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The 5 Seattle neighborhoods everyone should be watching

As 2016 draws to a close, keep an eye on these spots for 2017 and beyond

Back in June, the Downtown Seattle Association said in a report that there were 65 major buildings under construction across downtown, South Lake Union and surrounding neighborhoods, which was the most since 2005. That doesn’t even include what’s been proposed or under construction elsewhere in Seattle and what has begun work since.

While many, if not most, Seattle neighborhoods are being affected by this growth, some are seeing sweeping changes far beyond the others. Below, you’ll find our list of the five neighborhoods to watch as 2016 begins its slow fade into 2017 (which will be here before you know it).

Denny Triangle

This one kinda goes without saying. There will be a time in the future when we look at a picture of Denny Triangle from, say, 1995, and then compare it to what it looks like now and we’ll wonder how in the world that changed so much, so fast.

Amazon alone is going to transform Denny Triangle into their own playground, complete with giant spheres and office towers. But then when you throw in a 425-unit apartment building here, a 355-unit apartment tower there, the region’s largest hotel, a massive data center or two, and the rest of the high-rise projects in the works, Seattle’s skyline is basically about to grow by an entire neighborhood.

First Hill

A lot of the development attention has been paid to Capitol Hill and Downtown but First Hill is starting to have it’s moment in the high-rise sun with a slew of projects. Luma has already started attracting condo buyers back to the neighborhood and there’s not one but two double-tower mixed-use projects in the works. There’s also a Whole Foods on the way, a sure sign that things are about to change.

Pioneer Square

There’s a fight for preservation happening in Downtown Seattle’s oldest neighborhood. There’s only so much that can be preserved, however, with the number of developments in the works and the way the rejuvenated nightlife is changing the way people interact with it. Weyerhaeuser specifically moved so they can tap into the younger workers who want to be here and there are lots of mixed-use projects in the work to house them. The neighborhood might become a hotel hotspot with all of the projects currently in the works. And just wait until the Upstream Music Festival happens.


The new light rail station in Roosevelt is expected to open in 2021 but developers haven’t been waiting in the meantime. Positioned perfectly, this station is setting off a construction boom around it and remaking Roosevelt into one of North Seattle’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods based on potential. Every month it seems like we meet a new mixed-user or apartment complex going up here, many of which are targeted young professionals who don’t mind smaller spaces so long as they have access to the nighlife, food, and transportation they need.


Seattle’s transportation hub has a lot of independent projects in the works right now that, all implemented, could turn this junction between Center Seattle and South Seattle into an even more crowded locale than it already is, much to the Port of Seattle’s chagrin. We know the South Lander Street Bridge project is finally moving forward, which “should” streamline a lot of the freight traffic in and out. Meanwhile, Amazon’s supposed pick-up grocery store moving in will bring plenty more residential folks to the region on a daily basis. And despite the fact that he’s been shot down multiple times, Chris Hansen doesn’t seem like he’s going to stop until he builds his arena here. Even if he doesn’t, he owns so much of SoDo now that something big will be built here one way or another. Not sure where there’s room or zoning for residential projects but someone will find a way.