The perennial Seattle destination, Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continually operating public emporiums in the U.S., will soon get a new addition. In late February, the Seattle City Council approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority that will fund the development of a 0.75-acre piece of land that is currently a parking lot at the western edge of the market.
The market, established in 1907, covers seven acres—a labyrinthine complex of food stalls, craft booths, local shops, as well as social services and low-income housing. It lies along the western edge of central Seattle, near Puget Sound, where a portion of the waterfront is undergoing a redevelopment project that will remove the Alaskan Way Viaduct, burying SR 99 underground, while opening up space for an elevated street, paths, and parks.
Renderings of the project, included in a report to the city by Seattle architecture firm Miller Hull Partnership, depict retail space, restaurants, housing, parking, and landscaping filling the site formally referred to as PC-1 North. The concept also emphasizes formal pedestrian access to the waterfront and views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and Mt. Rainier (on a clear day, that is). A variety of circulation options guide viewers down to the water. A gradually sloped ramp, a network of stairs, and even a series of slides provide market goers with more holistic, direct, (and fun) ways to get closer to the water. Construction will be divided into two phases, with an estimated completion in 2018 to coincide with the opening of the central waterfront redevelopment project.