Pike-Pine Renaissance

Our Vision

To move Downtown incrementally toward higher quality, more consistent pedestrian space through upgraded standards for sidewalks and intersections.

Download the Brochure Download a copy of the Pike-Pine Renaissance Brochure:

Download »
Download the Design Vision Download a copy of the Pike-Pine Renaissance Design Vision:

Download »

How have our streets evolved?

Pike Street from 1st Avenue through the years

1899 - The street is a utilitarian space between buildings

1936 - The street is the grand center of daily life

1963 - From local access to regional traffic flow

1976 - Bypassed for the freeway

1988 - Residential-scale landscaping

2013 - It's time for the next big change

It's time for the next big change

Downtown Seattle's Pike-Pine Renaissance area should be the best urban experience in the country – on par with Chicago's Michigan Avenue and San Francisco's Union Square. A renewed streetscape can connect our scenic Waterfront to Capitol Hill with cultural attractions all along the way, such as the world-famous Pike Place Market, the Retail Core, and the Washington State Convention Center.

A Pike-Pine Renaissance

In 2013, the Downtown Seattle Association engaged dozens of stakeholders to establish a common vision. The key objectives include:

  • Enhance the attractiveness and overall pedestrian experience.
  • Increase public and private investment
  • Increase Downtown's competitiveness
  • Inform transportation and public space improvements from the expansion of our streetcar system to the redevelopment of our Waterfront.

A Vision with Big Ideas and Small Details

From dramatic hill streets to lush grand avenues, the layered design vision for the Pike-Pine area outlined here includes streetscape improvements, public area amenities and activation, light installations, community events, and more.

A renaissance of our Pike-Pine area offers far more than a chance to repair oft-neglected physical details. Significantly, this renaissance presents a distinct opportunity to reclaim and leverage that could be our city's greatest public assets.

Download the Brochure
Download the Pike-Pine Renaissance Brochure:
Download »
Download the Design Vision
Download the Pike-Pine Renaissance Design Vision:
Download »


Vibrant Streets Have 3 Layers

The Light Layer

The Light Layer of a great street consists of the everchanging street life that occupies the physical space. It is the non-permanent, 'above the surface' life that thrives in the world's most walkable neighborhoods. People, activities, and ephemeral installations are what make our streets vibrant and memorable. The Light Layer allows timeless streets to adapt to seasons and trends in culture.

The Light Layer examples The Light Layer examples The Light Layer examples


Sketch of the Light Layer

The Middle Layer

The Middle Layer is composed of the pavement and fixed furnishings that are traditionally part of streetscape design. There's a place in our public streets for things that feel exciting and trendy (see Light Layer), but isn't in long-term investments like the sidewalk paving. Consistent and simple paving will create a timeless, high-quality, and neutral stage for the events and activities that make streets interesting and lively.

The Light Layer examples The Light Layer examples The Light Layer examples


Sketch of the Middle Layer

The Deep Layer

The Deep Layer, like the Light Layer, is essential in creating a truly great street, but it has little to do with aesthetics. It is the fundamental allocation of the right-of-way space among pedestrians, transit, bycicles, trucks and cars. Today's great streets implement 'paint and policy' changes that can be inexpensive to install, but have a huge impact on how frequently and comfortable people use and experience the street.

The Light Layer examples The Light Layer examples The Light Layer examples


Sketch of the Deep Layer

before and after

How Can We Make Downtown's Pike-Pine Area
the Nation's Best Urban Experience?

Below is just a sampling of some earlier responses regarding the Pike-Pine area gathered during stakeholder interviews.

“There's not much green outdoor gathering space available right now. Sidewalk cafes would be a good thing; you see them in all major, vibrant cities.”

"Building facades need to be well maintained. Improve street lighting; the right lighting can lead people on a path through the district, better connectivity."

"More independent retailers. We don't want to look like every other big city Downtown."

“Just wanted to chime in and agree with everything said about dealing with vagrancy, loitering and drug deals, especially in Westlake Park. There is no improvement you can make in the Pike/Pine area that will make one difference until this problem is dealt with. We need a permanent police presence after dark, more street lighting and security cameras and making it illegal to camp there overnight.”

Making it a place that feels safe. Without that, any physical improvements are almost for naught. A “beggar” on every corner shouldn’t become Downtown Seatte’s slogan. Thanks.

Grand vision for open space and the civic experience. Extend the rich pedestrian experience of the Market district east to the base of Capitol Hill. Attention to detail, variety; a connection to the landscape.

“We need some traffic generators that will make people want to be here to live and work and will make other stores want to be here as well.”

"The look of the district needs to be consistent, not have every block looking different."

"More signage will make things more visitor-friendly. Maybe some in different languages."

Work with the property owners to reserve a given number of retail spaces for small-business owners rather than the proliferation of national chain stores that one can find in any reasonably mid/high-end mall in America. National brand chain stores have identifiable brands that may be me attractive to many, but small, creative, privately run businesses create much more character and shopping interest to those who truly spend money on interesting and unique goods. Enough of the boring homogenization of our cities!

Seattle now is not close to being the best. We have slipped. Our city core is dirty, unsafe, uncivil, uncomfortable for residents and visitors alike. As a resident, this urban slide has become untenable.

Uncivil behavior on the streets and parks is a chronic problem. Better policing might help, as would a larger Downtown residential population. Could Westlake Park be operated by a private non-profit that could better promote civil behavior?

Thank You to Our Task Force Members, Supporters and all those who submitted ideas in the development of the Pike-Pine Design Vision

Anne Marie Koehler, Senior Associate, CBRE

Bart Ricketts, CEO, Lease Crutcher Lewis

Craig Schafer, CEO & Owner, Hotel Andra - Chair

Deb Guenther, Partner, Mithun

Deborah Matlick, Leasing Manager, Pine Street Group L.L.C.

Greg Smith, Principal, Urban Visions

Gary Johnson, Center City Coordinator - Seattle Dept. of Planning & Development
Jeff Blosser, President & CEO, WA State Convention Center

Julie McAvoy, President, McAvoy Solutions L.L.C.

Leslie Martin, Vice President - NW Regional Manager, Nordstrom

Mahlon Clements, Director of Urban Design, VIA Architecture

Mark Houtchens, President & CEO, The Vance Corporation
Patrick Gordon, Principal, ZGF Architects L.L.P.

Robert Bruckner, Managing Director, Aedas Seattle

Sherry Lawson, Sr. General Manager, GGP - Westlake Center

Todd Timberlake, Chief Real Estate Officer, University of Washington

Tom Norwalk, President & CEO, Visit Seattle

Add your name to our growing list of endorsers:

Dana Behar, HAL Real Estate Investments, Inc.

Betsy Braun, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Eugene Cho

Cary Clark, Argosy Cruises & Tillicum Village

Christel Cangas, Equity Residential

Nathan Daum

Paul Dunn, Downtown Resident

Andrew Ferencz, SNW Asset Management

Gabriel Grant, HAL Real Estate Investments, Inc.

Michael Greenwood, Boeing

Mirel Gutarra, Downtown Resident

Josh LaBelle, Seattle Theatre Group

Sherry Lawson, General Growth Properties - Westlake Center

Eric Logan, Gamma Ray Games

Tre Maxie

Jake McKinstry, Spectrum Development Solutions

Bob Miller, Downtown Resident

Valerie Mudra, Downtown Resident

Chuck Nelson, Washington Athletic Club

Steve Nicholes, MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions, Inc.

Cheryl dos Remedios, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Jim Row, Consolidated Restaurants, Inc.

Cindy Shaw, Safeco Insurance
Doug Short, Seattle BioMed

James Sido

Broderick Smith, Urban Visions

Lisa Sterritt, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Bill Strong, Mahlum

Brian Scott, BDS - Planning & Urban Design

Brad Tong, Shiels Obletz Johnsen

Diane Vincent, Downtown Resident

Jeff Wilcox, Downtown Resident

Mark Wolf, Wolf Design

Sylvia Zappoli, Downtown Resident

Pike Pine Renaissance

Project Design Lead

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol


Project Team

Urban Design Consulting

Facilitator/Project Coordinator
BDS-Planning & Urban Design

Retail Assessment
Downtown Works


Downtown Seattle Association



Multi-Modal Consulting
Toole Design Group

Economic Assessment

In partnership with the Office of Economic Development's
Only in Seattle initiative

Downtown Seattle Association | Privacy Policy | Contact Us