Downtown Seattle activation plan includes taller affordable housing



(The Center Square) – Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell revealed his full Downtown Activation Plan with taller buildings in mind to increase affordable housing.

The Downtown Activation Plan includes proposing legislation that will be submitted to the Seattle City Council in July to change zoning limits in the Downtown Seattle District.

The zoning requirements would change from the current maximum of 170 feet to 440 feet along Third Avenue from Union to Stewart Streets and east along Union and Pike Streets toward Fourth Avenue.

The city’s goal for raising the requirement is to allow for taller residential towers and incentivize more affordable units, and downtown childcare and education facilities.

Another part of Harrell’s plan is to make the downtown area more residential. According to the Downtown Activation Plan, vertical buildings would add more amenities and resources to more authentically make a neighborhood within downtown. This is considered possible by incentivizing mixed-use buildings with spaces for schools, childcare facilities, community gathering spaces and retail shops.

“Downtown Seattle is home to award-winning restaurants, world-class theaters and museums, a new waterfront and convention center, and Mayor Harrell’s Downtown Activation Plan sets in motion the step-by-step actions needed to make downtown the vibrant neighborhood we all know it can be,” Seattle City Councilmember Dan Strauss said in a statement.

City officials have already been working on downtown’s recovery prior to the reveal of the full Downtown Activation Plan on June 28. Notable downtown recovery initiatives include the Seattle mayor issuing an executive order on fentanyl use in the city; the Seattle City Council passing the Downtown Seattle Metropolitan Improvement District renewal to provide cleanup services in the downtown area; and reopening City Park Hall.

Once Harrell’s zoning change legislation is finished, it will head to the Seattle City Council for a potential vote in July.

“With bold thinking and a commitment to progress, we will once again set our sights on an ambitious future for downtown, creating a place where everyone can succeed and capturing the spirit of innovation, inclusivity, and forward-thinking that has defined Seattle for decades,” Harrell said.



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