SEATTLE -- Weyerhaeuser made a big announcement last week that they're moving their headquarters to Pioneer Square.

And later this week, the area will play host to a concert kicking off the 2014 NFL season.

Both are huge boosts for the neighborhood and part of a greater movement toward a part of town that's still trying to shake off a gritty reputation.

The recent opening day at Cone and Steiner General did not make headlines, but the specialty grocery store is also part of an important shift in Pioneer Square.

"The lunch rush has been huge. That's when we've seen a lot of traffic come in," said Scott Green, general manager.

"It's nice now to see people considering it a place that's safe and nice to live," said Christine Sinclair, a customer who has lived and worked in Pioneer Square for 20 years and remembers when it was a part of town most people tried to avoid.

A trendy new sports bar is getting ready to shake its first craft cocktail right next door. It's among more than a dozen small businesses which have recently opened or are about to open storefronts in Pioneer Square.

Dry Goods Design, a sewing and textile shop, just opened on Friday. They moved from Ballard.

"I think there's something really boiling under the surface here and I think that there's a great deal of life happening here, both the good and the bad," said owner Keli Faw.

Seattle's homeless problem is evident on nearly every corner in Pioneer Square and some people still try to avoid the area at night.

"There still is cause for concern, however. I think you're seeing so much active work being done to make sure that it's a safe place to be," said Faw.

For example, a security guard is available to escort customers to their cars after dark. It's a reminder that Pioneer Square is a work in progress, but it certainly isn't what it used to be.

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