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January 8, 2018
A small bit of Pine Street — between Third and Fourth avenues and across from the Westlake Tunnel Station at Macy's — opens today as Pine Street Plaza.
It has bistro seating, food trucks, games, art and an information booth staffed by the Downtown Seattle Association.
The 3,000-square-foot plaza at 300 Pine St. is between the curb and a new bike lane, which was created by removing some angled parking spots.
People perceive the area around Westlake Park as having illicit activity, said Rhoades Clark, DSA communications and marketing specialist. The DSA, under a contract with the city of Seattle, has activated the park to make it more inviting, he said, and that is the idea with this plaza.
“We're aware of the public perception of that area,” he said. “Our theory is that by activating these spaces everyone feels comfortable to enjoy them.”
Additionally, Clark said, “I think a lot of people have problems with the homeless community in the area, (but) we're not trying to kick anyone out,” just add to the mix of people there.
He said the park/plaza initiatives are part of a greater effort by local agencies and DSA to improve the area along Third Avenue around Pike and Pine streets. “We anticipate that this activation will be a jump-start to continued activation on the Macy's side,” he said.
The grand opening of the city-owned Pine Street Plaza will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will include refreshments, live music and a mural by Sarah Robbins called Faces of Seattle that depicts famous local attractions with peek-through spaces for faces.
The plaza is part of Seattle Department of Transportation's Pavement to Parks initiative and DSA's ongoing efforts downtown.
SDOT designed the blue and yellow plaza pavement, and will maintain the planters and manage the food trucks.
DSA's staffing, activities, future artwork and general maintenance of the plaza is funded by the Metropolitan Improvement District. The MID will clean and tidy the space, and SDOT will take care of graffiti and major damage.
DSA is a membership organization that advocates for issues it said are important to downtown and the city, including transportation, economic development and the urban experience.
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Lynn Porter can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.