Rainier Beach Merchants Association
“Building a Better Business Community”

The aim of the Rainier Beach Merchants Association is to support the Rainier Beach community, advance business interests, and revitalize the business district though events, programs, and projects. Created in 1991, RBMA consists of an executive board and multiple committees that are tasked with developing measurable goals to facilitate the accomplishments of our mission and vision of promoting the general welfare of Rainier Beach Square businesses and residents.

RBMA has sponsored successful community events and programs, such as the Detective Cookie Giant Chess Pop-Up Park, Light Up the Beach Holiday Storefront Challenge, Art Walk Rainier Beach, and the 2009 & 2010 Summerfest concerts – all of which drew positive attention to the business district. It also annually supports the Back 2 School Bash.  Regular community clean ups are sponsored and RBMA has an adopt-the-street program for major arterials in the business district.  The organization has also sponsored public art projects and the restoration of the Mapes Creek walkway.

Rainier Beach Square

The Rainier Beach Business Association recently “rebranded” its four business nodes as Rainier Beach Square. “Beach Square” connects the four corners of our business community and creates a unique image for promoting our diverse district.

Rainier Beach Square is an affordable, diverse, accessible and inclusive suburban “small town” located in Southeast Seattle. It forms the southern gateway to the Rainier Valley and City of Seattle from the south county area. Parks, open spaces, schools, public transportation, a well-used commuter corridor and a broad selection of businesses define the larger community and Business Square. Approximately forty businesses call Beach Square home, including retail, restaurants, professional services and light manufacturing. Every continent is imprinted on the district, reflected primarily through its businesses and gathering establishments, such as restaurants, churches and community centers.

Rainier Beach Square’s four business nodes include:
• Rose Street, the area extending north of South Henderson Street along Rainier Ave S to South Rose Street;
• Beach Square, the area around the intersection of South Henderson Street and Rainier Avenue South, then following Rainier Avenue South as it bends eastward to Lake
• “Old Town” Rainier Beach, along 57th Avenue South at Rainier Avenue;
• South Henderson Street between the Rainier Beach Light Rail station on MLK Jr. Way and Renton Avenue South

Neighborhood Update Plan

From 1995 to 2000 Seattle created 38 Neighborhood Update Plans. Each plan incorporated its neighborhood vision, strategies and insight while supporting the City’s Comprehensive Plan, In late 2011, the City of Seattle and the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Advisory Committee began discussing the best ways to carry out the plan.

A team of consultants were brought on to help this process. Their assignment was to learn about organizations already active in Rainier Beach, how they might work together to accomplish the plan, what additional supports or skills would need to be built, and what funding sources could be pursued to support the work.

The Neighborhood plan process is committed to engaging community members using a variety of outreach and engagement strategies that support inclusion and, meaningful participation. You are encouraged to participate in this important process to help determine the future of your neighborhood!

Action Areas for Involvement
• A Great Place for All
• A Beautiful Safe Place
• Life Long Learning
• Growing Food Healthy Industry

For more information on how to be involved in your community contact rainierbeachmovingforward@gmail.com

Rainier Beach Gateway Plan

A gateway is a distinct entryway that defines an area, providing an identity and sense of place for those living and working the community and a first impression for a visitor. The RB Gateway Plan identifies goals and themes that will revitalize Rainier Beach, the southern gateway to Seattle. The themes include;

• An attractive, safe and vibrant “Beach Square”
• A pedestrian –friendly retail center serving local residents, and attracting visitors
• Calming traffic and developing streetscape projects to improve pedestrian access Providing a clearer sense of entry and exit from the shopping area
• Establishing a strong employment base
• Creating a specific sense of place for the Rainier Beach commercial core

These elements of the Gateway plan have been absorbed and are now actively being realized in our current RB Neighborhood Update Plan. The plan was developed by Rainier Beach Merchants Association, Southeast Effective Development (SEED), SDOT, OED, and the UW School of Architecture.

Rainier Beach Community Center

This project was developed by the Seattle Parks Department in response to the Seattle School District’s decision to construct a new South Shore K – 8 School, since the school shared the building with the existing community center and pool. The new Community Center and pool facility will provide the public with improved and updated recreational opportunities and will complement the two new schools constructed on the site.

Partner organizations allow Parks to meet many of the Goals and Priorities outlined in the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Plan Update that the community, Department of Neighborhoods and Department of Planning and Development have been working on over the last two years.

Parks awarded the contract to CE&C out of Tacoma, WA. CE&C also had the highest percentage for potential Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) participation.
The new 46,479 sq.ft. building will house the new community center and indoor pool which includes a lap pool, spraypark and large water slide. In addition, the community center will include a gym, fitness room, childcare, kitchen, multipurpose room, teen area, game room, computer room, meeting room, arts/crafts room and party room for pool rentals.

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  1. Amy Radil says:

    Hi, I’m a reporter at KUOW public radio working on a profile of City Council District 2, South Seattle. I’d like to contact members of your association, please let me know how to reach them as soon as you have a moment. I’d especially like more information on the “historic district” at 57th Avenue South. My phone number is 206 616 7524. Thanks so much. Amy

    • RBMAadmin
      RBMAadmin says:

      Hi Amy! Love to talk with you about “Old Town rainier Beach!” Feel free to give us a call at your convenience at 206-898-7090. Thanks for your interest!

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