Seattle’s commercial market to get big boost

Seattle's waterfront is to undergo a major transformation.

Everyone has likely heard of Seattle's Pike Place Market, whether or not they've been to the city before, but that area is about to get a new addition that will boost its commercial market. It will be expanded with a $1 billion addition called the Pike Place Waterfront Entrance, which will get underway in summer 2014 and be completed in late 2015.

The project will include a 300-stall underground parking garage, a four-story affordable housing development with 36 units and some retail and restaurant space, and stalls where vendors can sell their goods. It is being helmed by the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority to ensure that the area remains a city landmark and key connection between Seattle's downtown and the waterfront.

The waterfront entrance will be located on the market's last underdeveloped parcel, which is now a city-owned parking lot. The 26-block-long promenade won't be built until the Alaskan Way Viaduct is demolished in 2016 and replaced with a $2.1 billion tunnel, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The project also includes terraces overlooking Elliott Bay.

"Goodbye, parking lot. Hello, organics, more stalls, a spectacular tie to the waterfront and views … that will make San Francisco jealous again," said Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden.

The area has a breathtaking backdrop of the Olympic mountains and sits on the eighth-largest port in the U.S., which provides more than 21,000 jobs, so the area's commercial development will be booming. The PDA also says the new entrance will provide additional public open space and easy pedestrian access to the unique waterfront.

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