Do Business Here

Reasons to Open a Business in Seattle’s University District

Looking to open a business in the U District? Here you will find information and tools for launching a business in Seattle’s U District.  If you need additional information or help, please contact Daniel Lokic at

Fast Facts

  • 17,000 Residents
  • 61% with a college degree
  • 54,000 Students
  • 800 Licensed Businesses
  • 300,000 Square Feet of Street Level Retail
  • 2.5 Million Square Feet of Commercial and Office Space
  • Assessed Value in Excess of $2.5 Billion

Market Expansion Potential

Foot Traffic: The U District has a Walk Score of 91 and some of the highest pedestrian counts in Seattle.  In fact, Redfin considers the U District a Walker’s Paradise.  Pedestrian data is available from the 2012 University of Washington Student Project 2012 Pedestrian Count and the 2015 Transpo Group Study 2015 Pedestrian Count.

Demographics: Key demographics showing how the U District compares to the rest of Seattle and the surrounding area.

Retail Market Outlook: Retail market demand and projected growth in the U District from 2018-2028.

Transportation Hub

U District Light Rail Station: Opening in 2021, the U District Station will connect district businesses to the rest of Seattle’s growing light rail network. When the station opens, riders will be able to travel from Sea-Tac airport in 41 minutes and from Westlake in 8 minutes. By 2030, approximately 12,000 riders will board at U District Station daily.

Fast Transit Connections: The U District will be a major transfer hub in Seattle’s Transit Plus and RapidRide networks. With new routes scheduled to serve the U District to coincide with the opening of the Light Rail Station, local businesses will be even more accessible to customers throughout metropolitan Seattle.


ORCA Program: Join 1,000+ Seattle businesses who offer the ORCA transit pass as an employee benefit. ORCA cards work on all the buses, trains, streetcars, and water taxis that commuters rely on, and Commute Seattle can help you tailor an ORCA for Business program to meet your budget. Best of all, local businesses new to commuter benefits may be eligible for a match of up to $10,000 when investing in an ORCA program. There’s even a free consultation.

Services and Resources

Business Resource Center: The U District Partnership Business Resource Center serves all U District Business Improvement Area businesses and prospective businesses looking to enter the district by connecting them to the best available information and providing direct services to individual businesses.

UDP Clean & Safe  Programs: A vibrant district of entrepreneurs, major employers, smart workers, and diverse residents needs a public realm that works for everybody. Read about the U District Partnership’s Clean & Safe Programs here.