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Hotels may be booming after long hiatus

Offices and convention centers need hotels, more please

Weber Thompson

Add hotels to the apartments, condos, and offices that are jockeying for space in downtown Seattle. Like with many construction projects, there was a significant hiatus during the Recession. Finally, there’s enough enthusiasm, economic encouragement, and financing to begin adding hotel rooms. Yet another reason for our growing skyline of construction cranes.

Hotel demand is tied to tourism and business. As Seattle’s image spreads, the area attracts more visitors. As business improves, business travel increases. It is obvious that as the offices rise so does the need for housing workers, but there’s also a need for hotel rooms for customers, clients, suppliers, everyone that has to travel here to coordinate with the businesses here. As the convention center grows, so grows the hotel business.

The city’s business growth has been impressive but according to the Downtown Seattle Association;

“While Downtown added fewer than 700 rooms from 2011 through the first half of 2016, there are 1,471 rooms scheduled for completion in 2017 and an additional 1,468 in 2018.“

With about 14,000 already in downtown, these increases are approximately ten percent per year, a significant growth rate in any housing sector.


The second largest project by rooms is the Residence Inn by Marriott which should debut this fall with 15 stories, 302 rooms, and 300,000 square feet of space including a 7,000 square foot convention center. The project team includes Mortenson Construction and Stonebridge Companies.

Our report about it last April pointed out that the hotel occupancy rate stood at 93.5 percent. That’s not a lot of spare rooms, which gets to be an issue if you’re trying to host a conference or a major company meeting. More projects are planned and are in various phases of construction. Within the next few years the city could see an additional 5,000 rooms, more than a one-third increase; and probably only the beginning considering Seattle’s growing role in the world.