Archive for December, 2010

Pioneer Square in the News

December 20, 2010  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Titled: “Typical Pioneer Square” from the blog UrbanHybrid:


Return to the Sandwich District (The Stranger)
Review of three new sandwich shops: BuiltBurger, the Berliner, and Calozzi’s.

Pioneer Square office building sold to Vermont firm (Seattle Times)
103-year old “Westland Building” at 1st Ave S + S King Street sold $10.3 million (down from $11.5 million in 2007).

Heritage gets hammered in Gregoire’s budget (Crosscut)
One side effect of this is the Main Street Programs (just rolled out in Pioneer Square this year), will become under the purview of “an agency whose mission is essentially forestry.”


There Seems to Be an Intergalactic Bus Station In Downtown Seattle (io9)
“Built two decades ago, the Pioneer Square Station in downtown Seattle is not new. But looking at this beautiful photo by Jason Hoover, it feels like interstellar transports are about to dock in at any minute.”

More Artistic Gift Ideas for the Holiday (Culture Mob)
Moving over to Pioneer Square, check out MOMO at 600 South Jackson Street. There’s a great variety of art, home decor and clothing here.

P-I archive: Can you date this historic Pioneer Square photo? (BIG Blog)’s shares a historic photo of Pioneer Square. Problem is, it’s not clear exactly when it was taken.

Open Mic in a Dingy Basement: There’s Quantity, Not Necessarily Quality Tonight! (PI – City Brights)
“Somewhere in the flock of 30-60 comedians that gather for their three minutes of fame (or infamy) could be a headliner that commands a premium weekend ticket at the Underground, or better yet, a very funny person coming out of the stage fright closet for the first time.”

Walking in a Wooden Wonderland (PI – Capitol Hill)
“Join Capitol Hill denizon and woodworker extraordinaire, Matthew Richter, in his temporary studio XOM Fine Woodworking located at 610 2nd Avenue in Pioneer Square and peruse the many handmade one-of-a-kind holiday gifts in his showroom.”

Pioneer Square = The Sandwich District?

December 16, 2010  |  Food, PI  |  No Comments

“How many delicious sandwiches can one neighborhood bear? …How can one five-block stretch lay claim to both Tat’s Delicatessen and Salumi? (I wrote about these places, along with worthy newcomer Delicatus, six months ago) And then, to add to the embarrassment of riches, how could three more amazing sandwich spots open in Pioneer Square in the last month? There oughta be a law.

Check out this fantastic article in the Stranger that highlights three newcomers to our neighborhood: Calozzi’s, BuiltBurger, and the Berliner.

“These shops are revisiting old favorites, forging new ground, and giving the neighborhood an identity that should be recognized throughout Seattle. From now on, whenever you are trying to determine where to eat lunch and someone says, “I feel like a sandwich,” you should have no other destination in mind but Pioneer Square.

So as the sandwich district, let’s take a vote. And because I have people who complain that they can’t pick just one, I’m letting you pick your top three:

[polldaddy poll=4258946]

First Avenue S. lane reductions, SR 99 on-ramp closure coming soon to Pioneer Square

December 16, 2010  |  Announcement, PI  |  No Comments

Short notice, but here’s the reminder for the Viaduct Community Meeting today:

On the third Thursday of each month, WSDOT and SDOT, in cooperation with the Alliance for Pioneer Square and the New Pioneer Square Blog, host a public meeting to discuss plans to replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct and seawall. The meetings provide project information and give neighbors an opportunity to comment and ask questions about how the viaduct replacement will affect the Pioneer Square neighborhood.

This month’s meeting is at noon on Thursday, Dec. 16 at the Klondike Gold Rush Museum (319 Second Ave. S.). Meeting topics include:

  • Viaduct construction update: Construction to replace the southern mile of the viaduct is underway. Learn about upcoming lane reductions on First Avenue S. near the stadiums, as well as a six-week closure of the northbound SR 99 on-ramp at Railroad Way S.
  • Seattle City Light construction update: As part of a project related to viaduct replacement, Seattle City Light will soon begin relocating electrical lines in Pioneer Square. Find out how this work will affect traffic and parking along First Avenue S.

Please let me know if you have any questions or topic ideas for future meetings. Also, if you haven’t already, take a moment to fill out our neighborhood survey. Survey results are used to help us keep neighbors informed during construction.

Come shop the Square tomorrow!

December 15, 2010  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

I don’t have anything much to post today, so I’ll give you a few reminders:

Reminder 1: My posting will become more sparse as Christmas gets closer [sorry].

Reminder 2: I will not post at all from the 21st – 27th as I am partying in my home-country of Pennsylvania! [where we will have snow that puts yours to shame]

Reminder 3: The Deck the Balls auction is happening now. Make sure you stop by Tats, Delicatus, or Built Burger before close of business tomorrow to bid on an ornament.

Reminder 4: If you shop in Pioneer Square (participating merchants) tomorrow evening and spend at least $25, you’re eligible for tons of prizes, including an iPad! Did I mention you can also get a free photo with Santa?

Reminder 5: Lock your car during Holiday shopping + don’t leave anything valuable that people will want to steal. Have I mentioned my car was broken into during the summertime? At Laurelhurst Community Center? Don’t assume there are “safe areas” where it’s ok to leave things in your car (locked or not)

Reminder 6: There are lots of exercise spots in Pioneer Square to help you not gain 15 pounds during the holiday break (Seattle Fitness + Exercise Space are two that I know)

My OCD-side was hoping I could stretch this to 10 reminders, but ran out, so you’ll have to make do with 6.

On a sidenote: I try to not post many things that are personal on this blog, but to continue with my post of reminders and irrelevant information, you should all know that I totally missed celebrating The New Pioneer Square‘s one year anniversary [three months ago]. Pretty lame, right?

Even though I thought it should be acknowledged, by the time I was one month late, I was too embarrassed to say anything. Apparently at three months, the embarrassment fades. And I figured this was the best place to put it (since many of you probably stopped reading after I made fun of your snow).


New Years Resolution #1: Write better posts

New Years Resolution #2: Feature more businesses

New Years Resolution #3: Keep #1 + #2. And also lose 15 pounds.

And since I sometimes feel like I’m writing this to myself, and wish I had even more interaction with the residents of this neighborhood, here’s a resolution for some of you:

Your New Years Resolution #1: Comment more. Or at least email me with info or businesses you’d like featured. Or join the promotions committee and help us plan fun events for the neighborhood. Or just email me your cool ideas and lets collaborate to see if we can make it happen.

The rest of you are pretty good at sending me info, and it is always much appreciated!

Deck the Balls

December 14, 2010  |  Art, PI  |  No Comments

In case you haven’t already heard, Pioneer Square is celebrating the holidays with an art auction. Local artists have decorated almost 40 ornaments and they are up for auction, starting today!

To check them all out, come down to Tats Deli (159 Yesler Way) , Delicatus (103 1st Ave S),  and Built Burger (217 James St) between now and Thursday, December 16th (during their operating hours).

Pioneer Square Art has a post up that includes a great sample of the ornaments. Here are three of my favorite:

Half of the proceeds will go back to the artist, and the other half will go to the Alliance for Pioneer Square. So make time during this holiday season to get a great gift for a loved one and  support Pioneer Square + our local artists in the process!

South Downtown Development Fact Sheet

December 14, 2010  |  PI, Politics  |  No Comments

Below is data from 1980 to present showing the volume and variety of development that has taken place in the area of South Downtown, including Pioneer Square, Chinatown/ID, Little Saigon and Greater Duwamish/Stadium zone. The studied expanse duplicates the areas under consideration for increased zoning capacity in the City’s proposed Livable South Downtown Legislation.

The vast majority of development – 278 parcels (69%) –occurred prior to 1950. A close inspection of the last 30 years, including the development boom in the mid-2000s, shows just 48 locations of development/redevelopment in the entire South Downtown. This data illustrates a startling case of chronic underdevelopment during a time when citywide residential and commercial uses expanded greatly citywide.

Development Type Built 1980-2000 Built 2000-2010 Totals 1980-2010
Apartment 6* (2 sub) 6 (4 sub) 11 (6 sub)
Community Space 1 0 1
Condominium 1 5* 6
Government 1 1 2
Social/Human Service 2 0 2
Industrial 3 0 3
Office 6 2 8
Parking Garage 2 1 3
Retail 6 0 6
Retirement Facility 1 2 3
Warehouse 2 0 2
Hotel 0 1 1
Other** 1 0 1

*Includes The Asia – built in 1990’s, then converted to condominiums in 2002; Eastern Hotel Apartments – built early 20th century and renovated in 1998; NP Hotel Apartments, built in early 20th Century and renovated in 1994
**Qwest Event Center

Census and parcel data for the area show a total of approximately 549 parcels of land in South Downtown, where approximately 39% of the parcels have never had structures developed on them.

Of those 549 parcels, 57 (10%) are surface parking lots, either commercial or leased by an adjacent business. When compared to of developed uses*, surface parking comprises 15% of the uses in the proposed upzone area.

By comparison, in just the last five years (2005-2010,) 142 projects have been developed in adjacent Center City neighborhoods (South Lake Union, First Hill, Denny Triangle, Pike/Pine, Central Business District, Belltown, Waterfront), exclusive of South Downtown neighborhoods.

*IE, buildings or structures. Some businesses/buildings were developed on top of multiple parcels, but were counted only once.

Pioneer Square in the News

December 13, 2010  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Although [partially] inappropriate, this wins image of the week because everyone should get their photo with Santa… and maybe not at the traditional Nordstrom Santa House:

p.s. free photos of Santa this Thursday at the Grand Central Arcade + a chance to win an iPad!

Read more here.


Shop Local This Weekend With Neighborhood Holiday Events (Seattlest)
It’s time to think about presents. We’ve got some gift guide posts in the works, but there are a bunch of holiday shopping events going on this weekend that feature local stores and local artists.

Artists take to empty storefronts (Seattle PI)
A storefront glows, illuminating paper art in the window of the Eastern Building on Maynard Avenue South in Seattle’s International District in this photo taken Wednesday.

Seattle storefronts: From empty to arty (DJC – subscription only)
Empty storefronts in Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District are being filled with art as part of the Storefronts Seattle program launched earlier this year.

Briefing Wednesday on Qwest north lot (DJC – subscription only)
Alan Cornell, senior vice president of Daniels Development Co., is scheduled to brief the Pioneer Square Preservation Board Wednesday on plans for the firm’s 1.5 million-square-foot development on Qwest Field’s north parking lot.


Irish Coffee at Delicatus Thankfully Not Yet Illegal (Voracious)
Delicatus (Pioneer Square) is primarily known as a delicatessen that seeks to meld an old Eastern European sensibility to fresh local ingredients. It has a compact, no-nonsense bar, varied enough to rotate a few seasonal cocktails but focused mainly on accommodating hearty cocktail staples like Bloody Marys and, of course, Irish Coffee.

Pratt Fine Arts holiday sale finds new home in Pioneer Square (Central District News)
This year, Pratt relocated the sale to Pioneer Square, a location that despite being smaller, offers additional foot traffic due to its close proximity to Safeco Field and downtown, organizers say.

Woman behind gay bar, Seattle’s first disco dies (BIG Blog)
Today from the archive we share a bit about Shelly Bauman who helped bring an openly gay bar to Pioneer Square in the early 1970s.

Montero returns to Colombia to help flood victims (Sounders FC Blog)
The team will host a fundraiser Wednesday at Fuel in Pioneer Square. The event will run from 6-9 p.m. and feature Sounders players and coaches. Suggested donation at the door is $5.

Architecture 101 for Students of All Ages

December 10, 2010  |  Announcement, Business, PI  |  No Comments

Thanks to Storefronts Seattle, Architecture 101 will now have classes in a storefront space located in the International District.

That will mean more room to expand and an opportunity to collaborate with two architects, Kim Krech and Jon Zegers. Their Behind the Eye Studio who will be focusing on classes and programs for high school students. The expanded high school program will start on October 8th with a weekend workshop.

This will also provide me with an opportunity to offer classes for adults and architectural tours. In the right hand column on this page are the class offerings for students of all ages.

You will note that I have added “Chef’s Choice” to the class listings. That class will provide an opportunity for me to explore a new subject that has been suggested and is not part of the class roster. I get requests and suggestions from my students and I like to follow up on those suggestions. If there is an idea for a class that you would like to explore, please let me know and it could just be the Chef’s Choice for the week!

To see additional sketches of the last summer class, see The Sketcher in the Seattle Times.

Fore more info, go check out their blog: Architecture 101

Pioneer Square Holiday Shopping Event Prizes

December 9, 2010  |  Announcement, Event, PI  |  1 Comment

Some pretty amazing prizes are being offered for participating in the Pioneer Square Holiday Shopping Event (which starts today!). As a reminder, all you need to do to be eligible for a prize is to shop at participating business on 12/9 and 12/16 (see more details here).

Remember to pick up your punch card at Pioneer Square Park (1st and Yesler) or at any participating merchant.

Drawing winners will be announced Fridays 12/10 and 12/17 (1 drawing per week)

other prizes include:

Fireworks (gift basket)
Rocky Mt Chocolate Factory (gift bag)
Millstream NW (Funky Zoo Collection set)
Zeitgeist (gift certificate)
Studio 904 (gift certificate)
Fuel ($60 gift certificate)
Delicatus ($25 gift certificate)
F.X. McRory’s ($25 gift certificate)
Seattle Flowers (Holiday centerpiece)
Shotgun Ceremonies (feather angel wings)

other prizes include:

Glasshouse (Glass table stand and a wall mount, valued at $425.  Hand blown optic trail platter in transparent orange with a canary yellow lip by Glasshouse Studio artist and owner Christopher Sternberg Powidzki.)
Fireworks (gift basket)
Ventures ($20 gift certificate)
Caffe Umbria ($20 gift certificate)
Revolution Books ($25 gift certificate)
Collins Pub ($40 gift certificate)
Grand Central Bakery (1 loaf of Grand Central rustic bread each month all year)
Mia Yoshihara-Bradshaw Design ($50 gift certificate)
Seattle Flowers (Holiday centerpiece)
Davidson Galleries (original print)

Only in Seattle – Buy Local

December 8, 2010  |  Announcement, PI  |  No Comments

A few weeks ago, the city of Seattle and its neighborhood business district partners launched the Only in Seattle marketing campaign, a visually lush celebration of the many locally owned “hidden gem” retail shops and restaurants in Seattle‟s unique neighborhoods. From retro video games in Georgetown to Husky Flake ice cream in West Seattle to Seattle‟s oldest retail bakery in the Rainier Valley, the dynamic and multi-modal campaign journeys across the city in search of unique experiences, meals, and treasures that you‟ll truly find only in Seattle.

Inspired by the “buy local” movement, the city‟s Office of Economic Development (OED) worked with local business owners and neighborhood leaders to develop a campaign that would inspire people to discover and explore new neighborhoods and businesses that make up Seattle‟s diverse retail community. The initial campaign features locally owned businesses in five Seattle neighborhoods: Ballard, Columbia City, Georgetown, Rainier Valley and West Seattle.

“This campaign shows why Seattle truly is the city of neighborhoods,” said Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith. “We simply cannot have vibrant, safe, sustainable communities without successful, locally owned small businesses. I hope this campaign will encourage Seattleites to seek out these exciting and unique businesses in their own neighborhoods and other neighborhoods as well.”

In addition to online, print and transit ads that will promote the campaign through early 2011, the campaign is anchored by an all-new website,, that showcases each of the neighborhoods and businesses within the campaign. The website will serve as a home for the Only in Seattle campaign and will grow to include more businesses and neighborhoods as the campaign expands in 2011.

Neighborhoods interested in applying for funding through OED‟s Only in Seattle program should contact Karen Selander at (206) 733-9256.