- Downtown Seattle, as reported by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), has 65 major projects and a total $3.5 billion worth of construction currently underway — approximately two-thirds residential — beating its former record of 50 in 2014 and setting a new record since tracking began in 2005, according to The Seattle Times.
- The majority of projects currently in progress are slated for completion next year with "dozens" of additional developments scheduled to start in the next 18 months.
- When this current crop of new construction is complete, downtown Seattle will have increased its residential housing units by 44%, a signal that "people want to live close to where they work," DSA officials told the Seattle Times.
Downtown Seattle will increase its housing stock over the next two years by more than "the entire city of San Francisco has added in the last three years," according to the Seattle Times. However, there has been no relief from rising home prices and higher rents.
Seattle's building boom also includes almost 6 million square feet of commercial office space currently under construction — twice the amount built three years ago but still slightly less than last year's new inventory. The bump in commercial activity is, in part, due to Amazon, which will occupy approximately one-third of the new construction, bringing its occupied space in the city to 12 million square feet. Other tech companies like Facebook and Google are increasing their presence in the city as well.
Not to be left out of the boom, hotel construction in the city is also on the rise, with 3,000 rooms scheduled to open in the next two years — a significant figure considering the fact that the area saw only 700 new rooms over the last five years.
Seattle isn't the only U.S. city currently in the midst of a building boom. Denver currently has an estimated $2.5 billion of construction underway or in the planning stages, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership. Some point to the legalization of cannabis as one of the main drivers of the increase in new construction, which is necessary to accommodate additional marijuana grow space and associated businesses.
Construction demand in Denver is so high that the Denver City Council just recently authorized a $1.4 billion spend to help tackle the high number of building permit requests. The Denver Department of Community Planning is currently slogging through a significant backlog, and CPD officials said the money will go toward new staff members to help handle the load.