Commercial Affordability

Seattle's small businesses are integral to the economic fabric of the city, because they are an important source of jobs and make vital contributions to Seattle's unique identity. The current period of rapid economic growth threatens to displace small businesses unless the City takes action to help resolve the problem. In April, Mayor Ed Murray formed a Commercial Affordability Advisory Committee to evaluate the complex issues and recommend solutions in support of commercial affordability. On September 28, Mayor Murray presented the committee's recommendations and shared his commercial affordability action plan.

For details and supporting data, please read the committee's report and related documents:


Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is charged with reviewing existing City policies and making recommendations to support affordable commercial spaces so that Seattle remains a competitive marketplace for small neighborhood businesses. The committee is directed to emphasize incentive-based solutions, resulting in affordable opportunities that help retain longtime businesses and encourage entry of new businesses. They will submit their recommendations by the end of September 2016 to the Executive for consideration.

The Advisory Committee represents a diverse range of expertise including neighborhood business owners, developers, real estate professionals, and arts and music businesses.

Committee Members

Don Blakeney, VP of Advocacy and Economic Development, Downtown Seattle Association

Shanti Breznau, independent

John Chelico, Leasing and Sales Broker, JSH Properties

Dennis Comer, Co-owner, Brown Sugar Baking

Solomon Dubie, Owner, Café Avole

Liz Dunn, Principal, Dunn & Hobbes

Sam Farrazaino, Principal, Equinox Development Unlimited

Mariela Fletcher, Real Estate Broker and Owner, MANILA MANILA Asian Retail Store & Food to Go

Frank Gross, Owner, Thunder Road Guitars

Megan Jasper, CEO, Sub Pop Records

Matt Landers, Public Policy & Communications Manager, Greater Seattle Business Association

Mark Morel, VP Sales & Marketing, Morel Industries

Tam Nguyen, Owner, Tamarind Tree and Long Provincial

Susanna Tran, Commercial Real Estate Broker, West Coast Commercial Realty

Karen True, Director of Business Development, Alliance for Pioneer Square

Maiko Winkler-Chin, Executive Director, SCIDpda

Read more about the committee members.

Committee Timeline Milestones

  • April 14, 2016: Announce Commercial Affordability Advisory Committee members
  • April 2016: Articulate problem statement and confirm priority issues to evaluate
  • May - August 2016: Committee meets
  • September 2016: Committee delivers recommendations for the Mayor's consideration

Economic Development

Markham McIntyre, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5752, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94708, Seattle, WA, 98124-4708
Phone: (206) 684-8090
Phone Alt: (206) 684-0379
Fax: (206) 684-0379

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The mission of the Office of Economic Development (OED) is to help create healthy businesses, thriving neighborhoods, and community organizations to contribute to a robust economy that will benefit all Seattle residents and future generations.