Urbanization in Seattle will Continue

Seattle is a rapidly evolving city and the main reason for its urbanization is simple: people want to live here.

As a recent Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty blog outlines, 70% of the world’s population is expected to be urban by the year 2050. And with a population already over 650,000 and expected growth rates of 120,000 residents and 115,000 jobs in the next two decades, Seattle is an example of the way in which the technology industry is shaping some of the nation’s largest cities as they become further embedded within the digital economy and global markets.

The Emerald City’s strong economy seeds were first planted in the 1980s, as Microsoft rose to global recognition and generated wealth and development on the Eastside. Today the story is one largely about Amazon, as the company occupies nearly 10 million square feet of office space in downtown Seattle with more on the horizon. Given that its campus is in a decidedly urban setting, it comes as no surprise that so too is its housing demand.

In their annual crane count survey, Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) named Seattle the crane capital of the U.S. for the third consecutive year, and it doesn’t seem those numbers will slow. According to the latest RLB count, Seattle added 20 cranes to its skyline in the last year, bringing the city up to a staggering 65 cranes. A breakdown reveals that 27 are working on mixed-use projects, 17 are residential and 11 are commercial. The most popular neighborhoods for crane activity include South Lake Union, Capitol Hill and the downtown core.

NEXUS Still.jpg

Above: Currently under construction, NEXUS is a 41-story tower that is anchoring the expanding Denny Triangle neighborhood.

Seattle is also making headlines for making strides in transit development with expanding bus systems, the highly anticipated LINK Light Rail additions, bike share programs, and more, which will only strengthen a city in which more and more residents will choose to make their homes.