Nurture Key Clusters

Strategic economic development fosters locally appropriate industry clusters. While, SEED welcomes to Southeast Seattle any wholesome business that offers good jobs to our residents, we are making special efforts to nurture the following target business clusters:

Creative Industries

From its inception, SEED has prioritized arts and culture as an economic driver – along with creative and innovative enterprises of all kinds. SEEDArts has played a pioneering role in arts driven community development and fostering the creative economy. SEEDArts facilities include venues for visual arts (the Columbia City Gallery), performing arts (the Rainier Valley Cultural Center), spaces for artists and creative enterprises (SEEDArts Studios), and public art in the community (the Darigold mural and art installations at Rainier Court). The creative economy includes video, film, audio, and digital graphics enterprises and facilities.

Information and Communication Technology

Digital technology-based business is famously prolific in Seattle and its vicinity. Southeast Seattle participates in this sector and aspires to participate much more. Basic broadband Internet service infrastructure, with multiple providers, is available and expanding – and the cost is dropping. Abundant technology talent lives in Southeast Seattle; some work locally, some at home, some elsewhere in the area. The potential for tapping more of this talent locally – and drawing talent in the area – is huge. An illustration of our technology credentials is seen in the fact that Amazon’s headquarters was in Southeast Seattle until it outgrew its Beacon Hill facility and moved to South Lake Union, and Amazon still has a presence here. SEED advocates strongly for expansion of info and tech based business here.

 Green Business

Green tech industry is a growth sector and Southeast Seattle is poised to participate. Puget Sound Solar is in our neighborhood, as are numerous environmental enterprises and organizations. Green tech is a broad category that comprises many other sectors, including the others listed on this page. Southeast Seattle aspires to be the innovation center for this cluster, for example, the Mount Baker Neighborhood Plan targets green tech as an economic development goal.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing has a long history in Southeast Seattle, and remains a significant presence. Examples of strong niche manufacturing type enterprises are Darigold (a major regional dairy enterprise), Lighthouse for the Blind (a Boeing contract manufacturer), Pepsi (mostly distribution), the University of Washington (industrial scale laundry facility), and Amazon (mostly distribution). In addition, there is a variety of niche manufacturers and construction-related facilities in the industrial zone on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in Rainier Beach. SEED strongly supports retention and expansion of such manufacturing – and new manufacturers and makers that are adaptable to an urban environment.

Food and Beverage Production

Southeast Seattle has a traditional food and beverages sector that is complemented by a growing cluster of alternative, buy-local, organic, ethnic, international enterprises and supply chains. SEED is actively engaged in advancing this whole cluster. An example is the Rainier Beach Food and Farm Hub, which houses food-related enterprises that support the community’s goal of growing food production businesses.

For information, please contact Lance Randall, Director of Economic Development: lrandall@seedseattle.org