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Converting Downtown Offices to Housing

City of Seattle Announces Call for Ideas

The Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) is sponsoring a competitive Call for Ideas to convert Seattle Downtown commercial office spaces to residential use. Building owner/architect teams are invited to share innovative solutions that will identify obstacles to conversion and lead to potential policy and regulatory changes. The deadline for entries is Friday, May 12, 2023.

All qualified entries will be on display at the Seattle Convention Center in late May. 

Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the Call for Ideas in his State of the City speech in February. “Our long-term plans center downtown as a laboratory for the future. The possibilities are endless,” said Mayor Harrell in his address.

“We seek visions for Downtown that celebrate the intersection between residential, business, and civic activities,” said Rico Quirindongo, Acting Director of OPCD. “We will foster ideas that expand the concept of Downtown as a vibrant residential neighborhood, in addition to its history as a place of commerce, entertainment and tourism. Together we can foster a bright future for Downtown residents and a neighborhood welcoming to all.”

OPCD will offer recognition to the top three scoring submissions with honorariums in the following amounts: highest scoring submittal will receive $10,000 and the two second place entries will receive $7,500.

Every submittal meeting the minimum required contents will receive a nominal honorarium in recognition of the time and expertise. Determination of amounts will be made after the submission deadline and is subject to number of submissions and budget availability. 

Competition details and submittal criteria are available here:

For more information, contact:  
Lyle Bicknell, Principal Urban Designer
Office of Planning and Community Development