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Mayor Harrell and Executive Constantine announce new agreement on City Hall Park

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a new agreement regarding the future of City Hall Park that will result in the City retaining ownership and developing a plan to safely activate the park and fountain area in Prefontaine Park.

The new agreement will include the City of Seattle increasing activation, security, and a visible presence in the park following an expected vote by the City Council to pass the mayor’s proposed budget, which includes $2.8 million dedicated to the park. The City and County previously agreed to a land swap for 13 county-owned parcels in exchange for City Hall Park, and that agreement will now be cancelled.

“After months of continued engagement on this potential land swap, we believe City Hall Park should remain with the City of Seattle,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “My budget proposal includes a $2.8 million investment to activate this area and ensure it is a well-maintained and welcoming space in the heart of Downtown. As we partner with King County and Executive Constantine to continue revitalizing this neighborhood and reviving our Civic Center campus with employees and activity, City Hall Park will play a key role. We look forward to working with Councilmember Andrew Lewis and the City Council as they consider our proposed budget and as we move forward together.” 

“I’m looking forward to the City of Seattle making investments and improvements to this cornerstone of downtown Seattle,” said Executive Constantine. “Making this long-neglected space a safe and enjoyable park for thousands of King County staff, jurors, customers, visitors and residents will help restore and revitalize downtown Seattle. King County appreciates Mayor Harrell’s proposal to create a safe and welcoming front yard for our historic courthouse.”

The $2.8 million proposed investment will serve as the first step in Mayor Harrell’s plan, supporting activation, capital improvement, and further design and planning. Under that plan, capital investments will be made to activate and revitalize the park through a permanent structure to serve as a public gathering place and information hub, as well as a space for concerts and other events to attract visitors. The City will also clean and activate the historic fountain at Prefontaine Place and explore options to install public restrooms in the park. 

“City Hall Park is an irreplaceable neighborhood and historic asset,” said Lisa Howard, Executive Director of the Alliance for Pioneer Square. “The Alliance and surrounding community look forward to working with the City of Seattle, King County and other partners to help create a more welcoming, vibrant urban environment, serving both residents and visitors of south downtown.”

The City will continue to work with King County Metro Police and Sound Transit Police to provide a visible safety presence at transit stations and stops, as well as partner with local building owners and tenants to ensure appropriate building security measure are in place. 

Other reactivation efforts include allowing food trucks to stage in the park during weekdays and partnering with local businesses to fill currently vacant storefront spaces nearby, boosting foot traffic and commercial activity. New moveable and fixed seating areas will be added so residents and workers can enjoy lunch. Multi-generational recreational areas and wayfinding kiosks will also be installed, helping visitors to navigate the downtown core and Pioneer Square.