High-tech, low-wake vessels will meet region’s demand for transportation alternatives
RENTON, Wash. (Nov. 3, 2017) – SECO Development today announced their intention to pursue a Lake Washington water taxi pilot project. The initial pilot project – funded by SECO Development – would further connect Southport and Renton to South Lake Union in Seattle.
With as many as 20,000 immediate users in Renton, nearly 60,000 workers and residents in South Lake Union, as well as another one million people living or working within three miles of Lake Washington, residents, commuters and tourists alike will benefit from water taxi service. This new transportation alternative promises a welcome respite and would allow these individuals the ability to maneuver around Lake Washington without facing congestion on our roadways.
“A water taxi immediately serves the transportation needs of the area in a conscious, eco-friendly way,” said Michael Christ, CEO of SECO Development. “These high-tech boats will operate at low-wake speeds, preserving the beauty of our shoreline and respecting homeowners along the lake while addressing the apparent gap in transportation alternatives in our region.”
Implementing a new passenger-only ferry is a large undertaking. SECO will be working with King County and other key stakeholders to identify routes, terminal locations, operations and maintenance. SECO is partnering with KPFF Consulting Engineers to develop a business plan along with a cost model to define the desired level of service. An implementation plan and an environmental permitting process will follow.
“In our rapidly growing region it is essential that we have a variety of transportation options,” added King County Executive Dow Constantine. “That is why I am encouraged when businesses like SECO get involved by creating innovative solutions like a water taxi.”
With initial service slated for 2020, the water taxis will allow commuters to continue working while they travel to and from the office. Standing desks, high-speed wireless internet and the ability to order coffee and snacks to be delivered directly from your phone are all anticipated as part of the experience.
“Water-borne transport is commonly used all over the globe as another option in a community’s transportation arsenal, if you will,” stated Washington State Transportation Commissioner Shiv Batra. “I see all modes of the transportation system as the foundation of our economy and an instrumental part of our lives. Furthermore, water taxi service can provide critical emergency response support to the communities around Lake Washington following an earthquake or other disaster in our region.”
Today’s announcement is intended to spur a community conversation about transportation alternatives and the water taxi pilot initiative.
“We are very pleased with the development at Southport in Renton,” said Mayor Denis Law. “From the world-class Hyatt hotel to the high-quality office campus that is under construction, Renton has changed dramatically and has become a very popular place to live and work. These changes also highlight the need to address the transportation needs of Renton and our region and it makes sense to explore how a water taxi can help meet these needs. We look forward to working with SECO and King County on exploring this option.”
About SECO Development
Incorporated in 1989, SECO Development specializes in infill, and high-end mixed-use projects with an emphasis on residential, hotel, office and retail. The company focuses on developing urban sites while being conscious of and preserving the natural environment. SECO’s vision of incorporating high quality housing with retail, offices, hotels, and parking structures creates effectively master-planned communities. Since its inception, SECO has developed more than 3,500 residential units, 160,000 square feet of retail, 800,000 square feet of office space, two retirement facilities and three hotels. Additionally, SECO is working on another 3 million square feet of Class “A” office space.