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City of Seattle

September 3, 12:47 PM click here to comment > 0

Celebrating the New World Headquarters for Harley Marine Services

Last week I was honored to help celebrate the recently completed Harley and Lela Franco Maritime Center, the new world headquarters for Harley Marine Services (HMS) on Harbor Island. HMS has been a Seattle employer for over 30 years, and is one of the City’s key partners in the Maritime Industry, which provides more than 22,000 direct jobs and $5 billion in annual economic benefit to Seattle and the Puget Sound Region.

In 1987, Harley Franco started Olympic Tug & Barge with one leased tug and barge. Today, Olympic Tug & Barge is Harley Marine Services, Inc., employing 625 people in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Dutch Harbor and the Gulf Coast.Jobs Plan - Harley Marine

In 1995, HMS was awarded a Mayor’s Small Business Award for its dedication to its employees, the environment, and the communities they serve. They are no longer a small company but those same commitments are still demonstrated in every aspect of what they do – their actions, their vessels, and their facilities.

Yesterday, we celebrated Harley Marine’s new world headquarters, a model for industrial re-investment in Seattle and beyond. The headquarters is designed to meet LEED® GOLD standards with aspirations for LEED® PLATINUM. It includes a 47,980 SF office building and an 8,970 SF shop building, all designed to balance industrial function with environmental protection.

Harley and Lela Franco envisioned it. Mithun Architects designed it. Schuchart Construction built it. The City of Seattle applied common sense to its codes so it and others like it could be permitted. And this visionary effort is leading the way. I heard from Schuchart Construction yesterday that at least one industrial firm has visited the new building and said, “I want one.”

To make this possible, the City was asked to approve a height exception that allowed the headquarters building to be taller, preserving space on the ground for critical tug and barge operations. That exercise, with leadership from Councilmember Richard Conlin, led to a permanent change to zoning regulations that apply to Seattle’s shoreline areas, allowing future re-investment to occur in a similar manner. Our experience with Harley and Lela also inspired us to partner with King County and Washington State to launch the Industrial Development Pilot Program, which generated good ideas from industry for regulatory and policy changes that would allow for easier redevelopment of our shoreline and ensure protection of the environment.

I want to thank Harley and Lela for the passion they consistently show for their community, their employees, and the environment. I’d also  like to acknowledge the Department of Planning and Development, and the Office of Economic Development for their support of this project and of our vital maritime economic sector.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn