South Lake Union

sluIn early Seattle history, South Lake Union had housing for both workers and owners of mills on Lake Union, including David Denny’s residence at Dexter Ave N and Republican St.By the 1960s, landowners including the Seattle Times demolished acres of housing for parking lots, leaving Cascade as the only district with many residential options. As early as 1972, the mayor’s “In-City Living Task Force” proposed the creation of 50,000 housing units in high-rise apartments in South Lake Union and Belltown. Since an economic redevelopment was initiated by the City Council in 2003, South Lake Union has seen a marked increase in housing with 1,850 new units, or 2,000,000 square feet (190,000┬ám2) of housing, either completed or scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008.

Due to recent development plans by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., as well as other prominent developers, South Lake Union is becoming a hub for life science organizations. Some in the area include: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Zymogenetics, Battelle, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle Children’s Hospital, PATH, Rosetta (now part of Merck & Co.), Bio-Rad, and University of Washington Medicine.

The South Lake Union Campus of the University of Washington School of Medicine now includes 1250 people (researchers and staff) in four buildings. The oldest is the “Blue Flame” building (the former home of Washington Natural Gas) at 815 Mercer St, which houses 4 floors of biotechnology and medical research laboratories. Among the varied research areas are four Centers, focused on Allergy & Inflammation, Cardiovascular Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Lung Biology and Translational Medicine in Women’s Health.