Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Ballard Coffee Works
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Swedish/Ballard Campus
Photo used courtesy of

Ballard Maritime
Photo used courtesy of Shawn Shawhan

Bastille Cafe and Bar
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Ballard Bridge
Photo used courtesy of Mark Dunford

Pacific Fishermen Shipyard
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Ballard Avenue
Photo used courtesy of Will Martin

Railroad Bridge at the Locks
Photo used courtesy of Mark Dunford

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.
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
Frequently Asked Questions
Business Plan

Ballard Improvement Area Approved - Chamber transitions to The Ballard Alliance on January 1, 2017

On October 7, 2016, the City of Seattle approved the creation of the Ballard Improvement Area (BIA). An initiative led by the Ballard Chamber, the BIA is a long-term, sustainably-funded leadership organization representing Ballard’s businesses, residents and property owners.

A seven-year program funded through assessments on commercial and residential properties in the Ballard core, the BIA also represents a strong leadership voice for Ballard. The BIA will implement programs and services that are critical to ensuring that Ballard remains a vibrant place to live, shop, work, eat and play.

On January 1, 2017, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce becomes The Ballard Alliance. As such The Ballard Alliance will administer the projects within the scope of the BIA, such as: Clean Streets and Graffiti Removal, Public Safety and Health Enhancement, Marketing and Promotions, Business Development and Advocacy/Urban Design/Transportation. BIA funds will be used only to support these identified programs.

Services currently provided by the Ballard Chamber will continue under The Ballard Alliance, including marketing, networking, programs and production of the Ballard SeafoodFest.

Interim Ratepayer Advisory Board Meeting - March 1, 2017

The first meeting of the interim ratepayer advisory board is March 1 at 9:00 a.m. Click for meeting details. View the meeting agenda.

Reference documents

Review the following documents for more detailed information.

Boundary Map - Outlines the boundary of the Ballard Improvement Area
2017 BIA Work Plan - Highlights the specific BIA work plan for 2017
• Ballard Alliance Transition - Highlights the transition of the Chamber into The Ballard Alliance
Governance Structure - Outlines the governance structure for the new organization
• Enacting Ordinance - Final ordinance enacted by the City of Seattle on October 7, 2016