Seattle, Washington has experienced solid economic and housing recovery, which is evident in the new 56 residential buildings being developed in the downtown area. However, this is just the beginning of what many experts are rating as a strong trend.
Currently, close to 65,000 people call downtown Seattle home. In addition, there are roughly 250,000 people who work in the downtown area on a daily basis. To accommodate, there is 15 million square feet of space designated for offices now being developed, which proves this city is experiencing a huge boom.
2015 State of Downtown Report
The 2015 State of Downtown report was recently presented by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA). Among those in attendance were various business executives and high-profile public officials. One individual was Jon Scholes, president and CEO of DSA who discussed the focus being placed on residential and commercial development, as well as public safety.
Following last summer’s departure of Kate Joncas who served as deputy mayor, being the new head of the DSA, Scholes has a lot to prove. He expressed several goals to include making downtown Seattle more accessible to work and live in but to also make the area safer overall.
As part of his speech at the event, Scholes said that every day, roughly 25 new jobs are being added in the downtown area. He pointed out that “downtown” to the DSA is defined as being all the neighborhoods from Sodo to lower Queen Anne and the waterfront to Capitol Hill.
To no surprise, the report clearly showed that construction of commercial and residential real estate is doing extremely well. As reported by the Seattle Times, Amazon is just one example of corporations planning to move downtown. That company alone expects to take up at least 10,000 million square feet of available space.
In addition to over 3,000 office spaces currently being developed and another 2,650 planned for next year, development for 56 new residential buildings is underway. Of those, units are either completed or under construction with a completion date for the near future.
Beyond new residential and commercial real estate development is the issue of public safety. Of great importance is the problem of homelessness that has overwhelmed the downtown Seattle area for years.
Key Report Aspects
The DSA report was filled with promising data but of special interest were the following:
- Since 2009, retail sales in downtown increased 22 percent. The goal is to retain existing retail companies but also add more.
- Over the past five years, restaurant sales are up 31 percent. As far as the number of restaurants, as well as bars, there has been a 20 percent jump.
- Of people who use public transit and other means outside of driving, 69 percent commuted back and forth to work in the downtown area, an increase of 50 percent since 2000.
- Initiates are being pushed to make public spaces downtown more appealing and up-to-date
- Compared to the region as a whole, job growth in downtown Seattle is 50 percent greater