Stories and Successes

We are proud of what our team has been able to accomplish through collaboration and commitment to serving the people of Seattle.

Here are some recent examples of our work and its impact.

Prologis Georgetown Crossroads

On April 10, 2017, Prologis, the largest industrial developer and property owner in the world, began construction of its revolutionary Georgetown Crossroads project. The 3-story urban industrial facility is the first of its kind in the United States, including 589,000 SF and more than 800 direct jobs. The project includes two levels of warehouse/fulfilment space and a third floor for lab, production, and light industrial users.

The Office of Economic Development started working in support of the project in January of 2015, when Prologis asked for help to resolve a conflict with King County. King County's Department of Natural Resources wanted the site for a wet weather treatment station, making a purchase offer for the 13.7-acre site and threatening condemnation.

After four months of careful negotiations between OED, King County, and Prologis, an agreement was reached that allowed both projects to continue. Prologis was able to complete their purchase of the site and proceed with design and permitting. King County, to their extreme credit, recognized the economic value of the Prologis project and moved their project to adjacent site. The City committed to expedited permitting for King County to reduce any impacts to their project schedule.

Georgetown Crossroads represents a win for Prologis, King County, and the City of Seattle. Without OED's assistance, it's unlikely that the project would have happened. OED staff also recommended that Prologis explore a third story for the project, a feature that will add to overall success of the project and serve as a model for future industrial development in Seattle.

Industry Space Seattle

In 2016, OED provided funding to support the development of a manufacturing incubator in South Park known as Industry Space Seattle. This project helps to address affordability challenges of small and emerging manufacturing and industrial businesses regarding limited options for space, rising rents, and high start-up costs in installing building improvements. 

Industry Space Seattle consists of up to 12 individual suites in a single 47,500-square-foot warehouse. This project provides valuable opportunities for smaller sized tenant spaces that are desirable for early stage manufacturing and industrial businesses. Tenants can also take advantage of overhead cranes and other shared equipment, reducing the cost burden that tenants would otherwise have to bear on an individual basis. The project owner is committed to selecting tenants with complementary skills and products desired by other tenants in the building as well as recruiting women- and minority-owned businesses. Currently, the project includes a broad range of businesses such as a tool and die maker, structural steel fabricator, metal 3D laser printing and metal printing machine manufacturer, and rebuilder of ship propulsion systems. Many of these businesses collaborate on projects and employ each other's services. The project represents an example of how the City can partner with the private sector to create affordable space for emerging and existing small manufacturers, allowing them to grow and collaborate, and ultimately retain and create employment in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

Central Area Collaborative

Much has been written about the Central Area, particularly the forces of gentrification pushing the African American community out of the neighborhood. While demographic data and individual experience bears this story out, what gets lost in this narrative is the resilient strength of community based organizations, churches, businesses, and residents that have persisted and are gaining new ground together.

There are many organizations and grassroots efforts that have worked to support the community over past decades. However, limited resources necessitated each to focus on their separate missions and vie for scarce funding and political influence. When the City launched several projects simultaneously focused along the 23rd Avenue commercial and transportation corridor, community organizations, individuals and business owners faced an urgent need to organize to collectively engage with the City and ensure their voices were heard.

After working with the community for many years and seeing the new challenges, OED's Only in Seattle Initiative opened a forum for organizations and individuals to share their histories and refine a common agenda for economic development with an emphasis on supporting the longstanding African American community. Local leaders who had been working on separate projects developed shared priorities and made a commitment to join forces. They formed the Central Area Collaborative, a point of connection to bring the various efforts together, share resources and build on each other's work. OIS provides funding for the Collaborative's projects and staff, allowing them to maintain continuity between each organization and move their work forward.

The Collaborative is not in the headlines but it is there, behind the scenes, providing the connective tissue that keeps multiple efforts aligned. Now the successes of individual groups are shared by all, including establishing community ownership in Liberty Bank and Midtown Center redevelopment projects for black-owned business and programs; advocating for the 23rd Avenue Stabilization fund to support businesses through construction; spearheading the Central Area Design Guidelines to shape future development to reflect the culture and legacy of the neighborhood; and working with the Arts and Culture District to support place-making through small pop up markets and busking. The community is changing the narrative, building on their strengths and showing what is possible.

Economic Development

Markham McIntyre, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5752, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94708, Seattle, WA, 98124-4708
Phone: (206) 684-8090
Phone Alt: (206) 684-0379
Fax: (206) 684-0379

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The mission of the Office of Economic Development (OED) is to help create healthy businesses, thriving neighborhoods, and community organizations to contribute to a robust economy that will benefit all Seattle residents and future generations.