December News + Updates
Mark Your Calendars!
Pioneer Square Holidays
Celebrate the season locally with a holiday line up to help you indulge and be merry in Pioneer Square. Pioneer Square is your one-stop winter destination for all festive essentials and home to a fun, lively and safe holiday experience.

This year, we invite you to Pioneer Square to shop locally with free parking Saturdays, travel the neighborhood with the Passport to Pioneer Square and admire unique light art installations from LUSIO Lights. Be on the lookout for the following activities rolling out this December in the neighborhood. For more information on our 2020 holiday program, visit our website.

We challenge you to explore the neighborhood with the Passport to Pioneer Square!
Shop your favorite store, restaurants and more to be entered for a special prize.
Location: Pioneer Square businesses
Date: Throughout December

Free Parking Saturdays
Park for free at the Butler Garage on select Saturdays throughout
December with proof of purchase from a Pioneer Square business.
Location: The Butler Parking Garage 
Date: December 5th,
December 12th, December 19th.

Enjoy a luminous journey through a rainbow of art installations
as we paint the neighborhood with lights!
Date: Begins December 1st, 2020 and runs through January 2021
Pioneer Square
Online Holiday Gift Guide
This holiday season is the online shopping destination for all your holiday essentials. On the Pioneer Square Marketplace site, you can now view our neighborhood Holiday Gift Guide to find the perfect holiday gift for the special people in your life, all from the comfort of home.

Shop a curated selection of goods and products geared towards the festive season directly from the site's homepage menu by clicking on the Pioneer Square Holidays tab. Discover the best gifts sets, clothing items, gift cards, unique goodies and more to suit everyone on your list.

Celebrate your loved ones this season with fun and memorable gifts from their favorite local business.
Starlight Lane at Lumen Field
Prepare for a one of a kind drive-through holiday experience that will bring enchantment to all ages. Celebrate the holiday season with a spectacular audio-visual lighting and laser display, synchronized to a rockin’ soundtrack, while safely socially distanced from the comfort of your own vehicle. This will be a drive through event in the garage at Lumen Field Event Center Garage (Formerly CenturyLink Field).

Tickets go on sale December 3rd! Don’t miss your chance to revel in the delight of the holiday spirit at this one of a kind spectacle. Visit the Starlight Lane website or more info and to purchase tickets.
Ensuring a Vibrant Tomorrow
Thank you for being one of our most ardent supporters. People like you help us to strengthen, preserve and promote the amazing assets that the Pioneer Square neighborhood provides to Seattle residents and visitors alike. We wholeheartedly believe Pioneer Square is an amazing and unique place in which to live, work and visit; and we’re thrilled that you recognize that as well. Please consider a gift to the Alliance for Pioneer Square and help us to ensure Pioneer Square remains a strong, vibrant neighborhood. We cannot do it without you.
December First Thursday Art Walk Update + Make It an Art Day
Under the latest statewide COVID-19 regulations, Pioneer Square art galleries are allowed to operate at 25% capacity from Monday, November 16 through Monday, December 14. Many galleries are open to the public at reduced capacity and/or offering by-appointment only visits, along with robust virtual exhibitions. Traditional First Thursday Art Walk events, such as artist receptions, are suspended for the time being due to public health guidance pertaining to large gatherings. Accordingly, December First Thursday will be promoted as a virtual-only event based on the Center for Disease Control's considerations for events and gatherings and new guidance from Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee. Additionally, the First Thursday Free Parking program will not be in effect on Thursday, December 3rd.

Make It an Art Day

Make It an Art Day is a promotional campaign and recurring series intended to invite the Seattle community to visit Pioneer Square, view works on display at neighborhood galleries and patronize neighborhood businesses while in the area. Make It an Art Day will be promoted as falling on each Saturday of the week until First Thursday Art Walk can resume.

While public health guidance pertaining to large gatherings prevents traditional First Thursday events from occurring, Pioneer Square galleries continue to host exhibitions and show wonderful works of art.

The Alliance encourages Pioneer Square galleries to engage with Make It an Art Day. Additionally, we invite Pioneer Square galleries to submit an image of works currently exhibited, along with the artist name/work title/medium/sizing, to be featured on the Make It an Art Day Facebook event, cover image, posts made on the Pioneer Square social media pages, and an image slider on the Pioneer Square website.
Now Accepting Submissions for
Holiday Stories from the Square
Building on the Stories from the Square storytelling series, the Alliance for Pioneer Square is pleased to announce Holiday Stories from the Square. The intent of Holiday Stories from the Square is to continue to promote neighborhood businesses through storytelling during the holiday season.
Stories from the Square is a storytelling campaign intended to provide the Seattle community with an inside glimpse into what makes Pioneer Square unique- our vibrant businesses. For the holidays, we want to keep things going with another round of festive stories from around the neighborhood.
Tell us your Holiday Stories From the Square by taking the brief survey below. Looking forward, the Alliance will coordinate a time on Friday, December 4th to capture photos of businesses who share their story. Businesses are also welcome to submit a photo instead. 2020 Holiday Stories from the Square captured from neighborhood businesses will be shared via Pioneer Square social media channels, newsletter and website. Find previous Stories from the Square here.

The survey closes on Thursday, December 3rd. Questions? Reach out to
DESC's Non-violent Intervention and
De-escalation Training
DESC is offering a virtual non-violent intervention and de-escalation training to staff and member organizations of the Alliance for Pioneer Square.

The training will be held on January 19, 2021 from 12:30pm - 4:00pm via Zoom. This is a 3.5-hour training focused on person-centered de-escalation. Learn to better identify levels of crisis and appropriate approaches to engage with people in challenging circumstances. The course will aim to provide a shared language and de-escalation tactics to maintain safety and humanity for all involved. RSVP here.

While we cannot always prevent a crisis from occurring, we can learn to better support people through the cycle of behaviors and emotions that arise.
Alliance for Pioneer Square 2025 Strategic Plan and COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan
In February 2020, the Alliance had just completed the Your Pioneer Square: 2025 Strategic Plan, which was the culmination of seven months of planning and community engagement. This plan was to direct the Alliance’s focus for the next five years as the neighborhood navigates large-scale infrastructure projects and responds to everyday challenges.

The Alliance postponed the release of the strategic plan as we focused on immediate response to these drastic changes. The COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan is meant to tell the story of what we have done, what we are doing, and what we plan to do for the 18-month period immediately following the pandemic shut down. Your Pioneer Square: 2025 Strategic Plan outlines our organization’s strategy in concordance with the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan and beyond.

The Alliance is dedicated to stewarding both plans forward. By leading, convening, and supporting our partners, we have a clear roadmap to get there together. We now present our stakeholders with both Your Pioneer Square: 2025 Strategic Plan and COVID-19 Pandemic Response Plan.
Sound Transit and King County Metro Fare and Service Updates
Sound Transit Impacts

On July 1st, full fares resumed on all Sound Transit services. ST Express buses transitioned to a single flat fare of $3.25 for all Adult riders, regardless of distance traveled. More information about this resumption of fares can be found here. Fare collection is dependent on the completion of safety measures being installed at the front of our buses, so some routes may continue to be fare-free until these measures are complete. In response to increases in ridership, Sound Transit is planning to add service across its system for its fall/winter service change. More information can be found on the service changes page.

King County Metro Impacts

On Thursday, October 1, Metro resumed collecting fares for all transit services. Metro will suspend fare enforcement through the end of 2020. Riders are required to wear masks or face coverings at all times. Visit the Metro Matters blog for the latest on what Metro is doing in response to COVID-19. Metro continues to operate at reduced service in certain areas. Visit the Reduced Schedules page for route details and learn more about King County Metro impacts here.
1st Ave Parking Restrictions
The Alliance has received feedback from neighborhood stakeholders that the parking restrictions on 1st Ave intended to maintain vehicle flow during peak hours are no longer applicable due to reduced traffic presence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We communicated that feedback to city partners and advocated for a revision of the parking restrictions.

Starting this month, SDOT will lift peak hour parking restrictions on 1st Ave from S King St to Marion St. Curb lane parking on 1st Ave will be available to vehicles for two-hour parking at all hours. Weight restrictions and time limits still apply, so please follow all posted signs. 

These changes mean more access to parking and 1st Ave businesses can apply for temporary outdoor permits to use adjacent parking spaces for outdoor cafes or merchandise displays. Please visit SDOT's website to learn more. 
Neighborhood Construction Updates
S Washington St and Alaskan Way Traffic Shift
Coming This December
As early as December 11, Washington St between Alaskan Way S and 1st Ave S will permanently change to become a single-lane, westbound-only street in an upcoming traffic revision. The traffic revision at S Washington St is a part of the future pedestrian improvements to S Main, S Washington and S King streets and Yesler Way as part of the Pioneer Square East West Pedestrian Improvements project. 
In conjunction with changes along S Washington St, Alaskan Way traffic will shift to the east, between S King and Columbia streets, and S Washington St will be reconnected to northbound Alaskan Way S. The construction on Alaskan Way will shift to the west between S King and Columbia streets to continue building the new Alaskan Way. North of Columbia St, construction will remain in the current work area on the east side of Alaskan Way. The traffic revision along Alaskan Way is a part of Waterfront Seattle’s Alaskan Way project.

Learn more about the upcoming traffic changes, frequently asked questions and what to expect here.
Waterfront Seattle Construction Ongoing on New Alaskan Way

Waterfront Seattle has begun building a new Alaskan Way. Waterfront Seattle's initial work zones will span from S King to Marion streets. Activities include establishing work zones, mobilizing equipment, potholing work, breaking pavement and excavation for utility installation. Work is scheduled Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 5 PM with occasional overnight and weekend work.
Here's how you can stay up to date on Waterfront Seattle construction: Head to Waterfront Seattle's website for more information and to sign up for email updates. Text "WFSCN" to 474747 to receive text updates. You may also contact Waterfront Seattle via email or by phone at (206) 499-8040.
4th Ave Mobility Improvements Project  
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) 4th Ave Mobility Improvements Project  will extend the two-way protected bike lane south along 4th Ave to the 2nd Ave protected bike, lane (via Dilling and Yesler Way) as early as spring 2021. They are currently accepting public comment and input on this project. While the Alliance supports projects that improve mobility in Pioneer Square, we are urging the city to take a more holistic approach to planning. SDOT wants to hear from you about how you get around and what your business and building needs are as they continue the design. 

We have requested that SDOT proceed with this project in coordination with the Alliance for Pioneer Square's Northeast Pioneer Square Framework Plan beginning in 2021. You can request SDOT work on this project in collaboration with neighborhood stakeholders and partners through this process in your comments. Without this coordination, there is risk to impacting parking, loading, buses, and valuable access to your businesses and properties. You can contact SDOT with comments questions at or 206-771-0481.
Pioneer Square
Areaways Program

SDOT recently implemented a strict vehicle weight limitation, increased commercial vehicle enforcement, and modified commercial vehicle load zone locations beyond the 1st Ave corridor.

Curb lane restrictions on S Jackson St are currently in place that effectively close the street to heavy vehicles between 1st Ave S and 2nd Ave S. South Main St is open to local access for deliveries (unless otherwise restricted by posted signs) following the removal of the decommissioned trolley platform near Occidental Square.

For more information, please visit the Seattle Department of Transportation's website or contact the SDOT Areaways team at or 206-684-3760. Additionally, you can stay up to date with the latest project information by signing up for SDOT's project email list.
Construction Roundup

(Note: Most construction has resumed after being paused due to COVID-19.)

Best Western Annex 

West Seattle High-Rise Bridge To Be Repaired
In mid-November, Mayor Durkan announced that SDOT will move forward with the rapid repair option for the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge rather than building a replacement. SDOT closed the bridge in March after cracks were discovered during a routine inspection.

The rapid repair option could cost as much as $47 million in upfront construction, another $50 million in traffic mitigation and an additional $10 million for low bridge repair. If all goes well, the main artery to the west side will open to traffic in mid-2022. Learn more about the West Seattle high rise bridge safety program here.
Occidental Square Park Pavilion Construction Update
In June of 2020, construction began on a graceful new wood and glass pavilion in Occidental Square at 117 S Washington Street in Pioneer Square. The pavilion, designed by Olson Kundig Architects, replaces the former kiosk at the south end of the square, with a larger information and concierge center for enhanced park activation. The new wood and glass pavilion is designed with a glass roof that can serve as an outdoor classroom, a stage, a dining area and most importantly a covered space for use by the public. The project construction is led by Schuchart.

The pavilion’s public opening celebration is planned for Spring 2021, when construction fencing can come down and large gatherings are allowed under the guidance of Public Health - Seattle & King County. Additional information regarding the opening of the Occidental Square pavilion will be communicated in Spring 2021. Funding for this park project has been provided by donors to Seattle Parks Foundation in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Alliance for Pioneer Square, and the Downtown Seattle Association.

For more information about the project please visit or contact Garrett Farrell at or 206-233-7921.
Compass Housing Alliance opens
COVID compliant permanent shelter
in Pioneer Square
The Compass Housing Alliance has opened an enhanced shelter in the historic Compass Center building in Pioneer Square. Featuring more than 150 COVID-compliant shelter spaces, Otto’s Place welcomed its first guests on December 1, 2020.

Work began in August, at the Compass Center building, to extensively remodel four floors and to accommodate the relocation of Compass’s largest emergency shelter program, Compass at First Presbyterian and Compass’s transitional men’s program. Enhancements to the building include individual living spaces (spread at least six feet apart), separated solid walls, individual storage lockers for personal belongings, upgraded showers and restrooms, improved air systems, community spaces and a commercial kitchen. Compass’s enhanced shelter model is focused on offering case management services to assist guests with finding permanent housing.

Speaking of the new shelter spaces, Compass Housing Interim Alliance Executive Director Mary Steele said, “Otto’s Place will be the heart of our Compass Center building. We thought it fitting to name this new emergency housing program after our founder, Pastor Otto Karlstrom." She added that enhanced shelter was only part of this multifaceted, unique service hub at the Compass Center building. "We not only offer enhanced shelter, but community services that touch the lives of more than 13,000 individuals a year.”

The Compass Center features a hygiene center offering showers and laundry, a day center offering
housing navigation, access to medical care, and safe refuge, and the Client Service Office offering
banking and mail services which is believed to be the only trauma-informed banking and mail program
of its kind in the United States.

Learn more about the new changes coming to Compass Center here.
Pioneer Square Residents' Council Neighborhood Loyalty Program
The Pioneer Square Residents’ Council seeks to partner with neighborhood cafes, restaurants, and bars to encourage residents to eat and drink at Pioneer Square businesses as part of a Neighborhood Loyalty Program.

The Pioneer Square Residents’ Council has proposed working with neighborhood businesses to offer discounts, such as 10% off, for residents when they mention what building they live in when purchasing goods.

If your business is interested in partnering with the Pioneer Square Residents’ Council on the Neighborhood Loyalty Program, email Chris Woodward at
BloodWorks Northwest Pop-up Drive
at T-Mobile Park
Bloodworks Northwest is once again partnering with the Seattle Mariners to bring a pop-up donor center to T-Mobile Park's Ellis Pavilion Room. Local blood supplies are fast declining and there is higher blood demand as COVID-19 numbers surge.

In order to maintain social distancing guidelines, the drive is by appointment only which can be be scheduled here. Alternatively, you can contact Bloodworks Northwest scheduling department at 1-800-398-7888 or visit to book your appointment.

Book now and enjoy Mariners giveaways such as bobbleheads, caps, batting gloves and more. Masks and face coverings are required for each visit and free donor parking is available. 
Business News and Updates
COVID-19 Resources for Pioneer Square Small Business

The Alliance for Pioneer Square recognizes the public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 virus on Seattle’s small business community. We have compiled a series of resources intended to assist small business owners, managers, and employees minimize the public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 virus on themselves and their community. We will revise this and all associated pages with more information as it becomes available- please check back for updates.

Press Highlights

(Interview with Judith Rinehart , Director of J. Rinehart Gallery in Pioneer Square)
(KING 5)

Restaurant & Retail News:

(Seattle Met)

Arts & Culture News:

(The Seattle Times)

(The Seattle Times)
Stay Engaged!
Find us on Facebook

Are you a resident or business owner in the neighborhood? The Alliance for Pioneer Square recently created a Facebook page. This page will communicate resident and business owner specific news/information that to compliment our more general Pioneer Square Facebook page.
Alliance For Pioneer Square | 206.667.0687