Tall & Urban News

Seattle Proposes Legislation for Commercial to Convert to Residential

Downtown Seattle. Photo by Zayn Shah on Unsplash
Downtown Seattle. Photo by Zayn Shah on Unsplash
27 March 2024 | Seattle, United States

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed legislation to make it easier for property owners to convert their commercial buildings for residential use. The new legislation presented to the City Council on 14 March includes exemptions and cost reductions meant to ease the process of office-to-residential conversions.

The adoption of hybrid work policies has led to a substantial decrease in commercial real estate property value.  Office vacancy rates in downtown Seattle are double compared to 2019 according to GeekWire.

The City of Seattle also allows a hybrid work policy, requiring its executive branch employees (city offices and departments) to be in the office at least two days a week, except for workers supporting essential functions or those that have approved alternative arrangements. There are concerns of lost tax revenue for the city and are looking at ways to reduce the burden. The mayor is positioning his office conversion proposal as a way to also address housing affordability issues.

The mayor had also previously proposed land use code changes to increase density in every neighborhood and allow for more corner stores.

Read more about this story on GeekWire.