Mapping the 26 apartment buildings under construction on Capitol Hill (and the 21 planned to follow)

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.50.54 PMWhat does a building boom look like? CHS counts 23 25 26 apartment buildings currently under construction around Capitol Hill, on First Hill and at 23rd and Union. The new buildings will include somewhere around 2,500 new apartment units. They average six stories and 97 units. We count another 24 21 planned projects accounting for another possible 2,200 apartment units. And we’re pretty sure we’ve missed a few. UPDATE: Thanks to reader comments, we’ve added a handful of apartment projects to the list. And, it’s not pretty, but we’ve broken out non-apartment projects with a new “Townhome/Micro” layer. Yes, mixing apples and oranges with “Status” but will do for now. Note that this isn’t a complete roster of townhomes and microhousing development planned or in progress but does include major developments that were included in the design process and projects we were able to verify are planned as congregate residences.

That’s a lot of new neighbors.

CHS has made various attempts at tallying the epic scale of construction underway around the Hill in recent years. In spring of 2011, for example, we counted eight projects. How quaint! In fall of 2012, we tallied somewhere over 30 projects — planned and in motion. In 2013, it was all we could to to cover the new developments as they came.

Demolition at 12th and Pike (Image: CHS)

Demolition at 12th and Pike (Image: CHS)

Below, for 2014, you will find a map of area developments currently in construction and in planning — plus a few that were recently completed. We should probably add a few more of the opened buildings to the list. We should also add the microhousing projects we tallied here last year. You’ll hopefully see a few updates soon. You’ll also hopefully see our additions and corrections thanks to you. Please let us know what and where we’ve missed or any updates to listed statuses that are needed. Maybe if we get really ambitious, we can mark all of the unsafe areas around the construction zones for pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicle traffic.

The dots are color-coded by status — yellow are under construction, blue are planned and green are complete. You can click on the dots to learn more about the projects.

The map as a whole shows the pace of activity and the breadth stretching outside Capitol Hill’s commercial cores that has helped inspire slow growth groups to push back and ask City Hall to roll back neighborhood zoning and lower allowable building heights. But even as Seattle is faced with this swell of development peaking in places like Capitol Hill, the pace may not be enough to make the city affordable without new initiatives from our elected leaders. CHS wrote about the effort to form a new plan for creating affordable housing in Seattle here.

In the meantime, as the buildings on this map move from “Construction” to “Complete,” the needle on the affordability dial doesn’t seem to be budging.

Have items for us to add or update on the map? Let us know in comments.

50 thoughts on “Mapping the 26 apartment buildings under construction on Capitol Hill (and the 21 planned to follow)

  1. Thank you for this update. It is really amazing that so many new developments are going on at once….by far the most activity in my 30+ years living in Capitol Hill. This is generally a good thing, but it is creating a lot of traffic disruption and construction mess, so I will be glad when everything is finished, if it ever is!

    And this run-down makes a lie of the claims by some that our neighborhood is not increasing density fast enough. Clearly, we are doing more of this than any other neighborhood in Seattle.

    • Just imagine if we allowed at least twice the building heights. We’d either be able to add units twice as fast or only see half as many construction projects. But probably something in between. Either is better than distributing all this growth across so many properties. Forcing builders to build to spread the new units across so many plots is what’s really transforming the fabric of Capitol Hill. I agree we probably have the most construction projects of any neighborhood, but having only 2500 units to show for it is pretty pitiful.

      • No kidding, it would be so much better if we had a few Vancouver-style slender towers to absorb some of the people who want to live on the hill. That would require less demolition of older buildings.

        • The great thing about Vancouver is that, although the towers are quite tall, there is lots of open space around them, so that views/light are not compromised. This would not be the case if towers were built on Capitol Hill.

  2. 320 E Pine is shown as planned and under construction but Three20 Apartments is complete. Looks a whole lot cheaper than the renderings too. Yay painted corrugated metal at street level.

    For $2290 a month you still don’t get a bedroom with a window (makes it hard to call it more than a studio).

    • Agreed – I can’t believe how cheap and poorly constructed that building looks. The corrugated metal overhang is already bent in places and they take up a bunch of the sidewalk with utility meters surrounded by a fence. Looks trashy.

  3. So when can we expect the condo conversion boom? Maybe 2016 – 2020?

    I thought 607 Mauldin was going to be row houses, not apartments?

  4. Are these only residential projects? if not, Swedish is about to knock-down and rebuild their building at the NE corner of Boren Ave & Columbia St.

    • Yeah, in past we’ve snuck in “construction” on some bigger projects. Haven’t yet on this. I’d open the map to community updates but no easy way to do or to verify changes etc

  5. Wow. Between these and the many thousands of nearby units going up in Denny Triangle/SLU/Downtown/Belltown, I’m impressed how fast Seattle developers are responding to housing needs.

    • That is a 6 floor aPodment building. I believe aPodments were intentionally excluded from the list.

      The building going up at 12th and Roy is assumed to be excluded for the same reason.

  6. Where are all these people coming from? Are people moving from other parts of Seattle to the hill and are neighborhoods around Seattle being abandoned?

    • People are moving to Seattle from other cities, not just from outlying neighborhoods. Capitol Hill might be getting a higher rate of growth than other neighborhoods but the city itself is getting bigger in terms of total population.

  7. 2500 new additional apartments? that seems low. that’s 100 a unit. places like the chloe and joule have way more than that right?

  8. There’s something going up on the W side of E 16th between Thomas and Harrison, where the falling down house used to be. Don’t know what they’re building though.

  9. 710 14th Ave: Your map indicates 40 units planned. Can’t find that on DPD Web site, although that address has a 4-unit townhouse in planning process. (My understanding is that townhouse and rowhouse project are not intended to be included in this map, right?)

  10. Missing the development under construction at the SW corner of Boylston & Republican.
    40 units and only 8 parking spaces, woo!

    • With transit and most essential amenities within walking distance, parking isn’t a concern to most new residents. I’ve lived on CH/FH for over twenty years and rarely had use for a car.

      • It doesn’t have to be most residents. A new building just got completed next door to where I live and there is 57 units with zero parking. However, many of the new residents have cars, excuse me, Audis, and they are flooding the streets.

    • Well, at least they have some parking, unlike the godawful apodments.

      That building is replacing an old, dilapidated structure which was a day treatment center for mentally disabled people, and I believe the new building will provide permanent housing for some of them, as well as space for resuming day treatment. My guess is that the 8 parking spaces will be for staff.

      • Correction (from the PDF below): the new building will not include a day treatment center…it will be relocated elsewhere.

        I fully support this place in our neighborhood. It will provide stable housing for previously homeless and mentally disabled low-income people…..which of course is badly needed. I hope those who are constantly complaining about the lack of such housing on Capitol Hill will take note. Yes, more like this is needed, but it’s a start.

  11. I’m not sure I understand this map as a tally of new construction on Capitol Hill, First Hill, and 23rd and Union(?). (Is 23rd & Union the only area of the Central District that Capitol Hill residents move to when they leave the hill? So random!) That said, if you are going to include Squire Park and the Central District as you have on the map, there are easily two dozen additional buildings and who knows how many units (Yesler Terrace alone will bring 1,000s of new apartments) to add. Capitol Hill is getting taller and more crowded, but a radical transformation is also occurring next door in Squire Park, which is gaining more multiunit housing and public spaces than ever before in its history as a neighborhood of primarily single-family houses.

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