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Residential projects drive downtown Seattle development

Residential development has made up 72% of downtown Seattle construction so far this year, according to the Downtown Seattle Association.

Editor's note: The video above on development using cranes originally aired in May 2019.

Downtown Seattle isn’t just for office workers.

Residential projects made up the biggest share of construction projects in downtown Seattle so far this year, and the number of people living downtown is the highest in recent history.

That data comes from a report released Friday from the Downtown Seattle Association that tracks development, residents, and employment in the city center.

DSA estimates there are 88,000 people living downtown, which is the most since DSA began tracking development activity. Of those people, children make up the fastest growing demographic downtown, doubling to 4,850 children since 2010.

RELATED: Downtown Seattle saw record construction growth in 2018

Residential development made up 72% of downtown construction so far in 2019. Although the number of apartment units constructed in downtown Seattle are down from the high in mid 2017, they are slightly up from last year. About 7,100 apartment units are under construction now, compared to 8,880 in mid 2017. However, condo construction is on the rise with 1,000 units under construction. That’s 50% higher than last year, according to DSA.

Midway through 2019, 23 buildings have been completed, compared to 29 over all of 2019. There are also 16 buildings under construction, and 43 buildings are expected to be completed over the next 18 months, according to DSA.

RELATED: Seattle gets its second tallest building

Although it has a lower share overall development, DSA reports square footage of retail construction is still at its highest mid-year level in more than a decade. Nearly 500,000 square feet are in development.