Seattle’s mass transit ridership rose faster than any other city in the United States for calendar 2017. Sound Transit’s ridership from 2015-2016 rose 23% making us eighth in the US for transit ridership. With the addition of the Sound Transit 3 initiative passed last year for $2.3 Billion, we now have the most aggressive expansion in the country.
The implications for Seattle commercial real estate are immense. Seattle’s job growth in the last six years has been 23%, which translates into 45,000 new jobs. 70% of these new employees use mass transit. To put that into perspective, there is no room for cars in downtown Seattle. If every one of these new employees drove, it would require 245 blocks of surface parking. The has lead to employers providing support for mass transit, office leasing in the Central Business District is at an all time high, multi family developers close to transit centers are no longer required to provide parking (Transit Oriented Development “TOD”) and increases in height and density zoning by the city. The value is in the land and its location.