Seattle office building is set for apartment conversion

by Heidi Groover at

As scores of white-collar workers continue to work from home, an empty Uptown office building could soon become dozens of apartments. 

Developer Stream Real Estate has filed plans with the city of Seattle to convert the aging office building near Climate Pledge Arena into apartments, in what appears to be the first proposed conversion of a full office building into housing in Seattle since the pandemic. 

Residential conversion is a popular — but logistically tricky — idea that has gained traction as office buildings sit empty and cities look to revitalize their downtowns and address housing shortages. 

Across the Seattle area, employers continue to pare back their office space or search for high-end amenities in hopes of drawing workers back to the office.

In Queen Anne and Magnolia, where much of the office space is in midtier buildings, nearly 30% of total office space was either vacant or available for sublease in late 2023, according to the commercial real estate firm Colliers. Compare that with about 16% at the same time in 2019.