10b. Memo

International Market Feasibility Study

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                        Item No.          10b 
ACTION ITEM                            Date of Meeting      March 28, 2023 

DATE:     March 14, 2023 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    David McFadden, Managing Director, Economic Development Division 
Annie Tran, Economic Development Program Manager 
SUBJECT:  Approve  Memorandum  of  Understanding  with  King  County  to  Support
International Market feasibility Study 
Total estimated project cost:            $199,999 
Request Commission authorization for the Executive Director to execute a Memorandum of
Understanding with King County that formalizes the county’s funding support and participation
in the International Public Market feasibility study.
The Port of Seattle and King County are interested in conducting a feasibility study surrounding
the concept of developing of an International Public Market facility in South King County that
will attract tourists and visitors, provide a gathering space, showcase local cultural attributes,
and support economic development and entrepreneurship for small businesses, (with an
emphasis on supporting small ethnic businesses). 
The proposed study will not exceed $199,999 and the MOU formalizes the County’s financial
commitment of $50,000 to support this effort.  The MOU also establishes a partnership with
King County to manage the feasibility study including participation in the RFP selection process
and project advisory committee.
The scope of this feasibility study includes the following elements: 
1.       Determine Feasibility and Benefits of an International Public Market – If we build it
will they come? Who will come? Will there be enough venders/customers/etc.? 
2.       Identify Preferred Market Attributes – Planning for size of market, number of
vendors, parking considerations, accessibility considerations, etc. 

Template revised January 10, 2019.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 10b                                 Page 2 of 4 
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
3.       Identify Market Site Requirements – Identifies preferred size, zoning, proximity to
infrastructure/utilities, proximity to transportation, proximity to other amenities,
visibility and aesthetics etc. 
4.       Identify Site Possibilities – Will look at candidate sites and evaluate how certain
properties fit with overall Market attributes and requirements. This may include
some preliminary work related to cost of property acquisition, development, etc. 
5.       Proforma Capital and Operating Cost Projection – Showing revenues/expenses and
grounding  financials  into  core  assumptions  about  Public  Market  operations
(including operator/concessions assumptions) 
6.       Community  engagement  elements  and  impact  on  existing  and  prospective
businesses (emphasis on ethnic businesses). 
7.       Recommendations/Next Steps 
Development of an International Public Market facility in South King County supports the Port’s
Century Agenda.  An international marketplace can help advance this region as a leading
tourism destination and business gateway. The proposed international market would be very
proximate to and accessible from SEA. It would be a draw for SEA passengers from domestic or
international  locations.   It  would  also  attract  residents  and  visitors  from  surrounding
An international marketplace can also promote regional growth and benefit the Cities of
Tukwila, SeaTac and other communities in South King County. The marketplace would generate
economic activity, support jobs, and support small businesses. It would also help prevent some
of the displacement of small businesses that result as the region continues to grow and change.
Developing an international marketplace can also advance equity, diversity and inclusion.
South King County is home to large immigrant and refugee communities that are often
disadvantaged in terms of benefiting and participating in the region’s growth. An international
marketplace can support ethnic entrepreneurs and be a source of jobs and wealth generation
for the area’s diverse communities.
Diversity in Contracting 
Staff has contacted the Diversity in Contracting Department regarding this procurement and
included several WMBE firms in the solicitation.

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 10b                                 Page 3 of 4 
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 

Draft report on current market conditions and
June 15, 2023 
interviews from local stakeholders 

Identify Market attributes and preferred site
August 30, 2023 
requirements and potential sites 
Identify public market site possibilities                       September 30, 2023 
Develop Proforma capital and operating cost
November 15, 2023 
Final feasibility report for the International
December 31, 2023 
Public Market concept 

Present findings to stakeholders                           January/February 2024 

Alternative 1 – Do not execute MOU and do not complete feasibility study. 
Cost Implications: $149,999 savings to Port from not doing study. 
(1)   Saves funding for other Port projects and priorities. 
(2)   Avoids raising expectations surrounding Port investment in South King County. 
(1)   May miss opportunity to advance equitable economic development. 
(2)   Undercuts  partnership  with  King  County  to  jointly  evaluate  public  market
development opportunity. 
This is not the recommended alternative. 
Alternative 2 – Delay adoption of MOU and project. 
Cost Implications: $149,999 investment would be deferred to a future date. 
(1)   Allows time to build awareness and partnership with South King County cities and

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 10b                                 Page 4 of 4 
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
(2)   Helps EDD staff manage multiple projects with limited capacity. 
(1)   Delay not consistent with external messaging around project and could create issues. 
(2)   Delay could jeopardize partnership with King County surrounding this project.
This is not the recommended alternative. 
Alternative 3 – Execute MOU and complete feasibility study. 
Cost Implications: $149,999 (total cost to Port). 
(1)   Advances  partnership  surrounding  potential  development  of  International  Public
(2)   Support Century Agenda priorities advancing equity, tourism and regional growth. 
(1)   Staff capacity is limited especially if any public facility development is anticipated. 
(2)   Legal authority for Port to build/fund market still unclear.
This is the recommended alternative. 
Cost Estimate/Authorization Summary             Expense           Total 
Original estimate                                   $199,999        $199,999 
Previous authorizations                                    0                0 
Remaining amount to be authorized                    $0             $0 
Annual Budget Status and Source of Funds 
Port funding to support this feasibility study is in the Economic Development Division’s 2023
budget.  This project will be funded by the Port property tax levy.
(1)   Draft memorandum of understanding 
(2)   Presentation slides 

Template revised June 27, 2019 (Diversity in Contracting).


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