Why does it cost so much to own a Pioneer square?

Pioneer square Seattle is the latest in a line of Pioneer square buildings.

A $150 million project began in 2002 to transform an old, dilapidated building into a modern, mixed-use, multi-use complex that includes a retail center, a hotel, a convention center, and residential units.

The square was built for the square-shaped Pioneer Square, a nonprofit community that offers services and services for the community.

Pioneer Square’s mission was to help Seattleites live more creatively and sustainably. 

But Pioneer Square has struggled financially.

It has lost about $3 million in the past few years and it is losing money. 

What’s the biggest challenge with Pioneer Square? 

A recent study by Seattle’s Economic Development Institute (EDI) found that the square’s commercial tenants have made the square a financially uncompetitive project. 

In an article for the Seattle Times, Seattle Times reporter Ryan Harman reported that Pioneer Square is a “basket case” that has failed to achieve its mission. 

The EDI report said Pioneer Square “is struggling to attract and retain qualified, qualified partners and to keep up with the rapid changes in technology and market demand.” 

In his article, Harman noted that Pioneer square’s retail and hotel tenants have struggled to find new tenants due to their high rents and low income levels. 

Pioneer Square’s hotel and residential tenants have failed to earn enough income to pay rent on their properties, Harmer reported. 

“Pioneers square is a success story, but the success story is a story of a few successes, and the failure of a handful of successes,” EDI President Steve Pate told Harman. 

 Pate also told Harmer that the EDI study found Pioneer Square to be one of the least profitable square projects in Seattle. 

Harman noted Pioneer Square lost $1 million in revenue in 2012, and $3.3 million the year before that. 

So how does Pioneer Square compare to other square projects? 

Harmer reported that in 2010 Pioneer Square had a total of 10 tenants.

But by 2014 it had about 45 tenants, with the remaining tenants growing to more than 200 tenants. 

According to EDI, Pioneer Square was “one of the most expensive square projects of the past decade” for both tenants and revenue. 

Edison Square, an ambitious mixed-income development, opened in 2006 with about 150 units and was the largest and fastest growing square project in Seattle before Pioneer Square. 

A report by the Seattle Development Commission found that Edison Square was losing $2 million in annual revenue in 2013. 

And while Pioneer Square doesn’t have the biggest commercial tenants, it is home to some of the largest restaurants in Seattle, according to the Seattle Business Journal. 

Who is the biggest square project to close in Seattle? 

The Seattle Public Utilities Commission (SPUC) has shuttered nine Square buildings since 2010. 

Seattle’s Office of Community Development reported that four of the Square buildings are now vacant. 

One of the buildings in question, Pioneer square, is home only to Pioneer Square and is not part of Pioneer Square LLC. 

How much money is Pioneer Square losing each year? 

Seattle Public Utilities’ Office of Neighborhood Development (ONCD) reported in its 2013 report that PioneerSquare lost $4.1 million for the year ending March 31, 2014. 

For the year ended March 31 of 2014, PioneerSquare reported $2.5 million in losses, a loss of $1.3 per square foot. 

As of March 31 2015, Pioneersquare’s total losses totaled $10.9 million. 

That is a loss that is double the amount Pioneer Square reported in 2013, and that number is expected to rise significantly in the future. 

There is no official number for the number of square buildings that have closed, but a study conducted by the Center for the Study of Seattle’s Square-Area Growth found that Square-area density increased by 15.4% in the years from 2008 to 2013, according the Seattle Downtown Council. 

Why did Pioneer Square have to close? 

Pilot Square’s commercial lease ended in June 2013 and a new lease was approved in March 2014.

The new lease included new development and retail on the site, and Pioneer Square would be the largest Square project to be closed in Seattle in the last five years. 

Where are Pioneer Square buildings now? 

As reported in a 2010 Seattle Times article, Pioneer squares buildings have been converted to retail, and are now empty. 

Do you know more about Pioneer Square or Seattle?

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Photo credit: Courtesy of PioneerSquare