Downtowns & Place Management Districts

Metropolitan Improvement District

Seattle, WA

Metropolitan Improvement District Renewal & Expansion

Project Details

Since the firm’s inception in 2009, Uncommon Bridges (as BDS Planning) has been an active partner with the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) and its Metropolitan Enhancement District (MID) which provides place management services to most of downtown Seattle. 

We facilitated strategic plans for the Downtown Seattle Association in 2011 and 2016, helping the organization refine its vision, mission, and values, as well as become a more inclusive and helpful partner to downtown Seattle’s many communities and neighborhoods, including several partner Business Improvement Areas.

In 2013, we were the lead process, technical, and outreach consultant for the MID’s renewal and expansion. This included extensive outreach to potential ratepayers in the Belltown neighborhood that ultimately led to a 40% expansion of the MID’s service area and budget. The Belltown outreach included dozens of residential condominium homeowners associations as they considered their interests in the MID’s services. The 2013 MID expansion dramatically increased the residential presence among MID stakeholders and ratepayers. It also helped fund a human service outreach and case management program geared toward helping people experiencing homelessness.   

In 2023, we again helped the DSA evaluate, renew, and expand the MID. This renewal was dominated by ratepayers grappling with post-pandemic challenges for office and retail occupancy, opioid addiction, mental health, and homelessness, and perceptions of downtown vitality and safety. The MID renewal (with a modest expansion) was overwhelmingly supported by ratepayers and unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council.

Our 15-year history as facilitation partners with DSA also includes the Pike-Pine Renaissance urban design vision, a Local Improvement District to fund a world-class waterfront park, and the facilitation of numerous sector-based workgroups on various initiatives, most recently the State of the Sector: Arts & Culture work group in 2023.

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