SoDo is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, that makes up part of the city's Industrial District. It is bounded on the north by South King Street, beyond which is Pioneer Square; on the south by South Spokane Street, beyond which is more of the Industrial District; on the west by the Duwamish Waterway, across which is West Seattle; and on the east by the Metro Busway, beyond which is the International District and the rest of the Industrial District.
SoDo was originally named for being located South of the (King)dome, but since the stadium's demolition in 2000, the name has been rebranded as meaning South of Downtown, and extends a bit further north to include Seattle's downtown stadium district of the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field ballpark and the Seattle Seahawks' Qwest Field stadium. Qwest Field was built on the former Kingdome site.
SoDo deliberately echoes SoHo in New York City, where, during the 1970s, cheap spaces vacated by departing factories were converted by artists into lofts and studios; SoDo has undergone a similar process but has not experienced much of the gentrification experienced by its putative model.
SoDo is home to Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners play Major League baseball, and to Qwest Field, built where the Kingdome once stood, where the Seattle Seahawks play NFL football. The Mariner's popular marketing campaign in the early 2000s used the SoDo moniker in the catchphrase "Sodo Mojo."
Some of SoDo's warehouse buildings remain in their original use; others have been carved up for artists' lofts, art galleries, and an assortment of other businesses. One building directly across from Safeco Field houses Pyramid Breweries, Inc. downstairs and a variety of small offices upstairs. As one travels further south along First Avenue S., these conversions peter out, and light manufacturing, warehouses, and warehouse-style retail stores predominate. Starbucks world headquarters is housed in a converted Sears building at First Avenue S. and S. Lander Street.
SoDo's main thoroughfares are First and Fourth Avenues S. and Alaskan Way S. (north- and south-bound) and S. Lander and Holgate Streets, Edgar Martínez Drive S., and S. Royal Brougham Way (east- and west-bound).
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, SoDo has a population of 2,602, with a median age of 41.2; 458 residences are owner-occupied and 536 are rented. (This probably slightly understates the population, because there are a certain number of artists living illegally in studio spaces that are not zoned residential, plus a small resident homeless population.) The average annual household income is given as $42,208; the racial breakdown is 41% White, 28% Asian, 14% Black, 9% Hispanic/Latino, 3% American Indian/Alaska Native, and 5% other.
Before Seattle was settled, the Dwamish native tribe inhabited the area now known as SoDo. Chief Seattle himself was a member of this tribe.
In the early 2000's the Seattle Mariners slogan "SoDo Mojo" was made after this district. It was later changed because only people from the greater Seattle area under stood what it meant and most people were confused by it.
First Avenue was originally Commercial street, but was later changed due to layout issues to help people find their way.