South Lake Union Rates High but Lacks Key Elements

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor  South Lake Union has rapidly gained status as a biotechnology and global healthcare hub, but achieving its full potential will require a great deal of public funding and policy changes, according to a study reported in [...]

South Lake Union has rapidly gained status as a biotechnology and global healthcare hub, but achieving its full potential will require a great deal of public funding and policy changes, according to a study reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

South Lake Union currently lacks key elements to give the feeling of a community or a sense of unity to the area. Such elements are effective transportation, new building codes that would aid big biotechnology firms and general resources aimed at improving the quality of life in the area. These conclusions come from a report commissioned by the city of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and the Downtown Seattle Association.

One of the major problems South Lake Union faces is ensuring a secure enough power supply. Companies in the area are complaining that they have had to use their backup generators a number of times and that power lines are situated above ground, which makes them very vulnerable to weather conditions, particularly undesirable for heavy users. The bill for the necessary operations that should be made in the technology-heavy hub would stand at around $108 million, funding for which is currently being sought.

That said, a different study commissioned by the same Downtown Seattle Association and Office of Economic Development has revealed the fact that South Lake Union is currently overachieving in other ways, with numbers steadily exceeding the expectations set by analysts back in 2002. And all this is keeping in mind the fact that recession has not avoided the city of Seattle.