That boom you hear is Seattle’s development explosion

Jul 21, 2015, 1:46 PM | Updated: Jul 22, 2015, 5:42 am
Seattle is seeing the highest level of activity seen since 2005, according to a mid-year report by ...
Seattle is seeing the highest level of activity seen since 2005, according to a mid-year report by the Downtown Seattle Association. (AP)

To say there is a development boom in Seattle is almost an understatement.

There are 106 projects downtown that have been completed since January 2014, are currently under construction, or are about to break ground, according to the Downtown Seattle Association.

It is the highest level of activity seen since 2005. There are 48 projects under construction, totaling $4 billion of investment, according to the association. That is 18 percent more than at the end of 2014 and 35 percent more than the peak between 2007-2009, with inflation adjustments.

Related: New website devoted to downtown crime ‘seeks to engage community’

“Current development activity is four times what it was at the lowest point of the recession in 2010 and above the average for the past 10 years,” a mid-year update from the association states.

Within the first half of 2015, 20 projects broke ground and 24 have be completed. There are 36 projects expected to be finished by the end of the year.

“Downtown Seattle is on track to see the largest number of completed projects in the past decade,” according the the mid-year update.

Construction costs have already outpaced anything downtown has seen in the last 10 years. The average cost of projects this year is estimated to be about $80 million. That is because of the large-scale developments, such as: Insignia Tower, Seattle’s largest condominium project; The Mark, a 660-foot tower that will be the fifth largest building in Seattle; a 278-room hotel; and 800,000 square feet of office space for Amazon; and Amazon’s development of four blocks of Denny Triangle.

About two-thirds of the projects mentioned in the mid-year report have residential components, with one in five having office space.

Downtown could see nearly 3,500 apartments built in 2015. There has been more than 9,000 built in the last 3.5 years, with a vacancy rate below 4 percent.

As of June, 7.1 million square feet of office space was being built as well, according to the report. A good portion is for Amazon, but other companies are contributing to the growth as well.

“The current wave of development is not all Amazon,” the report states. Office space will be occupied by companies such as Facebook and Weyerhaeuser.

The development happening in downtown now is a continuation of a cycle that began in 2011, according to the report.

“Catalyzed by a strong economy with companies like Amazon, Expedia, Facebook, Weyerhaeuser and others moving to Downtown or growing their Downtown Seattle workforce, the current growth in population and jobs and the development that comes with that shows no signs of slowing down,” the report states.

Find out what else is going on in Seattle

Local News

SDOT Light Rail Ped...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pedestrian struck, injured by Link light rail train in south Seattle

A pedestrian was struck and injured by a Link light rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Seattle.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of King County)...
Frank Sumrall

King County executive initiates plan to conserve and save the region’s wilderness

King County executive announced a plan to protect 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, and greenspace, raising property taxes in the process.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Drought may impact most of Pacific Northwest this summer

Drought is expected to impact much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, impacting areas throughout eastern Washington, southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
1 day ago
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

SPD report discovers 80% of 911 calls were for non-criminal events

After reviewing more than 1.2 million 911 calls from 2017 to 2019, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) found 79.7% of calls were for non-criminal events.
1 day ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

9-year-old boy shot by younger brother in Federal Way

A 9-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after being shot by his younger brother in Federal Way.
1 day ago
The US government will fly in baby formula on commercial planes contracted by the military in an ai...
Heather Bosch

A guide to locate baby formula from Washington’s Department of Health

Washington's Department of Health has put together a list of resources to help find nutritious food to feed your newborn.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
That boom you hear is Seattle’s development explosion