City planning rebuild of pier near Seattle Aquarium

by: Graham Johnson Updated:

SEATTLE - Plans are alive again to renovate a public pier near the Seattle Aquarium.

In 2014, the city pushed back plans to renovate Pier 62/63 to save money.

Now, the project to rebuild the south half of the pier and add a boat dock is on the front burner after the nonprofit Friends of Waterfront Seattle pledged to raise $8 million.

The city is also able to redirect some money it had planned to use for operating the larger waterfront park, which is two years late because of problems with the tunnel project.

Marshall Foster, Seattle's director of the waterfront, outlined plans Thursday to the Seattle City Council.

He said the project is about "better public access from the water, bringing arts and culture back to the waterfront, demonstrating what this waterfront is going to mean to the city of Seattle."

Renderings for the pier show a gathering place beside Elliott Bay, a dock for small boats, and a place for concerts.

That might sound familiar.

"We used to come down to concerts on the pier all the time," said Gretchen Edwards, one of thousands who attended Summer Nights at the Pier.

Twelve years ago the popular concert series was discontinued because of worries the old pier couldn't handle five thousand people.

"It would be great to see it back again. It was a wonderful spot to see summer concerts," Edwards said.

City officials said any future concerts would be smaller versions of what people remember.

The City Council needs to approve renovation plans, which would cost a total of $29 million and replace only the south half of the pier.

The northern half of the pier could be rebuilt sometime in the future.

The same reshuffling of money will also help the city fund upgrades to neighborhood parks.