The Downtown Project

Downtown Liaison, Mark Rentfrow and Economic Development Director, Renée SundeWhat is the Downtown Project?

The City of Olympia is committed to the prosperity of downtown. The Downtown Project is a multi-directional approach that focuses on a variety of key projects in four categories: Clean, Safe, Economic Development, and Placemaking.

It is an ambitious plan that involves multiple City departments, the Olympia Downtown Association, the Parking & Business Improvement Area, downtown residents and community members at large.


The expansion of the Clean Team allows an increase focus on graffiti abatement and litter removal in Downtown Olympia. The Clean Team can be reached at 360.570.3900.

City of Olympia has increased its graffiti abatement efforts. This includes streamlining the process for graffiti removal and an improved tracking system. Learn more...

In 2012, a pilot project brought six pedestrian recycling containers to downtown Olympia. In 2013 nine more cans were added with the help of a Coordinated Prevention Grant from the Department of Ecology to bring the total to 15. The cans are emptied weekly by the Ambassador Clean Team and contents hauled for recycle by the City of Olympia’s Waste ReSources.




Downtown Ambassadors provide customer service, directions, and city information to all users of downtown. They have expanded their coverage to 7-days a week in 2013.

The Olympia Police Department will continue to work directly with business/building owners, residents, and community members to keep downtown Olympia a safe place.

The State Liquor Control Board is currently reviewing the City’s petition to ban retail sales of single-serve, high alcohol content beverages. Implementation is planned to begin Summer 2013.

City Council allocated $5,000 in an effort to increase pedestrian restroom accessibility in Downtown Olympia. A pilot project for Summer, 2013 is planned.

The City of Olympia will be working with several social service agencies in an effort to coordinate resources toward addressing health and safety issues in downtown Olympia.

The Olympia Police Department will be working directly with bar and tavern owners to ensure Best Management Practices are being utilized in downtown Olympia.

The key to a safe neighborhood is making sure residents are coordinated and trained in neighborhood safety measures. The City will work with the DNA to increase participation.


It is important to keep the public informed about all of the great projects in the works for downtown Olympia. The City will be working on new ways to get the word around the community.

The City of Olympia is currently in the process of removing the parking pay stations and replacing them with “smart meters” that accept coins and credit/debit cards. Learn more...

City Council is currently looking into forming a Community Renewal Area which would allow the City to assist in the revitalization of blighted property around downtown Olympia.

The City of Olympia is assisting the State in marketing a soon-to-be vacant office building on N Capitol Way to potential buyers or developers.

Increasing downtown housing is imperative in the revitalization of downtown Olympia. The City of Olympia is committed to make the permitting process as easy as possible for potential developers.

In July, 2013, City Council will decide if they want to create a stand-alone Downtown Master Plan. Creation of this document would begin an extensive public input and review process.

The Washington Center for Performing Arts building will be receiving a significant upgrade to the external façade of the building. Learn more...


City staff are working with the public to create a concept design to convert the city-owned parking lot at the Jefferson Artesian Well to an urban park. Construction is planned for late 2013.

The City of Olympia is working with Thomas Architect studio in Downtown Olympia to convert two alleyways into public plazas. The concept plan will be presented to City Council in Fall, 2013.

The City of Olympia is in the process of naming five alleyways downtown after historic Mosquito Fleet steam ships. In addition, one alley will be named in honor of Roger Easton.

The City of Olympia converted 4 parking spots in downtown Olympia to mini-parks called “Parklets” in 2012. They are planning on creating 2-3 more parklets in early Summer.

The City of Olympia is committed to increasing the amount of public seating areas in downtown Olympia. Decorative tree benches make use of green space in a creative and artistic way.

The Parking & Business Improvement Area is committed to installing more art in downtown Olympia. The board has allocated $10,000 for art installations in 2013.


Mark Rentfrow, Downtown Liaison
Community Planning and Development
360.570.3798 |