Denny Substation certainly isn’t ‘typical’

Apr 12, 2017, 12:18 PM | Updated: Apr 13, 2017, 9:58 am

The City of Seattle wasn’t kidding around when it said the new Denny Substation would not be “typical.”

RELATED: What will replace nearly-historic South Lake Union landmark

Far from finished, the skeleton of what will eventually house the largest electrical substation in the city looks like it was taken straight out of Amazon’s design book.

Construction on the substation began in May 2016. It is the hub of a new power distribution network to serve the quickly growing South Lake Union and Denny Triangle neighborhoods. Electrical substations transform electricity from higher voltages to lower, before being distributed to customers.

Drivers who haven’t seen the substation itself have likely noticed all the road closure and detour signs throughout the area.

The following map details current and future closures (everything in red is currently under construction):


Though the majority of the substation property will be used for day-to-day operations, it will also include more than 44,000 square feet of open space, including an off-leash dog area, and event space, according to the city’s website.

The substation is expected to be complete by mid-2018.

Improvements to the city’s power grid come at a time when growth is far from slowing.

On Monday, the Seattle City Council OK’d an upzone in South Lake Union and downtown neighborhoods, allowing for developers to add an additional one- to five-stories to their buildings. There is a tradeoff, as developers will have to include a minimum of 2.1 percent of affordable housing units, or pay the city fees that will be used for affordable housing.

Amazon has confirmed plans to lease a 306,000-square-foot building close to its main campus in Denny Triangle, according to GeekWire. Amazon also plans to expand the campus with a 17-story building.

Meanwhile, nearly 10,000 homes have been proposed for Denny Triangle. Seattle in Progress recently reported that the area has more than 30 proposed projects that also include more than 3 million square feet of office space — not all the projects, the blog reports, will happen.

What are they building?

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Denny Substation certainly isn’t ‘typical’