A group of potential rate payers discuss options.
Business Improvement Area Assistance Program
City of Seattle Office of Economic Development
Brian Scott has been working to create assessment districts to fund downtown and neighborhood revitalization since he helped author Oregon’s enabling legislation in 1985. This work includes dozens of communities in Oregon, as well as Portland’s ground-breaking Clean and Safe district in 1988.
Since 2007, BDS Planning & Urban Design has been working with the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to assist several Seattle neighborhoods in creating, renewing, and/or revising Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). BIAs are self-imposed assessments on property and/or business owners in a specific area to pay for services in the district such as security, maintenance, special events, marketing, beautification, and management. Creating or updating a BIA requires a detailed, parcel-by-parcel analysis of who owns what, and of individual motivations for the district. Using in-depth research, strategic communications, active facilitation, careful listening, and catalytic leadership, BDS helps individual districts craft work plans and funding strategies that are tailored to local needs.
BDS has helped to create new BIAs in the University District, Columbia City, SODO, and West Seattle neighborhoods and facilitated the renewal and expansion process for BIAs in Pioneer Square and downtown Seattle. BDS also led the process to pass Seattle’s most recent BIA, the Ballard Improvement Area, in the fall of 2016. Efforts to create or modify districts are currently underway in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, Capitol Hill, and SODO neighborhoods.
As part of the BIA Assistance Program, BDS researched, authored, and designed a revised, comprehensive edition of the City’s BIA handbook, Business Improvement Areas: At Work In Seattle. This comprehensive guide lays out the processes for creating, managing, and modifying a BIA, including various options for management structure, assessment mechanism, boundaries, and other considerations.
In 2016, BDS helped created the East Sprague BIA in Spokane, and we have played meaningful roles in BIAs in Edmonds, Oregon City, and several others cities in Washington and Oregon, as well.
Go HERE for full Handbook
Metropolitan Improvement District's Street Cleaning Team
April 27th 2015 passage of the expanded University District Business Improvement Area