, president of property firm Nitze-Stagen, refers to the recent growth in Seattle’s oldest neighborhood as a “renaissance” of Pioneer Square. Daniels runs the recently launched North Lot Project, which will contribute more than 280,000 square feet of mixed-use space and 718 residential units upon completion — space that is needed in the neighborhood. The additional density helps make Pioneer Square ever-more vibrant and has been a critical part of planning efforts for Pioneer Square, including Pioneer Square 2015 and the 1998 Neighborhood Plan.