Hotel Development Opportunities in Burien, WA

The City of Burien is seeking a three star or better hotel which will cater to local and airport-related lodging needs. The hotel project should complement existing and planned development in the area and contribute to a vibrant downtown. Though not required for consideration, the City also welcomes proposals that include:

  • Mixed-use projects that incorporate a hotel with residential units, retail space and/or office space;
  • Conference/events space; and
  • Performing arts or international public market space.

The City plans to sell the site at fair market value (in consideration of land price and/or the monetary equivalent of any public benefits) to a qualified developer, who agrees to execute a formal Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) for hotel development. 

Site Information

Click the Site Map to Enlarge

The 54,000+/- square foot property is located within Burien’s downtown commercial zone, adjacent to the Burien Transit Center and planned Burien Transit Oriented Development (TOD).  The vacant and cleared site is accessible from SW 150th St., one of the main access routes into Downtown Burien. The site is less than 4 miles (or 7 minutes) from Sea- Tac International Airport’s Main Terminal and is ¼ mile from two major freeways—SR-518 providing access to the airport, I-5, and I-405; and SR-509 providing access to Seattle.

Depending on the build out, there is potential for visibility from SR 518 exit onto 1st Ave. The site is two blocks NE of the new Burien Town Square development and boasts of views of Mount Rainier to the south. The City completed a land survey in 2005.

Why Burien?

 “We are actively looking at new projects in Burien because the city has been open to negotiating on development agreements and our projects have gone well."

— Dave Sinnett, American Capital Group

Additional Project Details

Burien's Community Information

Burien’s location in Puget Sound’s dynamic commercial corridor makes it an ideal setting for businesses, employees and residents. The City has a diverse population of 51,000 calling this waterfront community home.

“If cities had coming-of-age parties, this would be Burien’s.” –Marc Stiles, PSBJ

The top industry in Burien is health care, with the Highline Medical Center as one of Burien’s lodging demand generators mentioned in the hotel study. There are also major national brand clinics such as CHI Franciscan and Kaiser Permanente as well as private practitioners that serve southern Seattle and the greater Burien area. Among the top 5 industries are retail and food services, which points to Burien’s wealth of restaurants and amenities – and the availability of work force for a hotel concept.

Burien’s Downtown

The downtown area has a rich history as a celebration and services destination for the Highline area for more than 50 years.
By attracting customers and entrepreneurs with its easy access, Burien is the center for small business and is increasingly known as the foodie paradise of the south Seattle area. As the preferred dining location for airport personnel, airport users with baggage in tow is a common sight downtown. Cultural amenities abound, such as the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, the Burien Actor’s Theatre,
and various sports playfields which are all within walking distance from the hotel site.

Development Success in Burien Town Square

Burien’s Town Square project was completed in 2017 with the addition of the Maverick Apartments and Merrill Gardens, adding 350 high-end luxury residential units. Both complexes experienced fast paced leasing. Fully leased before opening, the Burien Merrill  Gardens is their fastest leasing project. The Maverick Apartments were 76% leased two months after opening, and its current average effective rent is $2.52/square foot.


Highway Access

Burien is connected directly to Sea-Tac Airport via SR 518, which terminates one block from the site. Burien also enjoys direct 20-minute access to Seattle by State Route 509.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has approval to connect SR 509 and I-5 just south of the airport. Construction is in progress. While traffic congestion afflicts much of greater Seattle, Burien’s location offers faster connections to Seattle’s business and industrial areas, including the maritime and air ports.

Sea-Tac International Airport

Sea-Tac International Airport terminals are a brief seven minutes’ drive east of this site. Sea-Tac International Airport is the only major airport serving Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. It is the fastest growing airport in the United States over the past 4 years and continues to grow. Construction for a new international terminal has been completed and the Port of Seattle is engaged in a Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) process in order to accommodate future projected growth of passenger and freight service.


The Burien Transit Center borders the site, offering two bus rapid transit routes—one to light rail, regional shopping malls, and Boeing’s Renton location; and the other to downtown Seattle. Another bus rapid transit line has been approved and is in the planning stage which will provide service along the I-405 corridor. A future Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is planned for the west portion of the Transit Center property, adjacent to 4th Avenue SW.

Walkability and Downtown Amenities

With a Walkscore of 90, downtown Burien appeals to scrutinizing guests that prefer to have unique and original experiences. Downtown Burien is home to renowned bakeries, small cafés, a craft brewery, grocery stores, pharmacies, a farmer’s market, and a diverse range of restaurants representing cuisines from every corner of the globe. There is also a library, a splash park, and a small urban forest all within a 5-7 minute walk from the site.

Development Standards

The site is zoned Downtown Commercial (DC). The maximum height limit for that zone is five (5) stories and maximum floor area ratio (FAR) is 3.5.  Increases in height up to twelve (12) stories and increases in floor area ratio of up to 7 are permitted through the provision of public benefit features. The Downtown Commercial zone allows a wide variety of land uses including hotels, retail, office, restaurants and unlimited residential density. 

The City follows an administrative design review process; there will be no public design review process for this project. The City utilizes the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) and all current construction codes can be accessed on the City’s website. All development standards, downtown design guidelines and related Comprehensive Plan policies are available on the City’s website.

Development on this site is exempt from SEPA. The City of Burien has established a SEPA categorical exemption for new residential or mixed-use projects that are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan’s intent to increase residential density within Burien’s Urban Center (including Downtown Burien).

Development Incentives

Opportunity Zone

Downtown Burien has been designated an Opportunity Zone in accordance with the Investing in Opportunity Act, which incentivizes new investments by providing deferment and potential relief from capital gains tax obligations.

Multi Family Tax Exemption (MFTE)

For mixed-use hotel concepts that may include residential development, the City of Burien has a generous MFTE policy that encourages residential development and density in the downtown. New multi-family construction in the downtown can experience a relief from local property taxes for 8 years. Multi-family projects that incorporate affordable housing may receive a local property tax exemption of up to 12 years.