FAQ

Q: What is Friends of Waterfront Seattle?
A: Friends of Waterfront Seattle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to be the partner to the City of Seattle to help build the park and ensure its lasting success. Following the public-benefit partnership model, we educate the public about the park and its benefits, raise philanthropic funds to build the park, and will partner with the City to steward and program the park long-term.

Friends’ goal is to make the central waterfront a public mixing ground where all communities can share cultural, recreational, and civic experiences in a beautiful environment. Waterfront Seattle / Friends is a founding member of the High Line Network, a movement in cities across the world to reclaim underutilized infrastructure and reimagine it as public space.

We would love to show you what Friends is doing today. Come explore the future park at our project showroom – Waterfront Space – located at 1400 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. We are open Wednesday – Sunday, 12:00  5:00 p.m.

Q: Are you a membership organization?
A: No we are not member based. Friends welcomes everyone who wants to get involved. Learn more about how you can support the park’s success here.

Q: What is Hot Spot?
A: In 2015, Friends launched Hot Spot, a public space activation program that provides free community events all summer in existing waterfront park between the Great Wheel and Seattle Aquarium.  Partnering with University of Washington, we created and installed a beautiful canopy, designed by architecture students, to support programs, draw people to the waterfront and provide some shade and protection from the elements.  Check out past and future events here. 

Q: Is this waterfront project really happening? 
A:  Yes, it’s happening! The Elliott Bay Seawall and Pike Place MarketFront are already complete. Next up:  Pier 62 Rebuild.

Q: What is happening now? 
A:. Friends is also working with partners to host community events, to enhance the waterfront experience now, and prepare for the future park. The first big piece of the park, Pier 62: The People’s Pier, is opening in 2019. For more on the progress of the project, see our timeline.

Q: When is this all going to be done? 
A: After the viaduct comes down in 2019 After the viaduct comes down in 2019, construction will commence on park features, with scheduled completed park opening 2022-23. Visit this page for more information on past and future milestones.

Q: Who designed the future waterfront park? 
A: James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), a world-renowned landscape architecture firm is committed to the innovative design of public spaces. JCFO also designed (or is in the process of designing): The High Line (NYC), the new Navy Pier (Chicago), Presidio Parklands (San Francisco), South Park Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (London), Fresh Kills Park (Staten Island), and many more.   JCFO’s design was informed by thousands of public comments and input from Seattleites throughout the city.

Q: How much is it going to cost? 
A: A diversified funding plan was developed with broad public input to ensure that the park could be accomplished without sacrificing other city priorities. Funds for the new waterfront park will come from a combination of: state funding for Alaskan Way, property owners contributing to construction costs via a Local Improvement District (LID), philanthropy, a voter approved seawall bond, and city funds.  The park spaces are funded primarily (75%) though the Local Improvement District and philanthropy. 

Q: Where is the money coming from? 
A: Funds for the new waterfront park will come from a combination of: WSDOT funding, Local Improvement District (LID), philanthropy, Seawall bond, Commercial Parking Tax, and other sources.

Q: What is the Local Improvement District (LID), how is it formed and when? 
A: For more information on LID, see the City’s website.

Q: Will there be bike lanes? 
A: Yes! The new Alaskan way will have designated tree lined bike paths, in addition to sidewalks and vehicle streets. 

Q: Will there be parking along the new waterfront? 
A: The City is working on ensuring the broadest multi-modal access for the new waterfront, and automobiles are one option. Already 300 new parking spaces in Pike Place Market Garage are open with street parking rates, the new Alaskan Way will have street parking, and the City has arrangements with several parking garages nearby to offer parking at street parking rates.

Q: Is the Alaskan Way surface street going to be 8 lanes? 
A: The new Alaskan Way will have 4 general-purpose lanes of traffic. South of Yesler, additional ferry queuing and transit-dedicated lanes will be built.

Q: Can my organization/group hold an even at the project showroom? 
A: We hope so! We love being able to have community organizations host events at our showroom, Waterfront Space. For more information, please contact info@friendsofseattlewaterfront.org, or stop in. We’re located at 1400 Western Ave Seattle, WA 98101.

friends of waterfront seattle

  • Visit Us
  • 1400 Western Ave
  • Seattle, WA 98101
  • Mailing Address
  • PO Box 21272