Draft Vision for Belltown

Draft Vision for Belltown

Accepting input until June 27th

Project Belltown has spent the last 18 months doing outreach to put together a cohesive vision for our community.  We’ve been working with community organizations and stakeholders from across Belltown, including condo owners, renters, business owners, employees, property owners, non-profits, and many others.  We’ve held dozens of community meetings, engaged over 1000 Belltowners, and have racked up thousands of hours of volunteer engagement.

Out of that outreach it has become clear that Project Belltown should include three key areas of focus: community building, economic vitality, and advocacy for Belltown. Below are a set of draft goals within each of those areas.  Each goal then includes a set of specific actions that Project Belltown will do, in order to meet our goal.  We approach this set of goals as spanning the next five years, but we also intend this to be a living document.

On Tuesday, June 20th we presented this draft to a group of over 100 Belltowners, and we received a wealth of valuable feedback.  We are continuing to take your feedback until Tuesday, June 27th.  All feedback is welcome!

You can email evan@projectbelltown.com or call 206-486-6558.

  1. Community Building 
    1. Create and promote a sense of place in Belltown through policy changes and cultural activation. 
      1. Develop and implement a plan to create and promote a Creative District in Belltown’s commercial core that capitalizes on the rich film, music, arts, and labor history of the community.
      2. Explore and pursue policy changes within a future Creative District that will address the challenges of commercial and residential affordability, that will capitalize on the artistic assets of a future district, and that will promote the establishment a pedestrian-scale “destination” for Seattleites and visitors alike.
      3. Develop partnerships with stakeholders in the creative industry (including music, nightlife, entertainment, arts and boutique retail) to promote the story, and invest in the success, of a Belltown Creative District.
    2. Improve and enhance our shared spaces, such as parks, streets, retail, and public buildings. 
      1. Advocate for the design and construction of a new park at the south portal of the Battery Street Tunnel, following the removal of the viaduct, and work to build partnerships that will support that outcome.
      2. Support the planning and development of a new community hub, following the closure of the Belltown Community Center, and work to ensure access to public amenities and services for all Belltown stakeholders.
      3. Advocate for, and develop partnerships to support, major investments in our public areas post-viaduct, such as the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, the re-use of Battery Street Tunnel, Market to MOHAI, Lake2Bay, Growing Vine Street 2020, and others. 
      4. Advocate for age-friendly improvements in our public spaces. 
    3. Increase direct engagement with Belltown community stakeholders. 
      1. Identify and empower community leaders by developing a building-by-building communication network, and by pursuing partnerships to support this outcome.
      2. Partner with landlords and property managers to distribute “welcome information” to new property owners, and to new residential and commercial tenants.
      3. Promote and support use of the Project Belltown Rally App, in order to increase access to information, to provide opportunity for connection, and to promote patronage at Belltown businesses by local Belltown residents and employees.
  1. Economic Vitality 
    1. Foster thriving industry clusters in Belltown through direct support of local businesses, increased community collaboration, and through key policy changes. 
      1. Develop partnerships to advocate for policies, strategies, and investments to retain or create affordable commercial space in Belltown.
      2. Support strategies to preserve anchor and legacy businesses in Belltown, especially when those businesses are key drivers of economic activity in the community.
      3. Facilitate connections among businesses across Belltown to increase engagement and collaboration, & support recruitment and welcoming activities to attract new businesses.
      4. Identify and support technical assistance needs, emerging business issues, and other business needs, and engage property owners, brokers, and other stakeholders around the Belltown economy.
    2. Promote Belltown as a destination that is as essential to Seattle visitors as Pike Place Market and the Seattle Center
      1. Develop and implement a comprehensive marketing and PR strategy for Belltown.
      2. Develop an inventory of all Belltown businesses and establish a communications network with those businesses, in order to coordinate promotional activities throughout Belltown.
    3. Promote a housing market in which Belltown employees, at all income levels, have access to housing within their community. 
      1. Engage in partnerships, and advocate directly, for policies and strategies that would increase total workforce housing units in Belltown, or that would decrease the overall cost of new market-rate housing in Belltown.
      2. Explore and pursue opportunities to promote retention of existing low-cost market rate housing, and the development of new low-cost market-rate housing units in Belltown.
      3. Identify opportunities to connect new workforce housing projects with specific community priorities, such as the promotion of the music and the arts, or the housing of our local Belltown workforce.
      4. Pursue policies and strategies that promote increased residential density in Belltown.
    4. Promote the long-term environmental resiliency of our community through partnerships and stakeholder engagement. 
      1. Engage in partnerships and advocate for strategies to promote multi-modal transportation solutions, improve building standards, reduce energy consumption, and to implement innovative storm- and wastewater treatment solutions.
      2. Engage with developers, property owners, and businesses to identify opportunities for collaboration, and to advocate for investments in sustainable practices.
  2. Advocacy 
    1. Ensure that Belltown stakeholders and community priorities are represented in major policy conversations at the state and local levels. 
      1. Advocate with key decision-makers on behalf of Belltown stakeholders (such as businesses, residents, property owners, employees, and others) to support the implementation of our community priorities.
      2. Serve as a communication link between local governments and Belltown stakeholders.
    2. Work to increase the organizational strengths of the neighborhood and of Project Belltown. 
      1. Develop and implement a sustainable funding model, such as the establishment of a Business Improvement Area, which can support the implementation of this community vision.
      2. Work with the Project Belltown board, Belltown community organizations, businesses, and others to build a strong institutional framework that ensures access for all Belltown stakeholders to decision-making processes that impact the community.

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