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Ballard Coffee Works
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Ballard Avenue
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BalMar
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Ballard Maritime
Photo used courtesy of Shawn Shawhan

Pacific Fishermen Shipyard
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Ballard Bridge
Photo used courtesy of Mark Dunford

Bastille Cafe and Bar
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Railroad Bridge at the Locks
Photo used courtesy of Mark Dunford

Swedish/Ballard Campus
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Ballard: a neighborhood in transition

Ballard has become one of Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods. Every day new residents, new businesses and visitors come to Ballard and feel the energy of a neighborhood on the rise. When current residential construction projects are completed, the inventory in Ballard will have quadrupled in just six years.
Growth is positive, but issues surrounding growth are complex. Ballard needs a sustainably-funded leadership organization that has the vision and the resources to ensure central Ballard is a great place to live, shop, work, eat, and play – today, and for years to come. With those goals in mind, the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth was formed.

About the Partnership

In 2012, leaders representing Ballard’s business, maritime, community, cultural, and residential sectors created the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth (BPSG), and began a comprehensive strategic planning process to address key concerns and identify opportunities in central Ballard.
The BPSG recommended the creation of a new sustainably-funded leadership organization to implement the plan. This new entity, the Ballard Partnership, will replace the Ballard Chamber and will be staffed with full-time, highly-skilled professionals.

What is the Ballard Business Improvement Area?

To achieve the strategic vision, the BPSG has developed a comprehensive Business Improvement Area (BIA) proposal for Central Ballard. Known as the Ballard Partnership, the BIA will provide leadership and an aggressive work plan that supports the interests of commercial and residential property owners, residents, business owners and visitors in Central Ballard. This initiative has been endorsed by business and community leaders in Ballard.
SIDEBAR
Business Improvement Area defined
BIAs are special assessment districts that are established to maintain and enhance neighborhood business and residential districts. BIAs are a self-help mechanism whereby property owners choose to assess themselves to fund essential economic development, clean/healthy/safe, marketing and advocacy programs that help ensure the success of a neighborhood district. There are currently 9 BIAs active in Seattle. For more information on BIAs, refer to RCW Chapter 35.87A.
Ballard Business Improvement Area at a glance
The Ballard Partnership has identified specific issues and challenges to be addressed by the BIA:
1. Clean Environment: Maintain a clean environment in Ballard, especially in light of recent growth and development.
Sidewalk sweeping in primary zone (3x/week) and secondary zone (1x/week)
Periodic pressure washing
Graffiti removal on specified property
Advance plans for a public restroom facility
2. Advocacy, Urban Design and Transportation: Represent the Ballard Core on advocacy issues that are of critical importance to the district.
Create an “Urban Design Framework”
Transportation planning and advocacy
Advocate for needed services (police, mental health, detox)
3. Business Development and Retention: Develop and retain businesses in a variety of sectors that create a vital, balanced Ballard.
Business attraction
Activate vacant storefronts
Economic development to attract new jobs and maintain economic balance
4. Marketing and Promotions: Create an informed communications platform that positions Ballard as a destination to live, work, shop, eat and play.
Branding program
Website development and digital marketing strategies
Create “Summer Nights in Ballard Commons” event series
Collaboration with the Scandinavian community to preserve and promote Ballard’s Nordic heritage
5. Public Safety/Public Health Enhancement: Ensure that Ballard is a safe and healthy environment.
Advocate for additional police services
Engage community task force to address crime
Address homelessness, mental health, and car camping
6. Programs and Networking: Provide an opportunity for educational programs and networking opportunities.
Monthly lunch and networking events
Special events and lecture series
Weekly newsletter and communication outreach
7. Ballard SeafoodFest: Management and oversight of Ballard’s signature community festival, a forty-year tradition.
8. Organization Management: Provide efficient program administration, financial and contract management services.

Next steps

Ballard property owners located within the BIA boundaries will be receiving an official notification from the Ballard Partnership that describes the initiative in detail, including the proposed assessment for their property
Property owners are requested to review and return their signed petitions by October 10
Given the required signatures for approval, the city begins a review process in November
If the BIA is approved, implementation begins in the Spring of 2015

Reference documents

The following documents cover the BIA process in greater detail.
List of Supporters
Map
Frequently Asked Questions
Business Plan
Petition

Background

Ballard has become one of Seattle’s most popular, and fastest growing neighborhoods. Growth is positive, but issues surrounding growth are complex. To ensure that central Ballard is a great place to live, shop, work, eat, and play – today, and for years to come - the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth was formed.


About the Partnership

In 2012, leaders representing Ballard’s business, maritime, community, cultural, and residential sectors created the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth (BPSG), and began a comprehensive strategic planning process to address key concerns and identify opportunities in central Ballard. 

The BPSG recommended the creation of a sustainably-funded leadership organization to implement the new plan. This new entity, the Ballard Partnership, will replace the Ballard Chamber and will be staffed with full-time, highly-skilled professionals.


The Ballard Business Improvement Area

To achieve the strategic vision, the BPSG has developed a comprehensive Business Improvement Area (BIA) proposal for Central Ballard. Known as the Ballard Partnership, the BIA will provide leadership and an aggressive work plan that supports the interests of commercial and residential property owners, residents, business owners and visitors in Central Ballard. This initiative has been endorsed by business and community leaders in Ballard. 

There are currently 9 BIAs active in Seattle. For more information on BIAs, refer to RCW Chapter 35.87A.

A closer look

These are the specific issues to be addressed by the BIA:

Clean Environment:

• Sidewalk sweeping (two times a week) and alley cleaning

• Removal and composting of leaves in late fall

• Graffiti program

• Engagement with Parks Dept. to ensure parks within the boundary are maintained and activated

Public Safety/Public Health Enhancement

• Mental health/social services outreach

• Partnerships with SPD for improved safety

• Partnerships with SDOT, SPU for clean/safe enhancements

• Create public safety and health committee

• Explore creating a “Community Ambassador” program for Ballard

Business Development and Retention:

• Commercial business attraction

• Retail recruitment

• Small business engagement

• Business advocacy

• Support business growth through marketing and promotions campaign

Marketing and Promotions:

• Create Visit Ballard (visitballard.com)

• Support Visit Ballard through marketing and media relations

• Holiday and retail promotion

• Holiday lighting program

• Arts and cultural promotion

• Create event programs to support neighborhood and activate parks

Advocacy, Urban Design and Transportation:

• Continue work of Urban Design and Transportation Committee

• Advocate on behalf of the Alliance for issues such as: transportation/transit improvements, public safety, parking, design guidelines, small business development, infrastructure improvements, and social service expansion

• Partnerships with key city departments: OPCD, SDOT, SDOT, OED and DCI

Programs and Networking:

• Monthly lunch and networking events

• Special events and lecture series

• Weekly newsletter and communication outreach

Ballard SeafoodFest:
• Management and oversight of Ballard’s signature community festival, a forty-year tradition.

Organization Management:
• Provide efficient program administration, financial and contract management services.


What happens next?

The Ballard Improvement Area initiatives will commence in Spring of 2017.  The Ballard Chamber of Commerce will continue providing up-to-date coverage of the events and activities pertaining to the BIA and Visit Ballard through a variety of communication methods.


Reference documents

The following documents cover the BIA process in greater detail. 
List of supporters
Map
Frequently Asked Questions
BIA business plan
Petition