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How we’re going to “change” Pioneer Square
December 18, 2009  |  Announcement, Business, Event

On Wednesday afternoon, many stakeholders and Pioneer Square interest groups gathered together to listen to Donovan Rypkema’s revaluation of the neighborhood. (to read more about the background of the Mayor’s “Revitalization Committee,” click here).

He started out the presentation by stating that his recommendations for 2009…. are basically the same as back in 2002. And that something drastic better happen this time to avoid him coming back in 2016 with the same report. And then he ended the presentation and ran to catch his plane. Just kidding. But he could have — he could have just put his old presentation on auto-play and left, and hoped that the city would pay attention this time.

The (hopefully) good news is that Deputy Mayor-elect Darryl Smith showed up to the meeting. He gave some background (including thanking anyone that might have been part of the 15,000 who voted for him when he ran for office in 2003 [insert chuckle]), and proceeded to talk about why he’s interested in what the Revitalization Committee is doing. He said that McGinn is definitely interested in suggestions that come out of these meetings, and he himself feels vested in the future of the neighborhood. Of course, as a cynical Political Science student, sometimes what politicians say isn’t quite what they mean, but I’m holding out hope this time around.

On approval from the committee, I videotaped the entire presentation, and most of the Q&A. Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to post clips from his presentation and get some discussion going regarding what needs to happen in our neighborhood.

One of the interesting things that Rypkema said is that people seem to be conflicted about the neighborhood — most everyone he talked to said that the neighborhood needs to see some major changes, but also that they love it just the way it is and don’t want things to really change.

He shared some great insights, and I’m looking forward to the conversations that can happen surrounding different suggestions for “change.”

p.s. “Revitalize Pioneer Square” just made it to the #3 spot on McGinn’s Ideas For Change website. Thank you thank you thank you to all who have voted. Although this may just be a tool to make people feel like they’re actually influencing what McGinn will do, at least it will get his attention when it hits the #2 spot. I’m confident that we’ll overtake legalizing marijuana this weekend. Please let us beat legalizing marijuana. It’s all I want for Christmas Santa.

p.p.s. Check out this article. Looks like the Pioneer Square Antique Mall is closing, and blames the city. It would be inappropriate to make a joke here (although I really want to). So I’ll just let you know that I really want to. We’ll miss you Antique Mall.

p.p.p.s. I’ve gotten a few Christmas tree pictures in, but don’t more of you want to send in pictures of yours? Isn’t 8 yummy caramelly, nutty apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory good enough of an incentive? Even if you have a Charlie Brown tree, I want to see it. I just know that if I get pictures of 10 Pioneer Square Christmas Trees, that our neighborhood can be saved. Isn’t neighborhood love and the love of chocolate all that it takes?

p.p.p.p.s. (I had to do it this way so that I didn’t write a bunch of mini posts). I went to the Streetcar Open House (which wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever been to, I’ll be honest), but the real reason to do it is to fill out their comment sheets about why it should come down into Pioneer Square.

One proposed idea (only a couple million more dollars) is to bring it down Main street and then loop (on that street that the waterfall park is on) back up to Int’l District and First Hill. It would be a really great thing for our neighborhood, so if you have a moment, go add your comments to the comment section on this site, or email Ethan Melone (with City of Seattle) and help get a streetcar in part of our neighborhood!

px5.s. Posts may get more sparse during the Holiday Break.



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