Standing proud downtown: why CF will never leave

Author: Mike Hayward


Doomsday predictions are everywhere these days. Understandably, as we deal with climate change, the Ukraine war, the global pandemic, economic uncertainty, political unrest, racial injustice. The list is long. 

But you can keep the total demise of downtown Seattle off that list because it's not going to happen. 

Nike shuttering its doors after 17 years in the city is certainly a blow to a shopping district already hit hard. Copacino Fujikado though, at the corner of 4th and Pike, isn't going anywhere. 

A little background before I explain. 

Our advertising agency is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. I've been fortunate to be part of the last 18 of those, starting as a mere writer. 

I was given the opportunity of a lifetime in February of 2020 when Jim Copacino and Betti Fujikado officially retired and passed the CF baton to Tim O'Mara, Scott Foreman and myself. 

Yes, THAT February of 2020. But our Phoenix-like rise from the COVID ashes is a story for another day. 

CF was born in the heart of Pioneer Square. We outgrew our space and moved to our current offices in 2010. Our lease runs until 2030 and we have every intention of renewing it again. Why?

1. We believe we owe a civic duty to the city at the core of our business. 

Much of our revenue in the past 25 years has come from brands in and around the downtown corridor. It would be hypocritical to cash their checks while abandoning downtown businesses that need us shopping, eating, and spending in order to survive and thrive. 

2. CF trusts data over click bait

Crime in downtown Seattle is down year over year. You probably didn't know that because it wasn't widely covered. Hey, negative news sells. Just ask Kim Murphy of the LA Times who wrote a piece called "The Decline and Fall of Seattle" August of 2002. What all of us wouldn't give to go back to 2002 and bet every dollar we had on Seattle. 

3. There are very smart, driven people putting plans in action 

From Mayor Harrell's One Seattle plan to the Downtown Seattle Association's Pike Pine Renaissance, real progress is being made. Will there still be setbacks like Nike closing? Of course. But we believe in the people leading the Seattle charge. 

4. The sparkling new $2 billion convention center

December of 2022 already saw 2.2 million visitors come downtown, an 8% increase over December of 2021. The new convention center, an architectural marvel, is expected to dramatically increase the number of visitors...and spenders...downtown. (I guess no one told Nike?)

Now it's not in CF's nature to sit on the sidelines while others solve problems. So, while we continue to proudly work downtown, we're also preparing to roll out a program in partnership with the amazing folks at Downtown Seattle Association to celebrate and support small businesses in the downtown corridor with the foresight and fortitude to stick with our city. 

Getting through this downturn won't be easy. Then again, neither has running a successful ad agency for 25 years and counting. Just like the city we love though, we're in it for the long haul. Here's to a thriving city center - for the long term.