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Port of Seattle Breaks Ground on Maritime Innovation Center

Long-anticipated project starts with renovation of historic Ship Supply Building

Posted on May 22, 2024

The Port of Seattle broke ground today on the renovation and modernization of the historic Ship Supply Building at Fishermen’s Terminal, paving the way for its transformation into a modern, Living Building Challenge (LBC) – certified Maritime Innovation Center (MInC). The new facility will serve a confluence of maritime industry needs that will bring together students and innovators from business, public agencies, and academia, along with community stakeholders to collaborate around maritime industry needs and opportunities. The Port is partnering with firm Miller Hull in the construction of what will be a unique architectural feature in the Pacific Northwest.

“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 to our region’s history and future.”

“The future of the maritime industry and the ocean economy is innovative, sustainable, and equitable,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins. “The Maritime Innovation Center will foster an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation which will ensure that all the sectors of the maritime industry, from commercial fishing to the growing green maritime economy, have not only a home but an anchor in Seattle.”

To prepare for the next century of commercial fishing and maritime industrial activity at the terminal, the Port is committing over $100 million in new investments as part of a long-term strategic redevelopment plan to maintain docks for commercial fishers, enhance uplands facilities, and accent Fishermen’s Terminal’s history and legacy. On display when the building opens will be a new set of wayfinding and interpretive signs as well as several new art projects as part of the Port’s 1% for the Arts program.

These improvements and investments will ensure this important facility will continue to sustain the maritime industry and Seattle’s working waterfront. The maritime industry and the jobs it brings help anchor our regional economy, with this facility supporting the next century of commercial fishing and maritime industrial activity at one of Seattle’s most historic working waterfront properties.

The Port of Seattle has made a commitment to a Blue Economy – supporting a sustainable maritime industry that prioritizes healthy ecosystems, thriving communities, and long-term economic growth. That’s why Washington Maritime Blue will be the new anchor tenant for the MInC. Its commitment to the development of maritime business, technology, and practices that promote a sustainable future contributing to economic growth, ecological health, and thriving communities makes Maritime Blue an ideal choice to carry out the Port’s vision for this building.

The design and construction of the MInC will follow the Living Building Challenge (LBC) framework, the most progressive sustainability standard in the world, in alignment with the Port’s sustainability goals. As a Living Building, the MInC will generate its own energy, capture its own water, and process its own waste. Some of the advanced LBC sustainability and resiliency features include:

  • Net positive energy
  • Salvaged materials
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Rainwater capture
  • Stormwater treatment
  • Gray and black water treatment

The adaptive reuse project will maintain and respect the form and mass of the 1918 building fronting the working waterfront. Most of the building and its century-old heavy timber structure will be salvaged and reused. Miller Hull’s design will enhance the iconic pitched roof by using locally sourced and industrially appropriate materials. Sustainability will be on display with the additions of rainwater cisterns and an on-site photovoltaic array.

“It is an honor to contribute our expertise in sustainable design to this landmark project, which will not only preserve the Ship Supply Building’s rich heritage but propel the maritime industry into a more innovative and resilient future,” said Miller Hull Principal Mike Jobes, AIA. “The Maritime Innovation Center will stand as a testament to the Port of Seattle’s and Miller Hull’s shared commitment to sustainability, resilience, and community. We look forward to seeing it become a symbol of innovation on Seattle’s waterfront.”

About the Miller Hull Partnership, LLP

The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP is an internationally recognized architecture, planning, urban and interior design firm that works to create a regenerative and inclusive future through the built environment. Since its founding in 1977, Miller Hull has been designing dynamic and environmentally responsible buildings that provide enduring value for their communities. The firm has a studio in Seattle and San Diego with work extending across multiple typologies for a range of public and private clients where people Live, Work, Learn, Gather, and Serve. For more information, please visit the Miller Hull website.

About Port of Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal

Opened in 1914, Fishermen’s Terminal has been a cornerstone of the fishing industry and community in the Pacific Northwest for over a century. One of the premier facilities in our working waterfront, Fishermen’s Terminal is the home of the North Pacific Fleet, the site of the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial, and a strategic maritime industrial asset. Open to the public, Fishermen’s Terminal is a gathering place for fishermen and maritime industry professionals, neighbors, and tourists, fostering community and creating jobs. Its restaurants, tavern, seafood market, mailing center, barber shop, mini mart, and offices make it a place where locals work and conduct business.


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