Columbia City Stakeholders’ Perception of the Proposed Citywide URM Retrofit Mandate
MetadataShow full item record
The City of Seattle faces the threat of a major earthquake in the near future. Unreinforced masonry buildings, or URMS, are visually appealing, represent the City’s rich history, and often provide low cost commercial spaces in some of Seattle’s most dynamic neighborhoods, such as Pioneer Square, Chinatown International District, and Columbia City. While pre-1940s brick buildings are intrinsically tied to each area’s sense of place, culture, and history, they also act as a public safety hazard in the event of an earthquake. The purpose of this study is to examine how Columbia City and Hillman City building owners perceive the proposed retrofit mandate and proposed financing options presented by the URM Committee in the 2017 document, Recommendations from the Unreinforced Masonry Committee to the City of Seattle. The research shows that the City of Seattle proposed retrofit is cost-prohibitive to building owners in the Columbia City and Hillman City commercial cores. The proposed mandate may cause increased gentrification and displacement of small property and business owners. Public and private sectors will have to work together to find creative financing solutions to resolve the issue.
- Urban planning