SEATTLE - Seattle's Pioneer Square has a new plan to improve its image. With Elliott Bay Books closing down and more vacancy signs popping up, developers say the neighborhood is ripe for a fresh start. And a new program in the area called Main Street is intended to help the neighborhood help itself.

Tourists flock here for the quaint shops and cool architecture. Area homeless come here for the social and human services.But the locals tend to shy away.

While tourists can appreciate its eccentricity, locals tend to see it as more of an eyesore. So a local developer convinced Washington's Main Street program to take a look. And what organizers found were inherent posibilities.

Main Street has had success in similar communities in our state and around the country. Its method isn't so much about money as it is changing the mentality.

Main Street adopts a four-point approach to revitalizing struggling neighborhoods:

Main Street has been successful in others parts of our state and around the country.Once on the chopping block the legislature fought to keep it and now it's ready for implementation in Pioneer Square.

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