Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth kicks off year-long initiative

The Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth (Partnership) officially launched its year-long initiative last month at Ballard Library. A group of Ballard community members and business leaders formed the Partnership to create a commercial revitalization plan for Ballard after the Chamber was awarded an “Only in Seattle” Grant in February.

According to the Ballard Chamber, the turnout at the kick-off meeting was impressive. “There are close to 50 community leaders  involved in this effort and the support for the Partnership shown at the meeting was exciting,” said Ballard Chamber Executive Director Mike Stewart.

The Partnership is engaging these community stakeholders to make a plan that will allow for future commercial growth in our neighborhood. The Partnership is overseen by a Leadership Group that represents stakeholders in the following sectors; retail merchants, residents, maritime/industrial businesses, restaurant/nightlife, major property owners, social services and Swedish Ballard Medical Center. “Our program works best when there is a diverse group at the table that can come together with one vision,” said Andrés Mantilla, Business Services Manager at the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development.

This Leadership Group will oversee four working groups formed to focus on key elements vital to the commercial revitalization plan. The working groups will focus on:

  • Business Retention and Development
  • Cleanliness/Health/Safety
  • Urban Design and Transportation
  • Marketing and Promotions

The Leadership Group and working groups are set to meet each month, with Ballard Chamber coordinating both the Leadership Group and the overall process. According to Stewart, the Leadership Group will focus on the overall direction of the project during their meetings. “The group will be figuring out long term partnerships and organizational frameworks and how to fund and sustain them,” said Stewart.

By the end of the year, the Partnership aim to have an overall organizational framework around the four working group areas. “Our goal is to have 5 -7 key recommendations to move forward with in terms of future investment and interest,” said Stewart.

Both Stewart and Mantilla are confident in the way the Partnership is coming up with the solutions to create a sustainable future in Ballard. “All members are coming to the Partnership in an open and candid manner. They need to know and have confidence that we can be extremely candid and open. These are working groups working through the different ideas,” said Stewart.

The Partnership will receive ongoing support and engagement from the City of Seattle and Sound Transit. The city departments that will be involved include the Department of Planning and Development, the Office of Economic Development, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Neighborhoods, and the SPD.

Updates on the progress of the Partnership can be seen at the Ballard Chamber website. We will keep readers updated with progress reports as the initiative develops this year.

Photos courtesy of Ballard Chamber.

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