Amazon's HQ (Callison photo/Chris Eden)

The transformation of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood — sparked by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate — continues as Amazon.com and others move in to the former industrial zone on the edge of downtown. KING 5’s Glenn Farley takes a closer look at what’s happening, interviewing Seattle chef Tom Douglas (who is setting up restaurants in the area) and others who aren’t quite as pleased about the increases in traffic.

Vulcan just announced that it has completed the fourth phase of Amazon.com’s new headquarters, a massive facility which includes 10 buildings spread across four city blocks. When completed the headquarters will include 1.7 million square feet of office space across 11 buildings.

Here’s a look at Farley’s report:

About 24,000 people currently work in the neighborhood, a number that is expected to grow to 40,000 by 2015. Can the area handle that?

Maybe they’ll have to come up with a new name for the “Mercer Mess,” the tangled Web of streets that segments the neighborhood and has developed the reputation as one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the city.

Massive construction is occurring in the neighborhood in order to alleviate some of that traffic stress, but we will have to wait and see how that plays out as employment booms in the area. I am heading down there today, so I’ll give a first hand report.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews.

Comments

  • http://www.wac6.typepad.com William Carleton

    I definitely notice the increased traffic on I-5 south in the mornings. In just the last few months, a standing line forms in the lane for the Mercer exit. The next lane over is getting bunched up too as people who swing on to I-5 from 520 try to cross lanes to make the exit.

  • Anonymous

    Just a year ago South Lake Union restaurants were half full at lunch. Now there are often over 20 people in line at the Great Northwest Soup Company. Literally 20 people.

    The transformation is amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/Nanostring Nanostring Founder

    pretty sure the point of this post is to elicit “Ride the Slut!” puns…

  • Joe the Coder

    South Lake Union Tangle?

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