Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mayor announces $1.1 million investment in neighborhood business districts, $0 for Lake City

On Tuesday the City of Seattle announced a plan to invest $1.1 million in 19 Seattle neighborhood business districts.

However, our own Lake City business district was left off of the list, and is not (as far as we can tell) going to receive any of the financial assistance.

From Mayor Mike McGinn's press release:
Our neighborhood business districts are a critical economic asset. Their diversity and strength is a part of what makes our city special. The dollars that the city invests support projects that make an immediate impact in our neighborhoods, and they also serve as catalysts that bring neighborhood business district leaders together to organize and create a shared vision for long-term revitalization strategies, which will help our city’s overall economic recovery.
The apparent snubbing of our community resulted in this response from the folks at the Lake City Live blog:
This should be a wake up call to Lake City residents and businesses that it is time for change.  We need to ask ourselves what we are doing wrong as a community and why the City is not investing in Lake City as important neighborhood.

Business communities in neighborhoods were awarded money for developing "comprehensive, multi-year strategies, in which the city is investing a total of $844,000 in 2012." The awards were:
  • Capitol Hill / 12th Avenue — $128,000
  • Central Area Main Streets — $72,000
  • Chinatown / International District — $185,000
  • Columbia City — $ 66,500
  • MLK (Rainier Valley) — $83,000
  • Pioneer Square  — $120,000
  • Rainier Beach — $55,000
  • University District — $70,000
  • White Center — $64,500

The city is also investing $142,500 to support focused investments in additional neighborhoods, as well as the Only in Seattle marketing campaign and business organization development. Those neighborhoods are:
  • Beacon Hill
  • Belltown
  • Columbia City
  • Georgetown
  • Madison Valley
  • Rainier Beach
  • SODO
  • South Park
  • White Center.

Those focused investments in the above neighborhoods include:
  • Business and retail development (supporting businesses, enhancing business mix);
  • Marketing and promotion (events, social media, district advertising);
  • Clean and safe (graffiti removal, dumpster free alleys, lighting);
  • Streetscape and appearance (catalytic development projects, fa├žade, public art); and
  • Business organization development to sustain the effort, including participation of an existing Business Improvement Area (BIA) or commitment to form one.

We are unsure why the Lake City community was not awarded money but many would probably agree that assistance from the city would be welcome in our northeastern outpost of Seattle.

Thanks to Lake City Live for pointing out this important story.

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