Mayor Harrell announces proposal to innovate Seattle's industrial and maritime strategy

Mayor Bruce Harrell announced new legislation to update Seattle’s industrial lands policy with the goal of creating thousands of new career and housing opportunities in the next 20 years.

According to Tuesday’s announcement, Harrell’s proposal, which focuses on industrial and maritime businesses, will be the first major update to the policy in decades.

Office of Mayor Bruce Harrell

"Our city was founded and flourished on the strength of our industrial and maritime sectors – Seattle’s future requires maintaining and building upon these critical economic cornerstones," said Mayor Bruce Harrell.

Harrell points out that this proposal will promote a diversified economy, creating an estimated 35,000 new jobs for people of all backgrounds. The new plan will also create 3,000 new affordable homes, grow areas near the Sound Transit light rail and improve environmental quality for people in the area.

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Harrell’s legislation would establish three new industrial zones:

  • Maritime, Manufacturing and Logistics
  • Industrial Innovation
  • Urban Industrial

Maritime, Manufacturing and Logistics

Seattle Mayor's Office

This zone would strengthen protections for industrial and maritime areas in order to prevent other developments, like mini-storage or big box stores, from moving in. 

Industrial Innovation

Seattle Mayor's Office

This zone will help the development of multi-story buildings that house industrial employment uses, such as research, design and offices. This development would also support high-density employment near Sound Transit light rail stations.

Urban Industrial

Seattle Mayor's Office

This zone is intended to increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. According to Harrell, this area will have a vibrant mix of affordable, small-scale places for light industry, creative arts and housing spaces. This will serve as a healthy transition between industrial areas, and neighboring residential areas in Georgetown, South Park and Ballard.

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District 6 council member Dan Strauss shared his thoughts on Mayor Harrell's proposal: 

"The Maritime and Industrial Strategy has been worked on for years, creating consensus within a group of stakeholders who often hold opposite opinions. Mayor Harrell and his team crafted a balanced proposal that protects both our maritime and industrial lands while supporting the flexibility needed to keep up with emerging industrial needs. Our maritime and industrial businesses buoy our economy in downturns and remain a vital part of our city’s fabric. When looking at Fisherman’s Terminal, every fishing vessel you see is a small business directly employing hundreds of people. More broadly, those businesses ripple throughout our economy and indirectly employ thousands in our community. I am thankful for the additional protections this bill provides to the lands that support these workers and many other family-wage industries." 

According to Harrell's announcement, maritime and industrial activities have benefited Seattle by contributing to the city's identity and supporting steady jobs. Seattle currently has about 7,000 acres of industrial lands that generate close to 100,000 jobs.