Creating a BIA in PhinneyWood

Limitless Potential

Small Businesses are the cornerstone of the Phinney and Greenwood neighborhoods (“PhinneyWood”) and the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) is proud to have the expertise and long history of helping local businesses succeed and thrive.

The PNA is positioned to build upon more than four decades of success and its support of local businesses and residents.

Through the creation of a Business Improvement Area (BIA), the PNA will be well-equipped to help local businesses navigate challenges and further program and activate this vibrant set of neighborhoods. An assessment area with its own ratepayer board with sustainable, dedicated revenue will partner with the PNA to serve all those who live, work and play in PhinneyWood.

PhinneyWood Business Improvement Area (BIA)

We aim to establish a Business Improvement Area (BIA) to support the community’s vision of a vibrant district. The Phinneywood BIA will be a sustainable, nimble organization that will accomplish its vision through employment of the following services:

  • PhinneyWood is a collection of unique neighborhoods built around a thriving and dynamic business corridor; we imagine a future PhinneyWood that remains a safe and welcoming community, beloved and celebrated by residents and visitors alike.
  • Supporting local businesses through public events, business-to-business connections, promotion and technical assistance
  • Supporting policies that create a more vibrant, walkable, and safe commercial district that attracts more customers from within and outside of the neighborhood
  • Lead neighborhood and regional events that attract people from a wide geographic area to Phinneywood, supporting local businesses and building community
  • Marketing and promotion with effective branding and signage that represents the Phinneywood area and helps to bring wider recognition of this unique, and thriving area of Seattle
  • Grafitti removal and street cleaning services that maintain a welcoming, healthy, and safe environment Neighborhood beautification efforts that support a welcoming aesthetic and a functional use of space

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a BIA?

A “Business Improvement Area” (BIA) is a funding mechanism for business district revitalization and management. Local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of their commercial district. There are 12 BIAs in Seattle, including one in our neighboring Ballard.

Why are we proposing a BIA for Phinney-Greenwood?

Being a vibrant thriving community means having a successful business district at its heart. In light of the pandemic our businesses are facing unknowns we have never anticipated. Now is the right time to move toward a model that assures a funding source for neighborhood business vitality.   

What are the boundaries for the Phinney-Greenwood BIA?

For brick-and-mortar businesses, the preliminary proposed boundaries are from A La Mode Pies on 59th and Phinney Ave N to the former Safeway building being developed on 87th and Greenwood Ave N. It would also include much of N 85th St, from 3rd Avenue NW to Linden Ave N

What about PNA Business Members outside of that boundary, and home-based businesses?

Non brick-and-mortar businesses and those outside the BIA boundaries could still join the BIA as members. It is imperative that we keep these long-standing relationships and vital community partners as part of the Phinney-Greenwood BIA ecosystem.

Who would pay for a Phinney-Greenwood BIA?

That will be determined by a Steering Committee and approved by the Executive Director and Board of Directors of the PNA, as well as the PNA Business Advisory Group. There are several assessment models, including property value, business square footage, and flat rates that could be applied to business owners and property owners.

Who will be on the Steering Committee?

The Committee will be stakeholders for the business district, including property owners, business owners, non-profit entities, home-based businesses, and community members. It is vital that this BIA is created to meet the needs of the community first and foremost. The lens we will make our decisions through are Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. We will be intentional about reaching out to our most marginalized communities to participate.

How does a BIA get approved?

Once the assessment model is finalized, 60% of the rate payers must agree to be assessed before the city will consider the legislation to form the BIA. To be clear, that 60% is representative of the monetary assessment, not of the total number of businesses and property owners (i.e. – if a single property owner agrees to be assessed, and their property value is 10% of the total assessment, then that equals 10% agreement in the BIA).

How does the money get to the BIA once it is formed?

The City collects the assessments on behalf of the BIA and reimburses monthly expenses. 100% of the assessment goes to the BIA and the City does not take a portion.

What value will a BIA bring to businesses and property owners?

Greenwood-Phinney is a unique and highly desired business district in transition. The BIA will provide the entire business district services and activities that will not only help us through this transition, but also continue to enhance the commercial viability and vibrance. One huge difference would be that all brick and mortar businesses within the BIA footprint would be included and represented.

What will the BIA do with the assessments?

Funds will provide services for the mutual benefit of the businesses and/or properties being assessed. Continuing the current work of the PNA Business Group in supporting businesses and managing events (Rainbow Hop, Hunger Goblin, The Bite of PhinneyWood, Health & Wellness Fair, etc). These new funds can also be used for Clean and Safe Programs, Marketing and Promotion, Business and Economic Development, Public Realm Improvements and Planning, Advocacy, Professional Management and Organizational Development, and more.

Who runs and governs the BIA?

The BIA would have an Executive Director and possibly some additional employees based on what the Steering Committee and stakeholders decide on the priorities of the business district are, as well as the size of the assessment. Each BIA is governed by a Ratepayer’s Advisory Board that are responsible for creating bylaws and making key decisions on programs and services, budgets, goals, policies, and staffing. The Board submits an annual workplan and budget to the ratepayers and City for review and approval.

Who will comprise the Ratepayer Advisory Board?

This will be decided on by the Steering Committee and a part of the Value Proposition that will be presented to businesses and property owners for approval. The Ratepayer Advisory Board will represent the ratepayers and stakeholders in the business community and will be nominated and elected through the EDI lens.

Will the Phinney-Greenwood BIA still be a part of the PNA?

The BIA intends to be physically and logistically housed under the roof of the PNA continuing to build on the previous work of the Business Membership Program.

So why is this the right time to create a BIA?

Now more than ever, our businesses need support. The pandemic is taking its toll, and it is apparent both locally and nationally that small businesses are particularly vulnerable right now – and will be for years to come. The best way to get more resources and support to our businesses is through a sustainable funding model founded on EDI principals and executed by a team who knows the business district intimately, with the trust of the owners, employees, and managers. The BIA model it is the best way to achieving a stable and supported business district for years to come.

 

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6532 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

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