Seattle’s Waterfront Project to Transform Japantown
Anticipation of KODA's arrival is further heightened by the unparalleled rennaissance taking shape in the International District and along Seattle's waterfront.
One of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods stretching back to the late 1800s is undergoing a major face-lift that will embrace and celebrate the city’s past, present, and future. The “Waterfront Seattle” program, which spans the waterfront from Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood to Belltown, will revamp an underused area cluttered with parking lots, old tourist attractions and a fish-processing facility into a mixed-use development. The rebuild project is expected to be completed in late 2019.
"The waterfront transformation is a gamechanger for both Pioneer Square and the International District," said Dean Jones, President and CEO of Realogics Sotheby's International Realy -- the listing firm representing KODA Condominiums. "For the first time in more than a century these communities will have a greater connection to Elliott Bay and our waterfront will evolve from a working port separated by a noisy concrete divide to be a world-class amenity for quiet enjoyment by local residents and visitors alike."
In addition to the waterfront project, the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) is working on updates to two of Seattle’s most iconic areas – Pike Street right in front of the market, and the open-area park on Occidental Avenue in Pioneer Square.
Called the Pike Pine Renaissance: Act One, it is a multi-year effort to improve the pedestrian experience and connect Pike and Pine to the waterfront. For the first time in 40 years, Pike Place Market has grown with the “MarketFront.” A site built for Market producers in the early 20th century, the expansion reclaims the site for farmers and producers, and provides a dynamic public plaza with views of Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, table space for farmers, craftspeople and artisan purveyors, retail space, low-income housing, a neighborhood center and parking.
For Pioneer Square, the DSA aims to add a park and a timber pavilion to the brick area on Occidental Square between Main Street and South Jackson Street. The activation of Occidental Square Park, beginning in 2015, has galvanized significant interest in the park. Two separate initiatives have moved forward. The first is a children’s play area. The second is a new Timber Pavilion and concierge station.
Jones believes Seattle will soon have a waterfront experience that will rival West Coast peer cities like Vancouver, BC and San Francisco.
"It's easy to see the benefit that provided to nearby residential enclaves," adds Jones. "I believe our homebuyers at KODA are perfectly positioned."
In 2017, the City of Seattle completed major elements of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project, replacing the aging, failing seawall along the waterfront and improving the lost nearshore environment. The new seawall improves the salmon migration corridor, meets current seismic standards, and will act as the foundation of Seattle’s future waterfront.
As part of the project plans, a newly built Pier 62 will offer steel support piles and a textured concrete platform deck—two alterations that will improve the structural safety and integrity of the pier and the marine habitat below. Additionally, Waterfront Seattle will install a new railing, build a floating dock for public use, add utilities to support public events and install solar-powered LED lighting into the deck.
After the new State Route 99 tunnel opens to drivers, the Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle's waterfront will be removed to make way for a new surface street built by the City of Seattle. This project will help transform Seattle’s waterfront while removing a vulnerable structure from our road network.