Archive for September, 2011

‘Mr. Royer’s Neighborhood’ acknowledged by Fred Roger’s staff

September 30, 2011  |  Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Remember the news back in June about Charley Royer being named DSA’s 2011 Downtown Champion? They put together a video to honor Charley and all the amazing work he’s done for the city (most especially Pioneer Square), that was called “Mr Royer’s Neighborhood,” a cute parody to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

Apparently staff from the Fred Rogers company saw the video on youtube and reached out to Charley, stating that “Fred Rogers would have been impressed of all that you do for your city.”

And included some gifts to congratulate him on his great work:

Images from the alley up event yesterday

September 30, 2011  |  Alley, Event, PI  |  No Comments

In case you missed it, two Pioneer Square alleys were filled with theater, art, and acrobatic performances as part of “alley-up.” The event drew some great crowds and it was fun to see so much activity in the alleys on a (non-art walk) Thursday:

Qdoba offers “ultimate’ tailgating to Seahawks fans this weekend

September 29, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  1 Comment

Although I know many residents have issues with  sports fans (particularly Seahawks fans) drinking too much and then causing problems in our neighborhood, I am an equal opportunity poster and will still share the news of a big tailgate party for the Seahawks game this weekend:

Qdoba will kick off the NFL season by reviving the spirit of Hawk Heaven and inviting football fans to the best tailgate party in the city – inside the colossal Qdoba tent located in the shadow of CenturyLink Field.

Starting on Sept. 25, the 20-foot Qdoba Ultimate Tailgating Experience can be found in the northwest corner of CenturyLink Field (on Occidental Avenue) at Seahawks home games throughout the season. The tricked-out tent is set to be every football fanatic’s fantasy-it will house four flat screen TVs playing non-stop, pre-game coverage; mobile charging stations to provide a quick power-up for fans’ phones and tablets and, of course, free samples of Qdoba’s signature chips & Queso, in addition to complimentary Coca-Cola® beverages. Upon entering the tent, each fan will also receive a Qdoba Rewards Card, preloaded with free chips & Queso that can be redeemed at any Qdoba Seattle location.

Online, Qdoba is promoting its Ultimate Seahawks Game Day Experience by giving away two lower-level bowl tickets, VIP field access and a free parking pass to one lucky fan each home game this season. Fans can enter to win at

As a part of the experience, Qdoba is bringing the action to the parking lot and inviting all Seahawks tailgaters to battle, baste and blitz in a bracket-style competition to uncover the best tailgate recipe in Seattle.

Over the course of seven Seahawks home games, tailgating teams will whip up their best dishes in hopes of impressing the Qdoba judges and advancing to the finals. The winning team will have their recipe named Qdoba’s Ultimate Tailgate Dish and be awarded Qdoba catering at their Super Bowl XLVI viewing party.

This year marks the second year for the Qdoba Tailgating Experience and its continued partnership with Beyond Traditional, the alternative advertising, creative and social agency behind the Qdoba brand’s most engaging consumer experiences nationally.

Fans can find the Qdoba Ultimate Tailgating Experience, opening three hours before kick-off, in the northwest corner of CenturyLink Field at the following Seahawks home games:

  • 09/25/2011 | Seahawks v. Cardinals, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 10/02/2011 | Seahawks v. Falcons, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 10/30/2011 | Seahawks v. Bengals, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 11/13/2011 | Seahawks v. Ravens, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 11/27/2011 | Seahawks v. Redskins, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 12/01/2011 | Seahawks v. Eagles, 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • 12/12/2011 | Seahawks v. Rams, 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information visit or follow @QCruiser on Twitter.

Pioneer Square Business Mixer this Thursday

September 28, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

A notice from the Alliance for Pioneer Square about a business mixer coming up tomorrow — these are great opportunities to meet your (business) neighbors:

Thursday, September 29, 4 – 7 pm

Merchant’s Café & Saloon
109 Yesler Way

Socializing & Happy Hour

You asked, we listened.  Join The Alliance for Pioneer Square, business owners and managers to meet and mingle with other Pioneer Square business-types. Events are held quarterly in the Square.

Let’s get connected!

RSVP to:

Groundbreaking on North Lot begins new era for Pioneer Square

September 28, 2011  |  Announcement, Business, PI  |  No Comments

King County Executive Dow Constantine was joined by developer Kevin Daniels, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, and former Seattle Mayor Charles Royer yesterday to break ground on the long-awaited North Lot development next to CenturyLink Field – a project that is key to revitalization of Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

The Executive announced that the County’s sale of the property to North Lot Development LLC closed on Monday. He also credited the tenacity of developer Kevin Daniels for assembling the plan and financing over the past six years.

“We’re on the cusp of the greatest economic recovery for Pioneer Square since Gold Rush days, and I am thankful to be able to contribute to a rebirth in the community,” said Daniels, president of Daniels Real Estate, which also worked with the team that developed the nearby Starbucks Center and renovated Union Station. He is also co-chair of the Alliance for Pioneer Square.

The project to be built on the North Lot of the old Kingdome site is expected to create up to 2,700 construction jobs. Over the next decade, the development is projected to generate more than $727 million in economic activity.

The $180 million first phase of the project will become the largest transit-oriented development in the Pacific Northwest. The development is expected to include nearly 1.5 million square feet of uses, including up to 800 mixed-income residential units, a hotel, 400,000 square feet of office space, and 35,000 square feet of retail space.

The project will create an urban development in a walkable neighborhood near the downtown core. Its location near Amtrak at King Street Station and several major bus lines will provide residents and users with a number of transportation alternatives.

“This project will bring the most new construction to Pioneer Square since the rebuilding from the Great Seattle Fire of 1889,” said former Seattle Mayor Charles Royer, co-chair of the Alliance for Pioneer Square and host for today’s celebration. “The positive impacts on the neighborhood can’t be overstated.”

Under an agreement struck last week with the Washington State Public Stadium Authority, stadium replacement parking for the public will be made available at the King County Metro central campus employee parking garage at 6th Ave. S. and S. Royal Brougham Way

Under the agreement, the County will grant rights to the PSA detailing event use of available spaces at the Metro garage. In exchange for these rights, the County will receive $10.2 million for the parking from North Lot Development LLC. King County received another $10 million from the sale of the North Lot to the development firm, to be used by the County to honor long-standing commitments for affordable housing funding and for other one-time investments.

And then the neighborhood partied (photos by Doug Vann):

Last days of summer weather

September 26, 2011  |  Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Went on a walk through Pioneer Square this weekend, and joined the Instagram craze and took a few photos of what may be the last days of summer weather in our neighborhood:

Pioneer Square in the News

September 26, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Seattle’s Pioneer Square: a whole lot of building going on? (Crosscut)
Paul Allen’s sports operation strikes a deal with King County and developer Kevin Daniels, and lifts its opposition to a long-awaited apartment project between Pioneer Square and the football stadium.

Stadium parking shift coming for Pioneer Square development (King5)
But Seattle sports fans are concerned about the nearly 500 precious parking spaces in the North Lot that will go away during construction. “No, they should not be concerned. There will be 900 more stalls,” said developer Kevin Daniels, who signed the purchase papers Friday after planning the project for 15 years.

McGinn’s 2012 budget to include funding for streetcars/rail (Ballard KOMO news)
Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposed 2012 budget will include $1.5 million for planning up to five new streetcar or rail lines in order to fulfill the city’s responsibility for connecting its neighborhoods. The five potential routes – (inc. Queen Anne to Downtown and Westlake to Pioneer Square) – will soon have more riders than buses can handle, according to a Sept. 22 blog post from McGinn.

15 public eyesores Seattleites might be used to (Big Blog)
I’ll give you one guess to figure out what made this list from our neighborhood? (hint: it’s big and made of concrete, hosts unsavory activity and is the reason our neighborhood created a preservation board)

Council members: McGinn’s budget may not replace patrol officers (Seattle Times)
Sally Clark told The Seattle Times Editorial Board Thursday that she’s concerned about the drop in officers on patrol in the city and the mayor’s apparent intention to not replace them. “I understand crime is down, the response time (to 911 calls) is good. In these hard times, leave the spots unfilled. On paper, it sounds good,” Clark said later at City Hall. “But that’s not what I’m hearing when I’m in the University District, in Belltown, in Pioneer Square. If you call those neighborhood leaders, they’d tell you who’s out selling drugs right now.”

The ultimate guide to Northwest freebies (King5)
Klondike Goldrush National Park — Most people don’t know this, but Pioneer Square is a National Park. There’s a museum that gives the history of Seattle’s connection to the Klondike Gold Rush. During the summer there are also free tours of historic sites at Pioneer Square.

Introducing the Seattlest Loft Sessions – October 6 (Seattlest)
A friend of Seattlest and talented musician, BC Campbell, suggested we start putting on shows in his artist loft home in Pioneer Square. We, of course, immediately jumped on the opportunity…the pieces just fell into place, and now, we’re happy to announce the first Seattlest Loft Session will be during Pioneer Square’s First Thursday Art Walk on October 6th.

Improvements pitched for Safeco Field area (Ballpark Digest)
As noted, it’s a draft report, but it’s a fascinating look at how downtown Seattle and its core components (Pioneer Square, the 1st Avenue corridor, Chinatown, SODO, the waterfront) can be better integrated to take advantage of the traffic already flowing into the area. These sorts of second looks don’t usually happen after a facility opens; maybe it can be a blueprint for other cities looking to leverage the traffic generated by a popular ballpark.

Lib Tech Bringing Back Downtown Throwdown (TransWorld Business)
Lib Tech announced it will be bringing back the popular Downtown Throwdown as well as a new stop in the series. The urban snowboarding event will take place in Pioneer Square in Seattle on Oct. 8, and in San Francisco on Oct. 29. The events will feature 25 of the worlds most progressive jibbers, including Scott Stevens, Forest Bailey, Johnny Lazz, Ted Borland, Jake Kuzyk, Dylan Thompson, Austen Sweetin, Jess Kimura, and Chris Larson

“City’s Streetcar Promise Was a Promise”

September 22, 2011  |  News, PI, Politics  |  No Comments

Our issues with the streetcar were recently featured on PubliCola and the Seattle Transit Blog. Originally, PubliCola stated the following:

The only thing is, the city never “promised” Pioneer Square it would build the streetcar to their neighborhood. In fact, according to city staff, the city only told the neighborhood it would try to extend the streetcar to the neighborhood—if, and only if, it could meet its contractual obligation to Sound Transit to keep the streetcar on ten-minute headways (the period riders must wait between trains) and to keep costs below the $123 million Sound Transit agreed to provide under an interlocal agreement with the city (which will actually build the streetcar).

In a follow up post today, however, Leslie Smith from the Alliance for Pioneer Square was able to provide multiple places where our neighborhood was, in fact, made promises by the city that we would soon get the streetcar:

The evidence: At a public forum on the future of the Pioneer Square neighborhood in June, Mayor Mike McGinn said, “We have the streetcar coming” to Pioneer Square. “That’s good.”

Additionally, the city’s Pioneer Square 2015 Committee adopted a list of economic development strategies for the city last year that included “implement[ing] the streetcar line extension through Pioneer Square.”

Traffic Alert: Microsoft Annual Meeting at Safeco Field this Friday

September 22, 2011  |  PI, Traffic Alert  |  No Comments

Microsoft will be holding its Annual Employee Meeting at Safeco Field this Friday, September 23rd.

There will be about 200 buses and 4,000 cars, 18,000-20,000 attendees.

Cars will primarily park in the Safeco Field Garage and the CenturyLink Garage, with some people selecting to park in other nearby lots and garages.

Buses will unload and load riders at the following locations:

(1) 3rd Avenue S. between Royal Brougham and Holgate (street will be closed from Royal Brougham southward but local access will be available);

(2) Occidental from Royal Brougham north to Railroad Avenue in front of CenturyLink Event Center (street will be local access only);

(3) Occidental between Edgar Martinez Drive and Massachusetts Street at the Safeco Field Garage Plaza (street will be local access only);

(4) First Avenue S. west curb from Royal Brougham north to end of sidewalk where SR99 ramps block the sidewalk.

Buses will be entering the area either via the I-90 HOV exit to 5th Avenue S. or I-90 mainline exit to 4th Avenue S.

Empty buses will be staged at the loading locations and at several lots in the area to be deployed back at the end of the event to pick up passengers.

There will be some early arrivals (3 breakfast groups and “seat savers”) in private cars starting at about 7:00am.

The bulk of the arrivals will be between 8:30am and 10:30am with the gates opening at 9:00am.

The event runs from 10:00am to approximately 3:30-4:00pm.

All attendees will be departing at the same time this year with the last buses leaving at 5:00pm.

Seattle Police Department will be providing traffic controls similar to a large baseball game or soccer game.

Hornall Anderson Pays Homage to the 619 Arts Bldg

September 22, 2011  |  Art, Fun, PI  |  No Comments

From the Hornall Anderson blog:

We were honored to participate in this historic event, and in turn chose to pay homage to Seattle’s 619 Arts Building on Western Ave., which has been a bastion for artists and patrons since 1979. Upon embarking on this project, we discovered the building was in the midst of a controversial eviction where its tenants were forced to vacate by October due to structural reinforcements from the Viaduct Replacement and Tunnel Project. This month marks the end of 32 years as an artist loft and a rich creative outlet in the Seattle community – we had to create something truly special to mark this transition.

The Design Mark is essentially a “sound sculpture” enigmatically covered top to bottom with over 200 white arcade-style buttons. One discoverable red button prompts visitors to record a message through a small, nearly invisible microphone. Each response is recorded, and can be played back as a collective dialogue that will evolve over the 10-day festival. The marker includes a QR code that takes users to a teaser video featuring the 619 Arts Building, which is narrated by some of the tenants of the building.