Seattle Centric: South Lake Union, SODO Arena, and New Developments

Welcome to Seattle Centric, where we explore news that’s very near and dear to our hearts: it’s everything Seattle! From local regulations, to new apartment projects, to city-shaping news, we’ll cover the local news that affects us all. Enjoy!

South Lake Union: Rental rates lag in comparison with commercial growth

It seems like everyone has been talking about South Lake Union lately, and with good reason. Commercial growth has skyrocketed there in the past couple of years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. But is it the place to be for renters, too?

According to the Seattle PI, while rental demand in the neighborhood has jumped by 22%, and it’s a prominent neighborhood when measured against neighborhoods near tech centers in other cities, asking rents have only bumped up slightly. Compare that to tech-immersed neighborhoods in San Francisco, where rents rose 41%, and it’s clear that South Lake Union has a ways to go before it realizes it’s potential. Of course, Amazon’s proposed Denny Triangle project may be just the push the neighborhood needs to boost rents–we’ll just have to wait and see. Read more at the Seattle PI.

The SODO Arena: One step closer to a reality

The Seattle Times reported yesterday that a City Council committee has approved a plan for new sports arena in SODO, a $490 million project that would bring professional basketball and hockey teams to the Emerald City. The measure should head to the full City Council for approval on 9/24/12, with the final approval contingent on the results of an environmental study–a step that could take as long as a year.

There’s still a ways to go before the project is a done deal–if the City Council’s concerns regarding impacts on the Port of Seattle and surrounding areas (increased traffic is a big one) are addressed, and the environmental impact is found to be satisfactory, there’s still the matter of shopping for a team–but the initial approval is a big step forward for fans of the arena. Read more at the Seattle Times.

They just keep getting taller: seven-story apartment project planned for West Seattle

Image from Caron Architecture, LLC

The West Seattle Herald reports that the Design Review Board met last night to discuss a proposed seven-story, 114-unit apartment building that will take shape at 3078 Avalon Way in West Seattle. The early-stage meeting, focused on providing early design guidance, marks the first stage of the Board’s involvement in the project.

The proposed building, which will be located in an area that has seen a lot of recent development and currently incorporates a mix of single-family homes and multifamily buildings, will incorporate an underground parking garage, and will include some townhome units with direct street access. The full proposal is available online. Read more from the West Seattle Herald.

Construction has begun on a new 40-story apartment tower downtown; project will incorporate LED lights into unique design

Directly across from Paramount Theater at 815 Pine Street downtown, the Holland Partner Group is developing the 386-unit project. When it’s completed, the tower will be 444 feet tall, and will incorporate design elements evocative of Seattle’s historic theatre district of old–specifically, a wall of LED-backlit glass that will cycle through various colors. The tower’s units will range in size from 450 to 1,250 square feet. The project is expected to reach completion sometime in 2014. Read more from the Puget Sound Business Journal.

That’s it for this edition of Seattle Centric–but before you go, have you ridden the Ferris Wheel at the waterfront yet? It’s yet another reminder that our city, and our skyline, are always evolving. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Image from the Seattle PI

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