Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Sponsored by Pacific Maritime Magazine, Kvichak, Vigor and Lockwood and Associates      

Our maritime and industrial sectors are the backbone of our diverse regional economy and key to protecting living wage jobs.  We cannot allow them to languish from continued neglect and indifference. To grow the economy and living wage jobs, freight mobility must be made an urgent priority.” -- Ed Murray

As Mayor, Ed Murray will work to protect and promote industrially zoned lands in the Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center (MIC) and Ballard Interbay (BINMIC).  Murray will meet regularly with a blue ribbon Mayor’s Maritime and Industrial Council comprised of our valued partners in shipping and manufacturing businesses, the Port and commercial fishing, engaging them in a new initiative to preserve and grow these critically important economic sectors.  
Seattle’s manufacturing and industrial areas constitute a regional resource and economic engine. It is the oldest and largest regional M&I cluster among 8 designated industrial centers in the Puget Sound region. Duwamish and Ballard Interbay (BINMIC) comprises nearly 5,000 acres, or about 10 percent of Seattle’s total land area. And it offers 70 million square feet of privately owned leasable industrial building space while supporting more than 50,000 jobs, the largest concentration of family wage jobs in Puget Sound.
Seattle’s maritime sector is also a significant part of our economic base, particularly given our dependence on trade. The Port of Seattle’s marine cargo volume grew by over 40% the past 10 years.   Growth in the container industry drove marine job growth by 30% to nearly 13,000 in 2012.  The cargo sector doubled revenues to $3 billion annually, generating important benefits for municipal revenues. 
The Port of Seattle’s Century Agenda includes an ambitious plan to double our international cargo shipments over the next 20 years. We need strong leadership in the Mayor’s office to ensure freight and shipping infrastructure are in place and we have ample capacity to support these critical maritime and industrial assets for our City’s long-term growth and to increase living wage jobs. 
Seattle’s manufacturing, industrial and maritime base is facing serious threats from development and other pressures.
Murray will directly engage maritime and industrial leaders through the Mayor’s M&I Council to advise him on key issues that affect the long-term health of SODO, the Duwamish and BINMIC, including freight mobility, safety, environment, carbon-free electricity, economic development assistance for new and existing manufacturing and industrial businesses, workforce training, transportation, and zoning.  With freight mobility, trucks carrying containers on arterials like 1st Avenue South and other roads east, account for 30-40% of marine cargo imports and 50% of export container traffic.   The current administration has not addressed these critical issues of freight mobility, safety, infrastructure development and long-term planning. 
Murray will be a strong, effective and committed advocate for our City’s industrial areas.  His endorsements include unions, community advocates, small business leaders, and civic entrepreneurs who provide a foundation for an effective and inclusive platform to deliver economic growth in diverse sectors. 
Goal:  Develop, implement plan for freight mobility and safety in Industrial Areas
The Seattle International Gateway, with its one day Pan Asian global shipping advantage, deep water port, transcontinental railroads, trained workforce and highly developed freight infrastructure, provides huge opportunity to grow the regional economy. However, the current mayoral administration has not worked with industry leaders to develop a strategic freight plan for the City, and the administration has largely failed to deliver on commitments to assess freight mobility options and move forward.   This is critical to the long-term safety and development of our City’s industrial core and the Port of Seattle.
Convene a meeting in the first 100 days of a new mayoral administration with all major freight stakeholders
  • Include leaders of the Port of Seattle, State of Washington, key employers and labor leaders
  • Focus on Seattle’s two major industrial centers Duwamish MIC and Ballard Interbay MIC (BIMIC) in North Seattle
  • Ensure the City deliver on its pre-existing commitment to conduct a strategic freight plan to support land-use planning around the existing stadiums area of the Duwamish MIC and south downtown (SoDo), and to integrate that plan with planning for other transportation modes, as part of the proposed “Move Seattle” comprehensive transportation strategic agenda, with an emphasis on prioritizing projects and identifying funding sources over a 20-year time horizon
Deliver on the City’s long-standing, yet still unmet commitments to complete the strategic freight plan and the heavy-haul corridor report during Year One of a new administration, and identify requisite funding to move forward on top priority freight mobility projects.
  • Within four years, identify the funding and begin work on key projects in the freight plan, including the long-delayed East-West freight mobility connection between I-5 and the Port of Seattle via an overpass on Lander Street.
  • Ensure the freight plan assesses pedestrian, truck and bicycle safety
  • Establish a longer-term implementation plan based on the assessments
Ensure the integration of freight mobility and safety in the City’s long-term 2015 Comprehensive Plan
  • Consult key leaders in advance of the City’s planning process for the 2015 Comprehensive Plan
  • Ensure that freight mobility and other assessments are completed in advance of the 2015 comprehensive planning process
GOAL: Encourage development new/startup hybrid research/manufacturing/retail businesses and high-precision manufacturing businesses in industrial areas
Seattle and the NW region are known for pioneering innovation and spirited entrepreneurship in the health sciences, technology, communications, aviation and other industries. If the City was able to promote the development of life sciences and technology in South Lake Union, there is no reason the City can not do the same with high-precision, high value manufacturing and with hybrid manufacturing/retail small businesses. As new/start-up businesses seek to innovate, new land use and development models are emerging that may depart from traditional industrial functions. The City should use its land use, finance and other available tools to promote, rather than hinder, the development of such businesses.
Innovative start-ups often require inexpensive workshop space for research and development, space to manufacture their products, combined with storefront small office and retail sales spaces. These businesses are advantaged and their cost structure reduced when those requirements can be co-housed in a single location. The City should promote this by:
  • conducting a comprehensive audit of industrial land use regulations to reconsider antiquated models and land use definitions that impose rigid restrictions on uses in industrially zoned areas.
Recognize that Seattle’s industrial lands are a unique economic asset by systematically developing a manufacturing initiative package of economic development incentives that would include land use tools such as Incentive zoning, FAR and size limits, Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs), and adaptive reuse programs with an intent of improving the viability of traditional industrial activities.
  • Consider manufacturing uses, advanced technology industries, and wide ranges of industrial-related commercial functions as businesses in the SoDo area and Duwamish MIC as eligible for these incentives
  • Permit commercial uses in industrial areas to extent they reinforce industrial character, including office and retail development
  • Manage density in these areas to ensure a level of activity compatible with industrial and manufacturing uses
  • To avoid negative impacts, ensure future uses and new development in the M&I centers have necessary upgrades to transportation, safety, and utility systems in place to support traditional industrial and shipping activities.
Goal:  Vocational training in STEM related fields relevant to our industrial economy
Through a stronger and more effective partnership with Seattle Public Schools, Murray would integrate vocational training in STEM related fields as a priority.   A strong example is the Aerospace Technology Skill Center Program at Rainier Beach High School.  The program enables students to learn advanced skills in STEM disciplines through Core Plus curriculum with the Washington State Department of Education. 
  • Partner with education and industrial leaders to promote scaling-up vocational career and training pathways in STEM
  • Work with SPS to assess the opportunity to scale-up the Aerospace Technology Skill Center Program district-wide
  • Examine opportunities to strengthen the school to work pathway in the industrial sector for Seattle’s youth through internships and other applied learning opportunities
Goal:  Create opportunities for energy efficiency and environmental clean-up
Seattle is fortunate to be powered in large-part by carbon-free hydroelectricity.  Several key firms help to keep electric rates low for Seattle’s residents.  Industrial areas are large consumers of electricity.   Murray is committed to ensuring the public-private partnerships are strong.   Environmental clean-up is also a critical issue in our industrial areas.   This requires partnerships with the Federal Government, State Agencies, City departments, the Port of Seattle and key industries.    Murray is committed to the environmental clean-up of our industrial areas.
  • Promote strong partnerships between hydroelectric firms and Seattle’s industrial sector to meet needs of all partners
  • Convene key energy and industrial leaders to discuss the City’s role in these partnerships
  • Explore productive ways to maintain or develop new public private partnerships in these areas
Provide Mayoral leadership to support the coalitions for the environmental clean-up of Seattle’s industrial areas
  • Push to implement the 2012 agreement between the City of Seattle, King County, the Port of Seattle, Boeing Company to clean-up the Duwamish River
  • Hold a consultation in the first six months of the administration with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, South Park and Georgetown community members and other environmental groups.
  • Engage with State and Federal agencies as appropriate to build new partnerships on environmental clean-up and access new sources of funding