Pike Place Market has long been the jewel of Seattle—110 years next month to be exact. I live just five blocks away from the Market, and I relish my time selecting fresh fruit and flowers from market vendors every week. Seattle is fortunate, indeed, to have such a vibrant, historic piece of our legacy for all to enjoy.
Last week Pike Place opened the MarketFront, expanding a dream that market advocates and planners have been working on for 40 years. Absolutely stunning, the MarketFront includes:
- 30,000 square feet of open public space encompassing a public plaza and viewing deck,
- 47 new rooftop day stalls for our local artists and farmers,
- 12,000 square-feet of local shops and restaurants,
- 40 new units of low income, senior housing,
- The Market Commons, a neighborhood center with expanded access to social services; and
- Public art installations throughout, highlighting local and regional artists.
- And definitely a great addition: a new open air local brewery!
The MarketFront development is just one of the brilliant phases of the Pike Place Market and Waterfront overhaul we are seeing unfold.
When the Highway 99 tunnel project is completed—expected to open in 2019 — the Viaduct will come down and the Pike Place Market pedestrian traffic will connect west to the Seattle Aquarium via a newly designed land bridge; and the Market will also become a hub connecting the new Convention Center and Capitol Hill to the east via a new ped/bike corridor.
Thousands of people who visit the Market find their way to the Waterfront, and already enjoy the widened sidewalks with implanted glass bricks providing light to marine life below. Our Waterfront will ultimately be greened up with a thousand more trees and native plants; it will connect numerous parks and viewpoints stretching from Pioneer Square to Belltown and beyond to South Lake Union. I have been, and remain committed to ensuring this space is exciting through all seasons, and is Age Friendly: accessible to everyone irrespective of age or ability.
We who live, work, and visit Pike Place Market are benefiting greatly from the vision many have embraced over the decades. I am immensely grateful for all the hard work and good cheer of Pike Place Market Executive Director Ben Franz-Knight and the entire Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, the Pike Place Market Foundation, and all the generous donors and community members who rallied to make this long-standing vision a beautiful reality.
Make sure to swing by and visit soon!