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Industrial and Maritime Strategy

What’s Happening Now?

Final Environmental Impact Statement

In May 2021, the City of Seattle's Industrial and Maritime Strategy Council developed 11 strategies to support the next generation of industrial and maritime jobs. The group's recommendations aim to grow thousands of living-wage jobs, while providing equitable access to those opportunities for the BIPOC community and women. The strategies emphasize the need to provide stronger land-use protections for core industrial and maritime areas, while encouraging modern, innovative high-density industrial development in walkable areas near light rail stations. The proposals also seek to create affordable opportunities for small-scale light-industrial businesses, makers, and creative arts.

Implementing some important land use recommendations from our Industrial and Maritime Strategy Report requires analysis in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before they can be considered by the City Council. On September 29, we issued a Final EIS, which includes a preferred alternative that will be the basis of future proposals to the City Council. The Final EIS builds on the analysis in the Draft EIS released in December 2021 by developing a preferred alternative that incorporates much of the feedback we received from public comment and engagement with key stakeholders.

The Final EIS reviews options for how the City would amend its Comprehensive Plan to update policies about industrial land, and how industrial zoning could be updated. View the documents below and visit our Project Documents section to view the additional chapters.

    Next Steps

    Over the next few months, we will prepare a legislative proposal to amend the land use policies in the Comprehensive Plan to implement the vision of the preferred alternative. Over the course of 2023 to 2024, we will also prepare development regulations, update the Centers Plans for the Manufacturing and Industrial Centers, and begin implementing new zoning regulations.

    Seattle's Industrial and Maritime Strategy

    The maritime and manufacturing activities supported by the City's industrial lands have long benefitted Seattle by contributing to the City's identity, supporting family-wage jobs, and promoting economic diversity. Most industrial land in Seattle is located within two Manufacturing Industrial Centers (MIC). Seattle's Greater Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center (MIC) and the Ballard Interbay North Manufacturing Industrial Center (BINMIC) contain about 12 percent of Seattle's total land area. MICs are regional designations and are defined in the City's Comprehensive Plan as home to the city's thriving industrial businesses. There are only 11 MICs in the Puget Sound region and they are important resources for retaining and attracting jobs and for a diversified economy. There are a few small areas of industrial zoning outside of MICs.

    Seattle industrial areas employment is about 100,000, representing roughly 15% of total employment in the City. Historically, Seattle's industrial lands have captured about 6-11% of the city's employment growth. Although narratives suggest declines in industrial jobs, Seattle's industrial area employment grew at a compound annual rate of about 1.6% between 2010 and 2018. Some sectors like food-and-beverage production grew even faster, while maritime and logistics had slow and steady growth, and only aerospace and manufacturing sectors saw minor declines. (Seattle Maritime and Industrial Employment Trends. Community Attributes Inc., 2020).

    Industrial and maritime jobs provide pathways to stable careers that are accessible to a broad swath of community members. Nearly two thirds of all jobs in industrial sectors are accessible without a traditional four-year college degree, and more than half of all jobs in the maritime sector are available with no formal education. Wages are competitive, with average annual earnings exceeding 70% of the Area Median Income for salaries in the construction, aerospace/aviation, and logistics sectors. A high number of jobs in logistics, maritime and manufacturing sectors remain unionized and provide high quality benefits. (Industrial Lands Employment Analysis Technical Memo. Community Attributes Inc., 2020). Both the accessibility and access to competitive wages and benefits provides an opportunity for BIPOC community, women, and youth.

    Upcoming Community Events

    The City of Seattle is studying options to update zoning for industrial areas of the city. The potential changes could shape the type of new buildings and activities that could take place in industrial areas over the next 20 years.

    In September of 2022, we released a Final EIS following a 16 month process that include extensive community outreach. As develop legislation to implement the Industrial Maritime Strategy Recommendations, check back here to learn of community engagement activities.

    For More Information
    The City of Seattle encourages everyone to participate. For language services, disability accommodations or accessibility information, contact Jim Holmes at jim.holmes@seattle.gov.

    Lanier's Fine Candies

    The City of Seattle's Industrial & Maritime Strategy seeks to support and grow new economic opportunities in industrial areas. Lanier's Fine Candies is a black-owned and operated candy manufacturer located in Rainier Beach. This is the fourth in a series of videos that highlight some of the diverse business owners, entrepreneurs and living-wage employees in Seattle's industrial areas and showcases some of the unique opportunities supported by this strategy.

    Custom Crating

    The City of Seattle's Industrial & Maritime Strategy seeks to support and grow new economic opportunities in industrial areas. Custom Crating is a family owned and operated crate and case manufacturer located in South Park. This is the third in a series of videos that highlight some of the diverse business owners, entrepreneurs and living-wage employees in Seattle's industrial areas and showcases some of the unique opportunities supported by this strategy.

    Peddler Brewing Company

    The City of Seattle's Industrial & Maritime Strategy seeks to support and grow new economic opportunities in industrial areas. Peddler Brewing Company is a family-owned micro-brewery in the Ballard, which boasts a taproom and large outdoor beer garden. This is their story of their work in the Ballard area and beyond. This is the second in a series of videos that highlight some of the diverse business owners, entrepreneurs and living-wage employees in Seattle's industrial areas and showcases some of the unique opportunities supported by this strategy.

    Food Lifeline

    The City of Seattle's Industrial & Maritime Strategy seeks to support and grow new economic opportunities in industrial areas. Food Lifeline provides nutritious food to hundreds of thousands of people facing hunger every year by sourcing nutritious food from a variety of food industry partners; and advocates to shape policies by partnering with organizations that are addressing other causes of poverty, and through community engagement and mobilization efforts. We are proud to highlight some of the diverse business owners, entrepreneurs and living-wage employees in Seattle's industrial areas and showcases some of the unique opportunities supported by this strategy.

    Final EIS

    Draft EIS

    Sections of the Draft EIS:

    Reports

    Neighborhood Advisory Groups

    Stakeholder Meetings

    Background Resources

    Industrial Maritime Draft Environmental Impact Statement 

    On July 7, the City began a 30-day scoping period to solicit public input on the range of alternatives and topics to be studied in the Industrial Maritime Draft EIS.  On conclusion of this scoping period, a scoping report summarizing public comment was prepared and alternatives revised, as appropriate, for analysis in the Draft EIS. The Scoping Report can be found here

    On December 16 the City released the Industrial Maritime Strategy Draft EIS and began a 45-day public comment period. The Draft EIS can be found on the project documents page.

    Restorative Economics Background

    Industrial Lands Studies

    Seattle’s Industrial Lands:

    Stakeholder Advisory Group

    A group of diverse stakeholders advised us throughout the study. We have also met with industry and community groups to discuss any recommendations.

    Project Timeline

    • June 2021: Strategy Council Report
    • Summer 2021: Begin Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study possible zoning changes
    • Fall 2021: Consider enhanced workforce development in 2022 budgeting process
    • December 16, 2021 - April 15, 2022 Draft EIS Comment Period
    • September 2022: Final EIS
    • Winter 2023: Industrial Land Comprehensive Plan Policy Amendments
    • Winter 2023: Legislation implementing Industrial and Maritime Strategy land use recommendations

    Planning and Community Development

    Rico Quirindongo, Acting Director
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94788, Seattle, WA, 98124-7088
    Phone: (206) 386-1010
    opcd@seattle.gov

    The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) develops policies and plans for an equitable and sustainable future. We partner with neighborhoods, businesses, agencies and others to bring about positive change and coordinate investments for our Seattle communities.