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Port of Seattle, state will transform historic building into Maritime Innovation Center
Source: Puget Sound Business Journal
12-15-2020 | News
By Andrew McIntosh
A 106-year-old fishing supply building at Seattle’s iconic Fishermen’s Terminal will be restored and transformed into a $16 million maritime innovation center under plans being developed by the Port of Seattle with financial help from the state of Washington.
The five elected members of the Port of Seattle commission have voted to approve preliminary plans for the project, called the Maritime Innovation Center, as part of a process under which the Washington State Department of Commerce will kick in $5 million for the effort, public records show.
Known as the Seattle Ship Supply Building, the 1914-era structure features old-growth forest beams and wood throughout and is one of the oldest still standing in Seattle. It also is the tallest existing building on the Fishermen’s Terminal site. Its gable tower sits 45 feet high and its visible from the Ballard Bridge.
“It has a humble, graceful presence on the waterfront as a vernacular form. It is a simple building and represents our timber construction past,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck, who said he marveled at the building and its interior as an architect, fearing for years it would be torn down.
“A maritime innovation building would have been great any place it would have been built, but to have this built in this building is fantastic,” Steinbrueck added.
The new facility will be the home of Maritime Blue, a nonprofit business and technology incubator and accelerator for the sector. It will provide offices, classes, technical assistance, and research and development to help Seattle’s working waterfront innovate and sustain its competitive advantage. The project architects are from Miller Hull Partnership.
Once finished, the building will provide approximately 14,000 square feet of light industrial spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms and event space that will bring together leaders within the maritime cluster, said Port Commission Vice President Fred Felleman, who is also a Maritime Blue board member.