Port of Seattle Breaks Ground on Long-Awaited Green Building for Startups

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22-May-2024

The Port of Seattle has broken ground on a long-awaited headquarters building for Maritime Blue, Washington’s blue economy startup accelerator. The future Maritime Innovation Center will repurpose a historic ship supply building at Fishermen’s Terminal, turning it into a unique, green architectural feature. 

“Today’s groundbreaking is a celebration of the Port’s substantial commitment to support innovation as a way to foster the maritime industry’s ability to sustain our region’s blue economy,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “The transformation of the Port’s oldest asset into one that can meet the Living Building Challenge symbolizes the Port’s recognition of the maritime industry’s significance.”

The refurbishment is part of a $100 million package of improvements that the Port of Seattle plans for the working waterfront at Fishermen’s Terminal. Other investments include dock repairs and upland facility improvements for commercial fishermen, who have been the terminal’s primary users for decades. 

The new $32 million innovation center will be built to the stringent environmental standards of the Living Building Challenge. Its sustainable features include abundant natural light, incorporation of salvaged materials, rainwater capture, heat pump heating and cooling, and onsite solar power generation. The original timber-frame structure from 1914 will be retained and augmented with a seismic-rated steel frame. 

When completed, Maritime Blue will move in as the anchor tenant, and the site will be the new home for its annual innovation accelerator program. The nonprofit has supported seven cohorts of blue tech startups so far, and will have much more square footage for its future groups. 

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