The MID Business Plan, approved in 2013, identifies a number of services the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) funds for ratepayers. These services are detailed below, by category, as well as key program highlights and proposed additional investments for 2016/17.
Keep Downtown Clean
The MID funds daily sweeping, graffiti removal, alley cleaning and pressure washing services, as well as leadership in public streetscape maintenance.
- Provide daily cleaning services, including:
- Sweeping sidewalks and curbs
- Remove debris, including after human encampments and human and animal waste removal
- Remove graffiti tags on public property and repaint parking pay stations
- Clean services in operation Mon 6AM-2:30 PM; Tues-Fri 6AM-9PM; Sat 7AM-9PM; and Sun 7AM-3:30PM (peak season)
- Sidewalk power washing up to twice yearly
- Remove and compost leaves in the fall
- Supervise court ordered service
- Use mechanized sweeping and cleaning to increase efficiency
- Conduct daily reporting
Clean Services Highlights
- Emptied 830,843 trash buckets in 2015, a 55 percent increase since 2013.
- In its first year in operation (2015), the “Tryke” cleaned 10,783 human and animal waste incidents.
- In 2015, removed 3,542 pay station graffiti incidents.
Proposed 16/17 Clean Service Investments
- Hire 15 additional Clean Ambassadors and expand service in the afternoon and evening
- Purchase new mechanized cleaning equipment for increased coverage and improved efficiency
- Increase power washingservice delivery
Proposed 16/17 Clean Expenses – $4,115,572
Non-Assessment Income for 16/17 Clean Services – $97,040 (2% of Clean Services funding)
Make Downtown Safe & Welcoming
The MID funds daily safety patrols throughout the district. MID Outreach connects individuals in need with services, housing and shelter.
- Safety services in operation Mon-Fri 7:30AM-9:30PM and Sat-Sun 8:30AM-7PM
- Outreach services in operation Mon-Fri 7:30AM-6PM
- Dedicate $300,000 per year to MID-wide police resources
- Provide (12) 4-person, 6 hour SPD bike shifts per month, focusing on neighborhood hot spots
- Work with partners to clean up illegal encampments
- Focus outreach to the most vulnerable and visible people living outside or with mental illness
- Partner with SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator on ratepayer education and safety issues
- Partner with Union Gospel Mission to fund a downtown mental health professional
Safety & Outreach Highlights
- In 2015, safety ambassadors responded to 13,718 sit/lie/pedestrian interference violations, a 62 percent increase since 2013.
- The Outreach program made 1,300 outreach contacts with Downtown individuals in need in 2015.
- In 2015, disposed of 5,395 hypodermic needles, a 258 percent increase since 2013.
Proposed 16/17 Safety & Outreach Investments
- Hire 5 additional Safety Ambassadors and expand service hours
Proposed 16/17 Safety & Outreach Expenses – $3,437,355
Non-Assessment Income for 16/17 Safety & Outreach – $499,357 (15% of Safety & Outreach funding)
Public Space Activation, Marketing & Communications
Activate Public Spaces and Promote Downtown
Activate Westlake and Occidental Parksthrough regular daily programming, park staffing, security, events, and investments in park amenities.
- Manage and activate Westlake and Occidental Parks
- Produce summer concerts
- Produce Holiday and Summer campaigns
- Provide fundsfor public space programming and beautification
- Conduct outreach and communications to MID ratepayers
Public Space Activation, Marketing & Communications Highlights
- Observed more than 400,000 people visiting Westlake and Occidental Parks (June 2015 – May 2016).
- According to a survey conducted in Aug/Sept 2015, 95 percent of survey respondents plan to return to either Westlake or Occidental Parks.
- Westlake and Occidental Parks hosted 614 hours of live music in 2015.
Proposed 16/17 Public Space Activation Investments
- Continue managing and activation Westlake and Occidental Parks
- Expand programming and staffing efforts to Freeway,Bell Street, Waterfront and Cascade Parks; supported in part through City grant funding
Proposed 16/17 Public Space Activation Expenses – $2,369,653
Non-Assessment Income for 16/17 Public Spaces – $1,029,055 (43% of Public Space funding)
Recruit and Retain Businesses and Jobs
The MID maintains extensive economic and market data on Downtown’s economic competitiveness and provides information to brokers, developers, and policymakers. The MID also funds efforts to retain and recruit businesses to locate Downtown.
- Provide businesses and property owners access to MID databases and market information
- Manage Retail Recruitment Program
- Collect data and conduct economic trend analysis
- Partner with the Office of Economic Development and enterprise Seattle
Business Development & Market Research Highlights
- Conducted business outreach and retention meetings with more than 160 businesses since July 2013.
- Conducted summer and holiday pedestrian counts at 18 different sites throughout the MID
Proposed 16/17 Business Development & Market Research Investments
- Continue business recruitment and retention efforts
- Expand retail recruitment program
Proposed 16/17 Business Development Expenses – $714,988
Non-Assessment Income for 16/17 Business Dev. – $40,000 (6% of Business Dev. funding)
Increase Access and Mobility for Visitors, Commuters and Residents
The MID funds commute services for property owners and tenants, including transit pass sales and transportation seminars. The MID also funds promotion of a low-cost parking program in Downtown to attract visitors.
- Provide property owners and tenants access to consulting services
- Provide expertise on the benefits of bike travel and bike facilities to property owners
- Provide ratepayers access to custom transit pass recommendations
- Manage low-cost parking campaign; coordinate participating garages
Transit, Bike & Parking Services Highlights
- According to 2014 Mode Split Survey, Downtown drive alone rates decreased to 31.2 percent.
- In 2015, garages participating in Commute Seattle’s parking program saw a utilization increase of 14 percent compared to 2014.
Proposed 16/17 Transit, Bike and Parking Investments
- Expand consulting services and custom transit pass recommendations
- Expand Downtown low-cost parking program
Proposed 16/17 Transit & Parking Expenses – $371,737
Non-Assessment Income for 16/17 Transit & Parking – $928,200 (250% of Transit & Parking funding) *
* Figure includes contracts with the City of Seattle, King County and WSDOT that are managed through Commute Seattle’s program and budget to increase transit use and promote visitor parking.
Excellent Program Management and Administration
Provide high quality program administration and excellent customer service, as well as financial and contract management services. Proven ability to effectively implement new strategic initiatives.
- Support and manage MID Ratepayer Advisory Board
- Conduct Annual Audit
- Government relations in support of MID funded programs
- Provide excellent customer service and effective program implementation
Proposed 16/17 Management & Operations Investments
- Improve and expand Times Square Office and Tower Building to accommodate growth
- Implement new work order/ data tracking system for improved ratepayer communications and efficiency gains
Proposed 16/17 Management & Operations Expenses – $986,901
Non-Assessment Income for 16/17 Mgmt. & Operations – $169,029 (17% of Operations funding)
Establishing the MID and Purpose of a Business Improvement Area (BIA)
Enacted by City Council and Mayor in August 1999, and renewed for 10 years in May of 2013, the Downtown Business Improvement Area, doing business as the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), is funded by more than 1,200 Downtown property owners.
The mission of the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) is to provide comprehensive management tools and resources to enable downtown neighborhoods to collectively and efficiently address common problems and needs. By focusing on five primary needs — cleaning, public safety, marketing, economic development and transportation — the MID is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that will attract visitors, business and residents to Downtown Seattle. MID programs are intended to extend, enhance and fill gaps in existing municipal services.
The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) founded and manages MID operations. The MID is governed pursuant to the Revised Code of the State of Washington, Chapter on “Parking and Business Improvement Areas, 35.87A.”
The law includes provisions that:
- Allows BIAs to finance services ranging from security to cleaning, marketing to parking management, planning to special events.
- Allows revenue for improvements and services to be raised from a special assessment based upon benefits received from improvements and services.
- Requires petition support from property owners and/or businesses representing more than 60% of the assessments to be paid.
A BIA is a private sector initiated mechanism to manage the Downtown environment. It is financed by an assessment on properties and/or businesses that is imposed by the City Council at the request of the ratepayers. A BIA assessment is similar to the “Common Area Maintenance” fees found in suburban shopping malls and office parks. These funds are used to improve specific areas through increased maintenance, additional safety initiatives, local promotion, special events, research and development, transportation and parking, and other activities selected and managed by the local BIA Board to benefit the district.
The goal of the BIA is to make the area an attractive, safe and exciting place to live, work, shop and play. These services are designed to maintain and improve the overall viability of Downtown resulting in higher property values and sales. There are over 1,000 BIAs in existence across North America.