cranes seattle

Photo: Ryan Burkhardt/Flickr

Seattle now has nearly three times more cranes than New York City, according to Rider Levett Bucknall, a firm that tracks cranes across the world.

The latest count shows that Seattle had 62 cranes on its skyline at the end of 2016, more than San Francisco and Portland combined. That’s also more than Boston, Denver, Austin and Phoenix put together. And if that sounds like a lot, consider this: Seattle still has fewer cranes than Toronto. With 81 cranes towering above it, Toronto is the crane capital of North America.

The majority of cranes in Seattle are being used to build new apartments, with the city expecting a record 10,000 new units to open this year, The Seattle Times says. Office, condo and hotel projects are in the works as well.

Seattle’s crane count has been fairly consistent in recent years. The city had 42 cranes in mid-2015 and 60 in early 2016. The number then came down to 58 in mid-2016 before jumping up to the current 62 cranes out there today.

Cranes are often booked several months in advance. Companies say the construction equipment can stretch 600 feet in the air and cost developers $50,000 a month.

Rider Levett Bucknall releases crane count reports twice a year on major North American cities. The data does not include numbers from Greater Seattle neighborhoods like Bellevue. Most cities across the country have seen a decline in cranes as projects are completed and construction slows. In Seattle, construction shows no signs of stopping.  

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