Urban Fold

Seeing Dollar Signs, Developers Cater to Cyclists

Seeing an opportunity to cut costs, attract residents, and respond to changing demands of tenants, commercial and residential developers in the Seattle area are investing in amenities for bicyclists.

"If there really is a War on Cars, more and more employers and commercial developers are siding with the bicyclists," says Marc Stiles. "That’s clear when you look over building plans and hear developers talk about their projects."

Examples abound in the Seattle region, from the cycle tracks Amazon.com is building at its new three-block office complex to an entire apartment building for bicyclists called Velo, planned for the city's Fremont neighborhood. "Even Kemper Development, which touts the 10,000 free vehicle parking spaces at its Bellevue Collection, is building a bike commuter 'lounge' in the 4-million-square-foot retail, office, residential and hotel complex," adds Stiles.

"These are just a few of the many Seattle-area businesses and developers trying to capitalize on the popularity of bicycling — and to save lots of money, too. That $300,000 that Kemper is spending to handle dozens of cyclists, for example, is dwarfed by the $40,000 it can cost a landlord to build just one car stall in a parking structure."

"Nevertheless, developers’ increasing investment in bike commuting is generating work for a wide variety of businesses, from plumbers who install office showers, to makers of bike racks, to designers and consultants in the burgeoning bike arena."

Full Story: Developers capitalize on the rise of cycling's popularity

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