Urban Centers & Corridors

  1. Land Value
  2. New Housing
SourceThurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC); Thurston County Assessor’s Office
Data TableAssessed Value
Net Average Residential Density
MapThurston County Centers, Corridors, and Infill Areas (PDF)
ExplanationThe Thurston region has made substantial investments in the infrastructure in urban corridors and centers, which are located in the Lacey-Olympia-Tumwater urban area.  These areas serve as the region’s primary economic hubs, capturing around 13% of the total assessed land value even though they contain just 1% of the county’s land area.

Between 2012 and 2020 there was a 2% decrease in the share of assessed value in centers and corridors.  At the same time, investment in north county urban areas outside a corridor, center, or infill area, increased 3%.

The average density of new residential development in urban centers and corridors has declined since the late 1990s, but housing density in urban infill areas and other urban areas (in all jurisdictions) has increased during the same period of time.

Residential density impacts the viability of transit service.  In general, seven dwelling units per acre is the minimum density needed for transit service, and 15 units per acre (along with a mix of jobs and activities) is needed to support frequent transit service (service every 15 minutes or less).

Sustainable Thurston Report Card

The Sustainable Thurston Report Card tracks how well the Thurston region is doing at creating vibrant urban centers.  The goal includes three targets:  

  • 72% of urban households located are within a half-mile of an urban center, corridor, or neighborhood center
  • 17% or more of homes in Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater’s urban areas are located in an urban corridor or center
  • 21 or more jobs and residents per acre are found in the region’s centers and corridors