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Olympia Downtown Strategy

Project Information

Location: Olympia, WA


Services Provided

  • Urban design
  • Urban planning
  • Community engagement

Downtown Olympia is a vital commercial and entertainment hub with an attractive waterfront. However, downtown faces sea level rise and site contamination, homelessness and street dependency, and the need for a more robust residential community and development context. We led a multidisciplined consultant team to curate an achievable, impactful set of actions to attract desired development, enhance unique districts’ characters, and address the deep challenges.


  • Coordinated civic activities and identified priority actions for the next six years
  • Prioritized street improvement recommendations and design concepts
  • Development incentives tool kit informed by market and development feasibility analysis
  • Housing strategy to address affordability and supply and homelessness/street dependency strategy calling for a regional/interagency effort
  • Land use measures to achieve greater certainty around sea level rise and site contamination challenges
  • Design measures to enhance downtown’s diverse character areas and support middle-income jobs, including an artisan/light manufacturing/entertainment district
  • Engaged 3,500 community members through meaningful surveys and interactive workshops