Archive for March, 2013

Pioneer Square in the News

March 27, 2013  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Seattle-area artists play with visual rhythms from nature (Seattle Times)
In two new Pioneer Square exhibits, photographer John Anderson and artist Dion Zwirner play with visual rhythms, patterns and colors derived from nature. Both shows run through March 30, 2013

Stowell’s Bar Cotto Offers Delicious Cures For Salumi Cravings (The Daily Meal)
Outstanding salumi from international and local artisans (from Pioneer Square’s revered Salumi, for example) forms the core of the menu, from prosciutto di San Daniele and salame Felino to spicy coppa and housemade porchetta.

Man shot in face in Seattle’s Pioneer Square (Seattle Times)
A man was shot in the face early Thursday in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.

Now Open – New Places for Stuffing Faces
RAIN SHADOW MEATS SQUARED • Pioneer Square: The awesomely named Russell Flint brings his Capitol Hill butcher shop—including Painted Hills beef, Carlton Farms pork, Saddleback Ranch lamb, Mad Hatcher Farms poultry and rabbits, various house-cured meats, and pornographically large handmade hot dogs—to Pioneer Square. Hallelujah! Even better: RSM2 has seating for eating sandwiches and hot entrées, and drinking beer and wine. (404 Occidental Ave S, 467-6328,, $–$$)

Chapter 40: Elliott Bay Book Company opens up about its past, present and… (Capitol Hill Seattle)
In fact, the business has seen “a definite improvement” in recent years, said Aaron, especially after the store relocated from its original location in Pioneer Square – where it began as Walter Carr’s one-room bookshop – to 1521 10th Ave on Capitol Hill.

Experience the new Stadium Place in a video fly-through

March 22, 2013  |  Construction, PI  |  No Comments

There is a video up on YouTube (with what looks like Chinese subtitles?) that showcases renderings and fly-throughs of The Embassy Suites at the Stadium Place development.

According to the caption, “this is a project that combines residential, office, and recreational spaces with an ease of transportation and great views of the city and Mt. Rainier.”

Help protect development in Pioneer Square

March 21, 2013  |  Call to Action, PI, Politics, Residents  |  No Comments

From the Downtown Seattle Association:

A last-minute proposal under consideration by the Seattle City Council would significantly increase fees to develop commercial and residential projects in Downtown Seattle. One proposal would more than double the existing fees that developers pay in exchange for building to the maximum allowed density.

There has been no study, analysis or stakeholder consultation to justify an increase in taxes on commercial and residential density in Downtown.

There’s a lot at stake for Downtown if this proposal is adopted. A major increase in development fees could adversely impact the creation of new jobs and housing, and make housing and commercial space more expensive in Downtown. It could also cost the City future tax revenue, construction jobs, and investments in affordable housing and other public benefits generated from new development. We need your help to defeat this proposal.

Not only does impact all of downtown, but it significantly impacts future development in Pioneer Square and the ID. Remember two years ago when council approved new zoning for South Downtown (bunch of links to articles here)?

There has not been one development project that has resulted from the changes and incentives offered in the plan — it just wasn’t aggressive enough. And now they’re going to raise the fees even further, providing one more obstacle to any future development in South Downtown.

There are two ways you can help:

  1. Email City Council. You can reach all nine of them through
  2. Testify at the Council committee meeting on Monday 3/25 at 2:30pm. If you’re interested, email Jon Scholes at

It’s an urgent matter as it’s being moved very quickly through city council, so if you’re going to email, please try and do it by the end of the day today at the latest. Potential things to include in your email:

  • We understand as part of the rezone of South Lake Union that some Councilmembers are considering raising incentive zoning fees on residential and commercial development throughout Downtown and South Lake Union.
  • It appears that this proposal would also mean an increase in development fees in Pioneer Square and the ID.
  • An increase in development fees in both neighborhoods will not incentivize investment in commercial and residential projects in South Downtown neighborhoods.
  • It’s been two years since the City Council rezoned South Downtown.  Unfortunately, not a single project has taken advantage of the new height and density.
  • Increasing the costs to develop in South Downtown won’t incentivize projects to break ground.  Increased fees will only serve as a barrier to investment.
  • I urge you to oppose increasing incentive zoning fees.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Jon Scholes at You can also read a recent op-ed from the Seattle Times for more information.

The Promise of Urban Connectors Series, March 28

March 21, 2013  |  Alley, Event, PI, Residents, Viaduct  |  No Comments

Join us for for a compelling Beer & Culture focusing on The Promise of Urban Connectors in Pioneer Square  to discuss opportunities for new connection(s) to the waterfront and other urban design possibilities resulting from, or otherwise inspired by, the Waterfront Project.

Topics include:

Occidental at the Stadiums

Railroad Way

Enhancing King Street

Ongoing Alley Activation

Retail Restoration: East Side Alaskan Way  

Help us envision key elements necessary to bring The Promise of Urban Connectors in Pioneer Square into reality to further enhance the experience of Seattle’s Central Waterfront and neighboring communities. Belltown and Pike Place Market/West Edge areas will be discussed in upcoming sessions.

Light Refreshments

March 28th, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
Doors Open    5:30
Program         6:30

The Kitchen by Delicatus
309 First Ave S.
Pioneer Square

RSVP Requested

Panel & Speakers
Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Council
Patrick Gordon
Cary Moon
Laura Bachman
Leslie Smith

Man shot in the face in Pioneer Square this morning

March 21, 2013  |  News, PI, Violence  |  No Comments

I saw a crowd gathered on the corner of 2nd and Washington this morning, so curiosity got the best of me and I peered around the corner to see lights flashing.

People were saying that someone had been shot, which was confirmed by a quick twitter search. Seattle Times reports:

A man was shot in the face this morning in Pioneer Square and the shooter has not been caught, according to a tweet from the Seattle Police Department just after 6 a.m.

The victim was alert and conscious, police said, and taken to Harborview Medical Center.

The shooting took place just outside of the Union Gospel Mission at the corner of 3rd and Washington. The area is roped off and police are still on sight.

Pioneer Square Revitalization 2013 Update

March 20, 2013  |  PI, Politics, PSq Revitalization  |  3 comments

What is the Pioneer Square Revitalization Committee?

In 2009 and 2010, the Pioneer Square Revitalization Committee – a coalition of City of Seattle employees, members of the Pioneer Square business community, and Pioneer Square residents – met to identify strategies to reestablish the neighborhood’s competiveness and strengthen the health of its businesses.

In June 2010, the committee finalized “Pioneer Square 2015: A Strategy for Seattle’s First Neighborhood,” a report on community and city strategies for bolstering the neighborhood’s economic health.

Here is the update from 2011, and 2012, and below is the 2013 update of priorities and what has been accomplished in the last year:

1. Bathroom
There is a neighborhood group actively looking for spots to place a “Portland Loo.” The goal is to have something open within the year.

2. Construction Information
The city will work harder to provide construction information to the neighborhood so that we know impacts before they happen.

3. Center City Initiative
Members from many different types of organizations (business, human services, legal defenders, and neighborhood groups) throughout the city have come together to tackle issues such as street disorder, urban poverty, public safety, and homelessness.

4. Expanding borders of the BIA
Over the next two months, the Alliance and the Pioneer Square BIA are working to expand the boundaries of the BIA. This means more money for the on-going economic development for the continued revitalization of our neighborhood.

5. Active Retail Recruitment
The Alliance has a dedicated staff member who is working with neighborhood stakeholders to actively recruit retail businesses, and so far, with over 15 restaurants and retail spaces opening in 1Q of 2013, I’d say it’s a success.

6. Increased Broadband Capacity
Provided a fiber backbone to increase broadband capacity in support of the neighborhood’s significant high tech sector.

Q&A (and often, just comments)

  1. Is nightlife important to the city and specifically to Pioneer Square?
    •  Answer: Yes and yes.
  2. Request to not have buses come through Washington and Main St.
    •  Answer: Working hard to find the best solution, and are also listening to other voices, such as port traffic. They’ve heard what we have to say, however, and will take that into account.
  3. With the loss of 619, First Thursday has been suffering in the neighborhood. We need to find alternatives to help support a thriving artist environment in Pioneer Square.
  4. City is not doing a good job of coordinating construction efforts in the neighborhood. Right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing, and let the neighborhood know as well so that we can plan.
    • Answer: Good to know — we will work harder on that.
  5. Need to work with more property owners regarding the vacant buildings, and other problems related to buildings not being seismically upgraded.
  6. Is there anyway that the streetcar can extend past Pioneer Square to hit the new stadium coming in?
    • Answer: Analysis is already being done on connecting the streetcar from SLU to Pioneer Square, to Capital Hill. The next step will be looking at going to Ballard, and then possibly extending further South.

There were also many booths set up around the room to update residents and businesses on the following projects:

Stadium Place [formerly known as North Lot], currently under construction


200 Occidental, which I hope will be built not too far in the future


and Stadium Terrace [formerly called Stadium Lofts] – they don’t have a website, but here is an article from PSBJ, talking about the project.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Underworld Tour

March 13, 2013  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

From the Underground Tour team:

Do you want to have some good, old-fashioned fun this St. Patrick’s Day? Then make your way to Pioneer Square for a special St. Patrick’s Day Underworld Tour on March 17.

The Underworld Tour is an adults-only stroll through the old red-light district of the abandoned, underground city that is Seattle’s birthplace. A lust-filled, big-brother version of the world-famous Underground Tour, the Underworld Tour is seamier, raunchier and laugh-out-loud lewdicrous. Totally inappropriate!

After the tour, you’ll party away in the adjoining Underground Cafe. Decorated in festive green, the cafe will offer up traditional Irish music and specials on Guinness and Irish whiskey. Saint Patrick would be proud.

The Underworld Tour is for guests 21 years or older; a valid picture ID is required. $25 admission includes a cocktail. Tours are at 7 and 8 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance online, at, and by phone at 206 682 4646. They may also be purchased in-person at our ticket booth at 608 First Ave., between Cherry and the James-Yesler Street junction.

For more information about the Underworld Tour and the all-ages Underground Tour, please visit

How many tech companies are actually in Pioneer Square?

March 12, 2013  |  Business, PI  |  No Comments

Every month, I am posting more and more articles and announcements about new tech companies that are opening offices in Pioneer Square.

Bryan Rush, a realtor at Colliers International, has created a detailed map that shows just how many are really down here:

Pioneer Square in the News

March 11, 2013  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

… Not much news to report in the last week:

Postmates Launches 1-Hour Deliveries in Seattle (SFGate)
Postmates, an urban logistics startup based in San Francisco, today announced the launch of its one hour delivery in Seattle. Postmates offers same day delivery from any store or restaurant in the city through their service.

Spring Arts Preview 2013: Three New Venues Rethink Arts Space (Seattle Magazine)
Architecture firms aren’t particularly known to have an open-door policy (after all, they’re doing God’s work in there!), but legendary Seattle firm Olson Kundig is changing all that by opening the “storefront” section of its Pioneer Square office for a collaborative series of public arts events.

Another restaurant, La Bodega, looking to relocate to Pioneer Square

March 5, 2013  |  Business, PI  |  No Comments

Manu Alfau is the chef and owner of La Bodega, a Dominican-style sandwich shop. Back in October, he was planning on opening in Pioneer Square, but had a “problem with the space, and are now looking for a new space to tackle.”

He is still looking for a spot in Pioneer Square, but until then you can find updates on their Facebook page about their once-a-month pop-up dinners.