By Mike Rosenberg - Seattle Times business reporter
Seattle’s historic building boom somehow keeps soaring to new heights, and probably won’t slow down anytime soon.
Last June, the Downtown Seattle Association found a record number of buildings were under construction, at least since it began counting in 2005.
But that mark didn’t last long. In its newest tally, released Thursday, the group found 68 major buildings under construction in the greater downtown area at the end of 2016, a new high-point from at least the previous 11 years.
The construction nearly doubles the number of buildings under way at the end of 2015, and is up slightly from the 65 projects counted last spring. At the peak of the previous building cycle, before the recession hit, the downtown region had 51 major buildings under construction; during the downturn, there were just 12.
Development is expected to remain steady or perhaps even increase slightly this year, based on plans submitted to the city. And developers have a vision to keep up that pace through at least 2019, though many of those future projects exist mostly on paper and could still fall through if the current boom goes bust.
The semi-annual report covers the full core of the city, spanning from Sodo to South Lake Union, and from Lower Queen Anne to Capitol Hill, with projects most tightly packed in South Lake Union. It doesn’t chronicle the full construction frenzy spanning the entire city — but Seattle as a whole has the most construction cranes of any city in America.
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