Mayor McGinn visited Pioneer Square on March 18 for an annual economic development update. In recognition of the degree to which Pioneer Square was impacted by the economic recession, the City and the neighborhood collaborated in the development of an economic revitalization action plan “Pioneer Square 2015- A Strategy for Seattle’s First Neighborhood” that was completed in June of 2010. Mayor McGinn and Alliance for Pioneer Square executive director Leslie Smith have presented annual progress reports to the neighborhood each year since.
This year’s event, attended by almost 100 people, was a celebration of the sense of optimism that is permeating the neighborhood. The Stadium Place project being built in the CenturyLink Stadium north lot will bring more than 700 units of market rate housing—addressing a significant need in the neighborhood. While Pioneer Square has enjoyed a strong software/video game development sector, ground level retail has been particularly challenged. Within the last several weeks, twelve new retail businesses have announced that they are opening in the neighborhood. James Beard award winner Matt Dillon, who has opened one restaurant and has another on the way, is leading a wave of restaurant openings. The Central Waterfront project with the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the construction of the First Hill Streetcar project suggest a bright future in Pioneer Square that is already beginning to bear fruit.
To see the complete update report, see www.seattle.gov/economicdevelopment/pioneersquare.htm.