Lots of New Apartments in Seattle But No Space for Parking

Mary Pong,

More and more new apartment buildings are featuring homes that do not include a parking space. Only about half of new rentals downtown offer a parking stall.

It used to be that each apartment featured one parking space per unit but now, the trade-off is designed to be more affordable apartments rather than a high-priced department that includes a parking space.

Seattle is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and because of its dense, urban conglomerate, many renters are deciding to give up this long-held luxury. Many apartments and even condominium buildings are being developed that simply don’t even offer any parking whatsoever whereas just 20 years ago the average renter was guaranteed at least one spot for their vehicle.

Many of these downtown apartments are close to frequent transit service, so this does pose some type of solution but even buildings that do include garages are downsizing either how many spots per unit or space itself. Many developers now include 60% fewer parking spaces per unit and new buildings than they did just 10 years ago.

The idea is that more and more people are giving up the luxury of owning a vehicle and either going with public transportation, Uber, or living where all of their necessities are within a few-block radius. This means that where they live, work, play, and entertain are all within about a 5 to 6-block radius.

The good news is this does allow for more apartments to be developed using the city’s affordability crisis. However, many residents are still in love with their cars, as many Americans have always been. But with more millennials coming on the scene and especially in the workforce, the luxury of owning a vehicle is not that big of a priority. Many people know that the city’s roads are at capacity and many new parking regulations are even more restrictive to those with vehicles. The city’s rents are among the fastest growing in the country and to combat that, builders and developers are reducing the amount of square footage that would naturally come with an apartment, hence the parking space.

This is good and bad on two different sides of the spectrum depending on your perspective. If you’re looking for an affordable apartment to rent or even a condominium to buy and owning a vehicle is not a priority, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great options available to you. However, if you’d like to hang on to that luxury of owning a vehicle, chances are you’re going to pay for it.

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