Well Done, Downtown Seattle Association! (And Congrats, Again, Tom Douglas!)

The Downtown Seattle Association’s Annual Meeting was held Tuesday, June 12th at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, and it was well done!  The opening video featured outgoing DSA Chair Jim Hendricks really letting his hair down in a “Sound of Music” inspired short featuring Seattle’s Space Needle playing the Swiss Alps.  It was great and all those cranes really reinforced the feeling that Seattle is in PLAY!  DSA President & CEO Kate Joncas followed with an overview of the accomplishments of the past year, and set the stage for discussion of the DSA’s 5 year strategic plan and description of the 5 truly transformative projects shaping Seattle’s future.

The strategic initiatives of Economic Development, Transportation and Urban Environment were then introduced, including:

  • The Waterfront renovation (shout out to Matt Griffin, and a brief hint about a non-profit currently being formed to continue this work);
  • South Downtown (that would be Pioneer Square and the Stadium District);
  • South Lake Union and its continuing development;
  • The 50th Anniversary of the Seattle Center and its ongoing upgrades; and
  • The Renaissance of the Pike/Pine Corridor (renewal of Pacific Place and the Flagship Nordstrom and creation of a beautiful pedestrian corridor between the waterfront, through the Convention Center, and east to Capitol Hill), including a vision for 3rd Avenue that would eliminate blight and work to solve parking issues.

Finally, it was time to learn the recipient of this year’s “Downtown Champion” award.  Ada Healey of Vulcan Real Estate did the introduction and it quickly became apparent that it could be none other than famed Seattle restaurateur, Tom Douglas.  Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden followed with a reading of the City’s official proclamation, Tom Graff (Ewing & Clark) reminisced about real estate fun and folly, and Seattle Park & Rec’s Adrienne Caver-Hall shared a Salmon-Chanted Evening video as performed by one of Tom’s own employees, Katy Acker, celebrating the work done by Tom and his organization in support of Seattle’s Parks.  Finally, the Man of the Hour took the stage, made a little good-natured fun at some of the presenters, and accepted the award from last year’s winner, former Seattle Mayor, Charles Royer, thanking the DSA for the recognition, and reiterating his commitment to community and those who support it.

Incoming DSA Board Chair, Jack McCullough closed the meeting with a series of examples of how far Downtown Seattle has come in just the last five years – hard-fought progress in the face of a difficult recession.   After that, everyone was invited to drink champagne and feast on a variety of wraps, rolls and buns prepared by Tom Douglas Restaurant in the foyer and mezzanine of the 5th Avenue (just after 5 p.m. – pretty impressive!)  It was a terrific annual meeting, and highlighted just how lucky we are to be in Seattle.