The construction boom in downtown Seattle hit a record high in 2016, with 68 buildings underway there by the end of the year, according to Curbed Seattle, citing a new report from the Downtown Seattle Association.
The projects represent $4.4 billion in investment, which is nearly four times the recorded value of downtown construction projects in 2010 ($1.2 billion).
The DSA reported that 27 buildings were completed last year in Seattle, with 16 being residential projects. Another 51 buildings are scheduled for completion this year. Seattle added 2,199 residential units in 2016 and is expected to deliver 5,975 units in 2017. The city added 3,600 units in 2015.
Seattle is experiencing a critical housing shortage, particularly in the low- and middle-income tiers of the market.
In January, Seattle-based real estate listing website Redfin reported that the city has four of the top 10 and 10 of the top 30 most competitive neighborhoods for housing in the country. Home prices across the market rose 10.8% from November to December, per the latest Core Logic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index.
The rapid uptick in prices has pushed city officials to put forth initiatives to help close the affordability gap. In November, the Seattle City Council approved a 30-year, $29 million affordable housing bond for the city’s 2017 budget. The vote came after voters in August passed a separate initiative to fund affordable housing construction and thus contributed to pushback on the November action.
Another high-profile project currently taking shape is the $1.6 billion effort to renovate and expand the Washington State Convention Center, which recently bought a King County (Seattle) Metro bus station to make room for the 8-acre addition.
In February, Skanska announced plans to invest $392 million to build a 38-story, 686,000-square-foot office and retail building that will also bring 24,000 square feet of public space to an area near the city’s waterfront district by the end of 2019.
For more housing news, sign up for our daily residential construction newsletter.