Building boom: Denny Triangle, SLU hot new areas, stats show

SEATTLE -- The Space Needle is running out of space - in the areas around it.

Already, five residential buildings are going up in the two blocks just south of Seattle Center, and now a sixth is planned for right across the street. Developers want to put 150 residential units in a nine-story building at 307 Broad Street, the space that currently houses Car Toys.

The building boom on the north end of Belltown may be attributed in part to Seattle's fast-growing tech industry, said Dean Jones, who has worked in real estate in the area for 20 years.

"Seattle is now on a global stage for many different industries. It's not just technology or software or airplanes, but it's just a thriving metropolitan neighborhood," said Jones, owner of Realogics Sotheby's International Realty on 1st Avenue. "We've got developers watching these trends. They know many of these job-seekers are probably going to be relocating."

Molly Bowles is one of those people who recently relocated to Belltown from Mukilteo, after her boyfriend got a job in the area, she said.

"With Amazon being as big as it is, a lot of people are thinking of Belltown as a good place to live, because it's kind of surrounded by everything," Bowles said. "(But) we have so (many buildings) in the area. I don't see why you'd need one more."

As of the end of 2013, 30 residential projects were under construction or permitted in downtown Seattle and the surrounding area, adding more than 5,100 units to the city, said the Downtown Seattle Association. The projects had a total of about $2.8 billion in construction costs, with the heaviest concentration of projects in the South Lake Union and Denny Triangle areas, the DSA said.

It's something residents say they see daily - including Brittany Barnard, who stands to lose vistas at home and at work by new buildings going up.

"Where I live, they're starting to build, so it's about to block our view. I probably won't be leasing that much longer," said Barnard, who works at 3rd and Broad Streets, across from the new planned development.

"That's just not going to be good," she said, about losing her Space Needle view at work as well.

Jones, however, said the growth in the housing market is crucial to attracting new talent to the Emerald City.

"Many of these sites are reporting openings of thousands of job positions," said Jones, with a city skyline - and cranes - behind him. "Certainly there's a Silicon Valley, but prevailing home prices are higher (there). Cost of living - much, much higher, and of course, with that state income tax in California, you can't help but look north to our 'Silicon Forest' here."

An early design review meeting for the 307 Broad Street development is planned for March 18.