People who live in condos and apartments play an important part in downtown Seattle’s economic stability. Now, with so many office employees working remotely, people in Seattle are reimagining the downtown core in a way that centers residents, with their many different hopes and dreams.
One of the big lessons to come out of the pandemic – is that downtowns need people. Not just office workers – but people who live there. But how do you get people to move downtown? That’s a question Seattle officials are grappling with right now. In part 3 of our series “Downtown Reimagined,” KUOW’s Joshua McNichols went looking for downtown residents to find out what’s working, and what’s not.
All across this region, we have a housing shortage. On the other hand, downtown Seattle is littered with vacant offices. This has some people asking: Why don’t we turn underused office buildings into apartments?
Downtown Seattle was decimated by the pandemic. Office buildings are 22% vacant right now — that’s like one in five towers being dark. But the downtown core is showing surprising signs of life.