The Port of Seattle, in a bid to blend maritime heritage with modern innovation, has taken steps towards transforming the Ship Supply Building at Fishermen’s Terminal into a state-of-the-art Maritime Innovation Center. The property, which is over one hundred years old, is planned to become a “globally recognized home for maritime innovation.”
Forma Construction Co., in the latest developments, submitted the only bid of $20.52 million for the center’s project, according to a report in the Daily Journal of Commerce. While this proposal is still under review by the Port, it’s noteworthy that the engineer’s estimate for construction stands at $16.59 million. Previously, the Port of Seattle Commission earmarked $32.6 million to transform the historic Ship Supply Building, according to a release
Once refurbished, the Ship Supply Building will boast a 15,000-square-foot space tailored to suit a mix of maritime research and development activities, incubation hubs, accelerators, and anchor tenants. Additional enhancements to the structure include improvements such as wayfinding, site signage, and landscaping.
In addition, the introduction of an incubator and accelerator program, a collaborative venture between Washington Maritime Blue and the Port of Seattle, will also be added. Housed at the Fishermen’s Terminal, this program aims to nurture startups at various development stages within the maritime, oceans, and fisheries sectors. Joshua Berger, Maritime Blue’s President and CEO, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, emphasizing its alignment with their broader “Blue Ventures model” designed to foster innovation from conception to commercialization.
Among the pioneering startups joining the incubator is Astraeus Ocean Systems, which is innovating autonomous systems for the deployment and recovery of marine assets. Others include Earthwise Sorbents, based in San Diego, which creates absorbent products from recycled foam and fabric materials; Oo-Nee Sea Ranch, which aims to establish sustainable seafood supply chains; RMZ Marine Construction, which develops workforce for the burgeoning offshore wind industry by connecting them with skilled professionals; and UnCruise Adventures, which specializes in small-ship expedition cruises.
Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman encapsulated the vision aptly, noting in a statement that the Maritime Innovation Center’s creation will catalyze collaborations that will “grow our region’s blue-green economy.” The modernization endeavors at the terminal underscore Seattle’s pursuit to harmoniously merge its rich maritime past with a forward-looking, innovative future.
Building is set to commence in spring 2024, with the refurbished area anticipated to be ready by the end of 2025.