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July 10, 2014
Developers today are churning out new downtown housing at unprecedented levels, according to a report by the Metropolitan Improvement District/Downtown Seattle Association.
The group recently published its semiannual development guide, which quantifies how much development activity there is downtown. It covers the area bounded by South Lake Union, Elliott Bay, Broadway and South Lander Street.
Downtown Seattle has 100 active construction projects today, the highest number since tracking began in 2005.
Most of the new construction since 2011 been housing, but as the development cycle continues more office and hotel projects have gotten started.
Right now, nearly two-thirds of what you see under construction is housing, according to the report. This includes 30 apartment projects, a hotel/apartment complex and the Insignia condominium towers.
More than 4,300 housing units have been built in the past several years, and nearly 10,000 are in the immediate pipeline.
All told, nearly twice as many residential units are under construction compared with the height of the previous development cycle in 2007.
The report defines active projects as those that are under construction, permitted or ready to begin. It also includes projects completed in the last 18 months.
(Editor’s note: The article has been corrected to say that active projects include those completed in the last 18 months, not 16 months.)
The figures do not include projects that have been proposed but are waiting for construction permits.
The 50 projects that were actually under construction in June totaled $2.8 billion, almost equaling the peak in 2007, when there were $2.9 billion in projects under construction.
That compares with $1 billion in 2010, which was at the trough of the previous development cycle.
Infrastructure projects such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement aren't included in the guide.
Hotel and office projects have been surging downtown.
Four hotels totaling 619 rooms are currently under construction. Another permitted project, Stadium Place East Phase 1, will add another 279 rooms. More than a dozen other hotel projects are in earlier stages of development.
The report notes that many of the hotel projects include a mixed-use component. Among 19 projects in the pipeline, eight have some housing and two include office space.
Speaking of office, currently 3.2 million square feet is under construction, nearly double the amount under construction last year. Much of that is Amazon.com's new headquarters in the Denny Triangle.
Between 2005 and 2010, downtown saw 5.4 million square feet of office space come online. In 2013, five office projects were completed downtown, adding 354,000 square feet.
Read the full report at bit.ly/1xUIaP3.
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