Contact Us


Magnolia's uber-cool Salmon Bay Marine Center is pursuing a different model of how to make your workyard profitable; developer Brooke Stabbert is building a Class-A facility that caters to larger boats.
Brooke Stabbert at Salmon Bay Marine Center
We walked the docks with Brooke, whose family has been into waterfront development for the past half-century (after transitioning from residential dev—they did much of the Kirkland waterfront during the 1970s). When the former Marco Shipyard was looking for a buyer six years ago, Brooke, a former ship engineer, had a vision of a moorage and refit/repair facility that catered to larger yachts. "It was a niche that was being underserved," he says. The result: Four Ed Abbott-designed buildings and a remodel of the Marcos warehouse, with what will be 66k SF maritime-related work and office space.
An older photo of the former Marco Shipyard
Large vessels may not have been the backbone of commercial industrial maritime in Seattle in the past, but there's no denying the plan has been successful: the first two phases were 100% occupied within six months of completion. Each building also has a caretaker's apartment on the top floor (akin to a New York penthouse, Brooke says; he lived in one himself until about a year ago) which must be used by someone doing work on site. Bonus perk: There's a complimentary boat that can be reserved for use (and we thought it was great when you got free cookies for signing your lease). Next up is phase three of SBMC—three new 5,000 SF buildings and a 15k SF shop warehouse to be built on spec.
A recent photo of Salmon Bay Marine Center
The secret of SBMC's success? The little details, Brooke says, like wide docks with no piling coming through them, which leaves a nice open work surface. The 18 moorage slips, which can take vessels between 100 and 250 feet in length, allow boats to pull in and plug in, making it one of the greenest places around. "You have to create this aura of success and class," Brooke says. He'd love to see the state relax a law that vessels in Washington for more than 60 days be taxed 10% of their value. That would make it more conducive for large vessels to have work done in Seattle, he argues, which would create jobs and revenue.
Brooke Stabbert at Salmon Bay Marine Center
When he's not at Salmon Bay, Brooke enjoys racing his 17-foot thistle sailboat off Leschi every Wednesday night during the summer. His favorite sailing destination? Up the inside passage to Southeast Alaska. "I've never found better cruising," he says.