On February 14th, at Downtown Seattle Association’s (DSA) State of Downtown event, several note-worthy stats were brought to light to paint a picture of Downtown Seattle’s story, since 2010. The driving factor behind the city’s transformation is the demand for more employees; it’s clear that housing is the “traffic jam.”
Reported statistics for Downtown Seattle
2010 – present:
- 60,000 new jobs were added
- Population has grown 22%
- Taxable brick-and-mortar retail sales have increased 34%
- Downtown businesses contributed $3.2 Billion in local, state, and federal taxes
- From construction, 3.6 million square feet of space was added above street level
- 5,725 residential units and 637 hotel rooms were added
Present – 2020
- 3 million square feet of space will be completed
- More than 8,700 residential units and 2,400 hotel rooms will be developed
- Public projects, budgeted around $330 Million are planned or underway
The short version
The takeaway is more people are moving to Downtown Seattle than there are places for them to live. For the majority of Downtown Seattle, the only way to accommodate these new residents is to build upward. Two major concerns that the DSA discussed were homelessness and affordable housing, and traffic. They have not developed a solution, however, there is a 20-year plan called One Center City to develop a solution.
The event discussion was focused on Downtown Seattle (Downtown Seattle area defined by the DSA), but the findings reflect the story of all of Metro Seattle. Without an adequate supply of housing for the thousands of new employees hired per month, it’s not difficult to see how problems can arise. Downtown Seattle has its issues of traffic and congestion that other neighborhoods may not have, but the bottleneck in the story is the amount of available housing. Below is a snapshot of statistics for all of Metro Seattle, telling a similar story. The snapshot is taken from our 2017 Annual + Quarterly (Q4) Report.
Click to view the Puget Sound Business Journal article.