Reasons to Open a Business in the U District

Looking to open a business in the U District? You’re looking in the right place. Below is the commonly requested information and tools for launching a business in Seattle’s U District. If you need additional information or help, please visit the online Business Resource Center or contact us 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

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. For a map and aerial photo of the station’s location, click here.

  • RapidRide - Bus Ridership: Can you guess the location of Seattle’s only north-side RapidRide station servicing at least 3 lines? Yep, the U District, which will be a major transfer hub in Seattle’s RapidRide network. With new routes scheduled to stop in the U District in 2021, 2022, and 2024, 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.

  • U District Let’s Go Employer Resources: Help your employees get to work and help your customers get there too.

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.

  • Clean and Safe Program: A vibrant district of entrepreneurs, major employers, smart workers, and diverse residents needs a public realm that works for everybody. To ensure friendly, inviting, clean, and safe streets and public areas, the U District Partnership has initiated and manages an active program that focuses on crime and disorder hotspots, public rights-of-way, young adult support, community services, and partnerships with law enforcement and educational organizations.


  • List of Commercial Vacancies: The perfect space for your business is in the University District. We’ve even aggregated a downloadable list of commercial vacancies to help you find it.

U District Business Network: Next Quarterly Meeting in August

Want to Know More?

  • Contact us at

Communication Builds Community: If you are a business operator or property owner in the U District and haven’t sent us your contact information in 2018-19, please update it today.