Pike Place Market - How The Market Functions - Organizations


The Pike Place Market is overseen by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority ("the PDA"), a public development authority (a form of government-owned corporation) established under Washington State law. It is overseen by a 12-member volunteer council. Its members serve four-year terms. Four members are appointed by mayor, four by the current council, and four by the Pike Place Market Constituency. The Market PDA sets the policies by which the Pike Place Market is managed and hires an executive director to carry out those policies.

Established in 1973, the PDA manages 80% of the properties in the city-recognized Market Historical District. Its founding law—the Market Charter—requires it to preserve, rehabilitate and protect the Market's buildings; increase opportunities for farm and food retailing in the Market; incubate and support small and marginal businesses; and provide services for low-income people. PDA revenues derive from the Market's tenants through rent, utilities, and other property management activities.

The same 1973 charter that established the PDA also established the Pike Place Market Constituency. The Constituency elects one member to the PDA Council each year. Anyone 16 years of age or older who lives in Washington State can become a member of the Constituency by paying US$1 yearly dues.

Operating independently of the PDA, the Market Historical Commission (established by the 1971 initiative to preserve the Market) has the specific mandate to preserve the Market's physical and social character as "the soul of Seattle." The Commission must approve any substantive change in the use or design of buildings and signage in the Historical District, even when these actions are taken by the PDA itself. Members of the 12-member commission are appointed to three-year terms by the mayor. At any time, the commission consists of two members each from the Friends of the Market, Inc., Allied Arts of Seattle, Inc., and the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects; two owners of property within the District; two Market merchants, and two District residents. They meet 22 times a year. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods provides them with a staff person, and the city's Department of Design, Construction and Land Use (DCLU) can enforce their decisions.

Another key organization in the affairs of the Market is the Pike Place Merchants Association. Officially incorporated in 1973, it traces its history back to the Farm Association established in the 1920s. The Association connects market vendors to legal, accounting, bookkeeping, business insurance, and health insurance services and provides free online advertising for its members. It also represents its members and attempts to advance their interests and opinions. All PDA tenants are required to be members; daystall vendors also have the option to join. Since 1974, the Association has published the monthly Pike Place Market News, which promotes the Market and its neighborhood. For over three decades, the Association sponsored a Memorial Day fair at the market; financial difficulties caused cancellation of the fair in 2004.

A separate Daystall Tenants Association (DTA) formed in the late 1980s to represent the specific interests of daystall vendors. The DTA formed in response to proposed increases in daystall rental rates. Most members pay a US$2 annual membership fee; the fee is optional. The DTA meets on the Desimone Bridge in the Market at least once each quarter and "as needed". Similarly, the United Farmers Coalition (UFC) formed in 1998 to represent daystall farmers who sell produce, flower, and processed food; the UFC represents only these food vendors, as against craft vendors. The Pike Market Performers' Guild, founded 2001, represents Market street performers. Among its members are Artis the Spoonman and Jim Page.

Friends of the Market, which spun out of Allied Arts in 1964 and over the next seven years spearheaded the activist work that saved the Market is no longer a driving force in the Market. Still, as noted above, they have two seats on the Historical Commission. They also give tours of the Market.

The Market Foundation (established 1982) was originally founded to support the Market's services for low-income people. The foundation now also supports heritage programs, improvements and repairs to historic buildings, and programs that assist the Market's farmers.

Read more about this topic:  Pike Place Market, How The Market Functions

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