Burien’s Special Economic Development Projects
The city’s economic development staff works on a number of special projects that support Burien’s local economy.
Downtown Mobility Study
With downtown Burien recognized by the Puget Sound Regional Council as one of 25 regional growth centers, the City has prioritized the need to plan for increased density and transportation options in the near and longer term. In support of those goals, the City initiated a Downtown Mobility Study to provide a toolbox of strategies and policy levers that can be used to jumpstart the development Burien desires.
The purpose of the Downtown Mobility Study was to improve transportation options to and through the downtown area, with a specific focus on bicycle and pedestrian mobility, transit connectivity, and parking. The study builds on Burien’s unique character to create a multimodal vision for the future. All of the strategies identified in this document work toward three overarching goals:
- Improve multimodal connections within Burien
- Increase Downtown’s multigenerational appeal
- Elevate Burien’s position in the region
The study provides an overview of Burien today, the City’s economic development goals and how the Mobility Study helps advance these goals, the process that created the Mobility Study, and the major recommendations (or ‘Big Moves’) that will help the City achieve its overall vision.
Several of the recommendations of the study are already being implemented, including: wayfinding, parking code updates, ADA accessible treatments, strategic marketing of Burien’s advantages to potential development, enhanced regional transit, enhanced pedestrian crossings, and activating spaces. Read more about two of these projects below.
In 2016, the City utilized economic development grant funds to complete a design of a wayfinding system, which was completed in June 2017. In fall of 2017, the City applied for and was awarded a Port of Seattle Economic Development Partnership grant of more than $50,000 that will go towards fabrication and installation of the wayfinding signage. The installation of the signs in the Downtown core is expected to be complete in summer 2018.
Parking Code Update
In November 2017, the City Council passed changes to the parking regulations in the downtown Burien that exempt new businesses in existing buildings from providing additional off-street vehicle parking. These changes reduce barriers for new business startups and encourages property investment by updating existing structures.
Downtown Mobility Study
Kinect@Burien is a new mixed-use multifamily housing development coming to downtown Burien.
In October 2020, the City executed a disposition and development agreement with American Property Development for sale and redevelopment of an underutilized city property at SW 151st St and SW 8th St. The proposed redevelopment included property assemblage with an adjacent parcel to construct a mixed-use multifamily development with ground floor commercial space called Kinect@Burien. An independent appraisal was conducted to support a property sale price of $1.75M.
Sale of the city-owned land was finalized in June 2021 and construction of Kinect@Burien will begin in Summer 2021. The development will include 230 multifamily units, ground floor commercial retail space, and 20% of the units as affordable to renters at 80% AMI in accordance with the City multifamily tax exemption program, be built to LEED Silver standards and provide underground parking for residents.
Construction of the project will include a local hiring program, program to promote woman and minority-owned (WMO) firms and a $250,000 donation to a mutually agreed upon trade or apprenticeship program. Timeline for construction completion is estimated to be 24 months.
Alignment with Downtown Vision and Urban Center Plan
The Burien Urban Center Plan completed in 2020 included extensive community engagement regarding preferred concepts and zoning for future development in the downtown. A key challenge identified in the study was an overall lack of housing in the Urban Center. The “Urban Center Concept” map developed through the community engagement process identified the area northeast of Burien Town Square, including the municipal lot, as recommended for urban residential development, including high-density multifamily.
The Kinect@Burien development meets other strategies identified in the 2020 Burien Urban Center Plan including:
- Strategy 2.1.3 Prioritize public investments in mixed-use and multifamily housing within 1/4 mile of the Burien Transit Center and future Bus Rapid Transit stations.
- Strategy 4.3.2 Encourage redevelopment of catalyst sites (key areas for redevelopment) identified through Strategy 4.3.1. The City could coordinate land assembly procedures amongst private property owners to form larger sites with the ability to accommodate higher density development.
- Strategy 2.1.4 Design streets and buildings to prioritize and enhance the pedestrian experience and to support Transit-Oriented Development in the downtown and surrounding areas.
- Strategy 2.1.2 Require specific standards that promote pedestrian-oriented buildings, especially for Urban Residential and mixed-use place types. This could include good ground floor transparency, continuous weather protection, taller floor-to-ceiling heights, and architecturally defined building entrances.
- Strategy 2.3.3 Encourage parking below ground and accessible from alleys or the rear of lots whenever feasible
In addition, the original Burien Town Square plan envisioned town square serving “as a catalyst for the redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Burien” adding that “town square should encourage, transition to, and facilitate successful adjacent development.” The Kinect@Burien development will build on that town square vision and momentum as a continued catalyst for development and growth in the downtown.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SW 153rd Street Improvement Survey
In January of 2018 the City Council approved the 2018 Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) work plan, including recommended next steps for potential enhancements and improvements to SW 153rd Street. The work plan called for the BEDP to conduct outreach to property owners and business owners on SW 153rd Street to discover more about their future plans, and what improvements to SW 153rd Street would be most beneficial to their businesses and investments.
The BEDP reviewed several past City studies that referenced SW 153rd Street to gather information and build on the work that has been conducted previously. The BEDP also received a presentation from Paul Fuesel, Principal from KPG, and project lead for the SW 153rd Street Preliminary visioning report. Ideas and concepts from those past studies were then included in the survey questions. As the street and its businesses have changed quite a bit since these studies were complete (some more than 20 years ago) the BEDP thought it important to gather current information from business and property owners before making recommendations that will affect those stakeholders.
In June 2018, the BEDP reached out to each business and property owner on SW 153rd Street through mail, email and personal visits to promote survey participation. 40 business owners (43% response rate) and 18 property owners (38% response rate) completed the survey and shared their thoughts on opportunities, concerns and existing conditions on the street. The BEDP then compiled and analyzed the data over several meetings to identify major themes, potential challenges, and existing opportunities to build on to improve the corridor.
In November 2018, the BEDP will invite survey respondents to participate in a roundtable of SW 153rd business owners and property owners to discuss ideas and potential recommendations based on the survey results and analysis. The BEDP will then report back to Council in Q4 on potential recommendations to increase the economic vitality of SW 153rd and provide support for the local businesses who operate there.
Leveraging economic development grants and programs provided by the Port of Seattle, the City of Burien has engaged with partners in the tourism and travel industry to promote Burien as a place to visit, eat and shop.
Through a grant-funded partnership with the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, the City directed a robust marketing program focused on travelers and visitors flying into and/or staying near Sea-Tac Airport. The marketing program includes a video featuring Burien's top visitor attractions and ads in widely distributed travel planners and dining guides. These marketing efforts aim to better connect airport users and travelers to Burien businesses.
And through a Port Spotlight Advertising pilot program, the City was given rights to advertise our “Foodie Paradise” in the Sea-Tac Airport D Terminal with no cost to the City for the advertising space.