Jul 29, 2022 - Business

"Seattle Restored" program aims to fill empty storefronts

Shelves with an art item on them and a rack of clothes in the background under a sign that says "Seattle Restored."

One of the pop-ups from phase 1 of the Seattle Restored program. Photo courtesy of Seattle Restored

Seattle is once again inviting artists and entrepreneurs to take over some of the city's vacant storefronts.

Why it matters: The Seattle Restored program is designed to help revitalize areas hit hard by the pandemic, while nurturing local artists and small businesses.

What's happening: The city is seeking applicants who want to launch a pop-up, display their art, or test a restaurant concept in one of 45 available storefronts throughout the city.

  • People can apply through Aug. 26.
  • Participating is free, and successful applicants will get $2,500 payments to get started.

What's new: In the program's first round, local entrepreneurs, manufacturers and artists brought their displays to 30 downtown storefronts.

  • Now, the program is fanning out to more parts of the city.
  • This time, the 45 pop-up locations will be available in a variety of neighborhoods, from Ballard to Beacon Hill to Rainier Valley, wrote program coordinator Samy Hamiche, in an email to Axios.

What they're saying: Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell told KIRO 7 earlier this year that part of the idea behind the program is to improve safety on city streets.

  • Equity is also a focus, the mayor said. In choosing applicants, the city will prioritize those who are Black, Indigenous or other people of color, according to Seattle Restored's website.
  • Those interested can register for an Aug. 23 information session.
A view of tables laden with goods and art hanging on walls inside a store.
A view of one of the pop-ups from Seattle Restored's first round. Photo courtesy of Seattle Restored

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