Photo: Jonathan Misk/Flickr
Downtown Seattle is building up a storm — and not just the Seattle Storm. There are currently 68 major buildings under construction across downtown, South Lake Union and surrounding neighborhoods, more than at any point since the figures were first tracked in 2005, the Downtown Seattle Association found in a new report.
About two-thirds of the project are residential. The number of housing units under construction downtown has also hit a new high since 2005, reports the Seattle Times. According to DSA’s data, 51 projects in the area are scheduled for completion in 2017, and 38 in 2018. The report estimates the total value of all the construction projects going on now is $4.4 billion, down slightly from last year but more than double the total from five years earlier.
The construction boom coincides directly with the surge of tech workers flooding the Seattle area in search of good jobs and affordable rent. After losing 20,000 jobs during the recession, downtown Seattle has bounced back with 50,000 new jobs since 2010. New positions are opening at a rapid rate, and downtown accounts for 94 percent of new jobs in Seattle. Interestingly, children are one of the fastest-growing residential populations in downtown, according to DSA. In fact, the population of school-aged children living downtown has grown by 40 percent since 2010, outpacing growth in other parts of Seattle and the Puget Sound region. In all, nearly 3,200 kids call downtown home.
Office buildings are building up rapidly as well. According to DSA, 5.7 million square feet of it is under construction, down a little from last year but double the amount from three years ago. Developers created more than five million square feet of office space in the past two years and they anticipate an additional 13 million square feet by 2020. More than three million more square feet are in the planning stages with no set completion date. For perspective, that is 270 football fields’ worth of office space in some stage of development downtown.
More than one-third of the office space under construction is for Amazon. The downtown group says the internet behemoth is on pace to occupy 12 million square feet of office space by the time current projects are finished. That’s the equivalent of eight Columbia Centers, the tallest building in Seattle at 76 stories.
There are a few pockets of development that are particularly dense. In one two-block-by-two-block stretch between Ninth Avenue and Highway 99, there are 14 projects either under construction, recently completed or in planning stages. In a five-block stretch of Second and Third avenues, between Union and Lenora streets, there are 13 projects going on now, on tap or recently completed, reports the Seattle Times.
If you’d like to take a tour of all the shiny new buildings, here are the top 6 biggest projects currently under construction in downtown Seattle according to data compiled by DSA and the Seattle Times:
- The Mark office and hotel: $400 million
- 8th and Howell hotel: $400 million
- Troy Block Amazon office: $285 million
- 2202 8th Ave Apartments: $284 million
- The Park Amazon office: $250 million
- Madison Centre office: $157 million
New construction in downtown Seattle shows no sign of stopping. Up, Up and Away!
A previous version of this article misidentified the number of buildings under construction in downtown Seattle and the total value of all construction projects. The numbers have been updated to correct these errors.