October 24, 10:03 AM click here to comment > 3
Advertising revenue could help achieve Center City vision
Like many cities across the country, Seattle faces ongoing budget challenges that limit our ability to fund our priorities. But, rather than raising taxes, we look first at innovative ways to secure benefits for the public. In South Lake Union, for example, we worked with businesses who agreed to pay for expanded streetcar service. Amazon agreed to buy a fourth streetcar, fund additional service and help build a cycle track along 7th Ave as part of their new development in the Denny Triangle. Another example is the arena project – the only public money going to the new arena will be taxes generated from the project itself. The zoning proposal for South Lake Union will generate multiple public benefits, including funding for urban amenities, low income housing, and an incentive to encourage the development ofa new downtown school.
Over the past year, my office has been exploring an option to partner with the private sector to create limited opportunities to advertise on streetscape fixtures, such as bus shelters, street furniture and kiosks. In exchange for being able to sell a limited amount of advertising on those structures, private companies would pay for installation and/or maintenance. The advertising also generates ongoing revenue that can get reinvested in priority services or amenities. Partnerships like this have had great success in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and other cities across the country.
We have today issued a Request for Information (RFI) to better understand what the potential benefits might be if Seattle were to permit some advertising in specific commercial districts. The RFI asks companies what enhancements they could make to our streets, sidewalks and public places in exchange for the ability to put advertising on things like information kiosks, and bus shelters. We see parts of the downtown core, particularly the 3rd Ave transit corridor as having real potential. It is an area that also has a high demand for streetscape improvements, cleaning and additional services.
We’ll have responses in mid-November. We will be working with downtown stakeholders to help us determine next steps and identify possible funding priorities.
Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn