The Parking Advisors team has provided parking consulting services across the Seattle and Pugent Sound for existing assets and new developments. The team is recognized for having Seattle's leading parking consultants. We are familiar with the market's parking demand drivers and trends.
Seattle's Most Experienced Parking Consultants
Parking Advisors' experience spans office, retail, residential, life science and mixed-use projects across all of Seattle's submarkets.
Parking Advisors in Seattle & The Pugent Sound
Seattle's Parking Market Fundamentals
Seattle's parking fundamentals are impacted by the geography of the city, large employers, city rules and regulations and other factors. Our parking analyses include an in-depth analysis of the following drivers:
Puget Sound has grown into a diversified gateway region known for its leading technology, aerospace, retail, biotech & life sciences, gaming, and travel companies. The region is home to numerous fortune 500 companies that span a variety of industries that consists of the likes of Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco, Nordstrom, Expedia, and Alaska Airlines. Furthermore, Seattle has emerged as a global technology destination due to its skilled workforce, high productivity, and proximity of public technology companies. Since 2000, numerous companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, Zillow, Oculus, Dropbox, and Oracle have added office space or moved their headquarters to the Seattle region.
The city of Seattle’s parking tax rate increased on July 1st, 2022 to 14.5%. The commercial parking tax does not apply to parking on Seattle streets or to parking in residential spaces. The current Seattle B&O tax is 0.471% of gross receipts.
As of August of 2022, Seattle has four ongoing light rail projects under construction that aim to improve Seattle’s public transportation. Currently, the public transportation in Seattle is limited and does not meet the operational standards of public transportation in other markets across the US. As a result, more people continue to drive in Seattle further driving a demand in the market for parking.
Parking Fundamentals Continued
From 2010-2018, Seattle has experienced a “building boom” with over 68 projects completed or under construction still, 12million sf of new office space, 14,000 hotel rooms, and 14,443 housing units, with projects valuing over $4.5B. Currently, Seattle has more than 14,000 residential units, 1,600 hotel rooms, and 5.3 million square feet of office space under construction or proposed. As a result, there is a strong demand for construction workers that tend to park in the surrounding markets, and further increase transient parking revenue.
Seattle lies on a narrow strip of land between the salt waters of Puget Sound and the fresh waters of Lake Washington. And, beyond the waters lie two are mountain ranges, the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. Due to Seattle’s geography and highway system, there is frequent traffic along the freeway into downtown Seattle. Furthermore, because of Seattle’s isolated geography, the city has adopted one of the largest ferry systems in the world.
Transportation Management Plans
Many buildings in Seattle have Transportation Management Plans (TMPs). The City of Seattle negotiates TMPs with buildings to mitigate the impacts of traffic and congestion. TMPs require the building to participate in programs which encourage the use of public transportation, carpooling and vanpooling.
Seattle's Parking Submarkets
Seattle's parking dynamics vary by submarket.
Seattle’s Central Business District
- The Central Business District primarily comprises office, residential and mixed-use buildings, the majority of which have been developed within the last 10 years. Seattle has been the center of a recent commercial real estate development boom, in large part due to Amazon’s rapid growth. Amazon currently occupies or owns more than 10 million square feet in the Seattle metro area and continues to expand. Amazon currently has a waitlist for employee parking in the Seattle market and demand exceeds supply by several thousand parkers.
South Lake Union
- South Lake Union is composed primarily of office, residential and mixed-use buildings, most of which were developed within the last 10 years. While some original condition buildings and vacant land parcels remain, much of the submarket has been redeveloped or is slated for near term redevelopment. The redevelopment of South Lake Union was conceived and approved by the City 10+ years ago as a transit-friendly development. As a result, many buildings have onsite parking that falls short of employee and visitor demand. In April 2018 the City of Seattle passed a series of parking reforms that are intended to lower the parking supply. As a result, parking rates increased. Some of the major reforms include 1) expansion of the defined area of frequent transit service, allowing increased development with little to no off-street parking; 2) reduced parking requirements for affordable housing projects; and 3) a provision allowing residential and commercial spaces above a certain size to offer parking separate from rent. As a result, parking demand is likely to continue to exceed new supply in the South Lake Union submarket as large developments are permitted and constructed with relatively small parking facilities.
Most of the parking options in the market are surface lots. The WSCEU building and 1100 NE 45th Street (45th Street Plaza) office buildings both have underground parking garages but do not offer public hourly parking. Monthly parking rates range from $165 to $200 a month plus tax. The 2-hour parking rate (a typical visitor parking duration) ranges from $3.00 to $11.00 plus tax and the average is approximately $6.00 plus tax. The daily maximum time at all of the parking facilities is 10 hours and street parking is currently a mix of free parking and paid parking.
Stadiums / SoDo
Stadiums/SoDo district is a mixture of surface lots, private garages, and street parking. Majority of the parking found along 1st and 4th avenue are surface lots, which have an average 2-hour rate ranging from $6-$10.