WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Seattle Opens Its Doors (Wider) to Green Tech

McKinstry is building a 24,000 square foot incubator to help foster clean tech growth.

We profiled
Seattle companies
making an effort to lessen their impact on the
environment, and a new project by McKinstry Construction may help to increase
the number of businesses in Seattle
working towards a greener future.

McKinstry, famous for buildings like Qwest Field and the EMP, is building a
24,000 square foot space for new clean tech start-ups. The building has been
dubbed the "The
Innovation Center
." Until recently there were no confirmed tenants,
but  General Biodiesel and Hydrovolts have
announced that they are both planning to move into the facility later this
month.

According to McKinstry's website, the goal of the Innovation Center
is to "bring new and emerging companies together to foster the advancement
of clean, green energy technologies." Companies located in the space will
have access to McKinstry's resources as well as the ability to collaborate with
the other companies housed there.

A press release from McKinstry stated that "A recent study conducted
for the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA)
by Grant Thornton found that business incubators are the most effective means
of creating jobs – more effective than roads and bridges, industrial parks,
commercial buildings, and sewer and water projects. According to the study, EDA
investments produce an average of 2.2 to 5.0 jobs per $10,000 in federal
spending for a federal cost per job of $2,001 to $4,611."

Hopefully the Innovation
Center will provide not
only new jobs but also solutions to the growing energy concerns that our nation
faces. Placing the facility close to downtown Seattle gives companies in the Center access
to a wide selection of problem solvers whose talents might not currently be
turned towards environmental issues.

So far I can't see a downside to McKinstry's plan. Let me know if you think
of any pitfalls.