Downtown Seattle Development Soaring to New Heights

On average, at least one construction project has broken ground each week in Downtown Seattle since the start of the year. And there are more buildings currently under construction than at any time in the last 11 years. These findings are just a small part of the Downtown Seattle Association’s (DSA) 2016 Mid-Year Development Guide, an online resource examining construction activity in Downtown. The numbers paint quite a story.

Downtown’s ongoing boom includes 65 buildings currently under construction — the most since DSA began tracking in 2005. Other Downtown development findings include:

  • Residential rules the day: Including the 708 units already delivered this year, there are 8,661 more units scheduled for completion in 2016 and 2017.
  • Construction investment still soaring: The $3.5 billion currently invested in Downtown development is more than twice the amount invested just five y ears ago.
  • Much more office space on the way: There’s more than 14 million square feet of office space in the development pipeline.
  • Hotels are heating up: With more than 5,200 hotel rooms in the pipeline, the total Downtown hotel room inventory will grow by 30 percent in the next three years.

Downtown’s residential population has grown by more than 30 percent since 2000 and developers are trying to keep pace with the demand for urban living.  After a record-setting 3,600 units were delivered in 2015, there are 8,661 units scheduled for completion in 2016 and 2017.

Concurrently, office space development is following a similar trajectory with 14 million square feet of office space in the development pipeline. That’s more than was developed overall in the last 11 years.

“This is a really exciting time in Downtown Seattle. The demand remains strong for office and residential space, and we’re seeing evidence of that with continued low vacancy rates for housing and major employers choosing to locate in the heart of the city,” says DSA President & CEO Jon Scholes.  “This continued progress is a result of public and private collaboration focused on the core fundamentals of successful urban places including protecting the retail core, supporting arts and culture and investing in transit and multi-family housing. This development activity is supporting construction and related jobs, increasing density and walkability, and producing more housing stock.”

The DSA publishes two development guides each year to quantify the total amount of residential and commercial development activity taking place within Downtown Seattle.  An annual update summarizing all development activity for the previous calendar year is published in February.

For a link to the Mid-Year Development Guide and other Downtown construction information, please visit