This factory warehouse was constructed in 1924 by the Austin Co. for the NePage McKinney Co., electrical products manufacturers, suppliers, and contract engineers. Located in the former Seattle tidelands area, it is associated with the final phase of the historic era of development of the area (Post World War I up to 1930) as a transportation-related industrial and commercial warehouse district. The tidelands were filled through a series of successive grading and fill projects between 1895 and 1929, creating developable land that made the expansion of railroad and port facilities possible and fostering the development of the area for commercial use that supported significant economic progress of the city in the early 20th century.
The NePage McKenney Co. was organized in 1910 and by 1929 had offices and warehouses in Seattle, Portland, Oakland and San Francisco. They produced industrial electrical equipment such as switchboards, panel boards, electrical cabinets, control apparatus, footlights and street lighting standards. They performed construction contract services in Nevada, Montana, the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. They occupied this building until at least 1945. The ABC Fish Corp and the Pacific Fish Co. occupied the building in the 1970s and 1980s. Wan Hau Foods has occupied the building since 1994.
The Austin Company was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1878. In 1904, the company became the first to offer architectural design, engineering, and construction management services as a complete contract package. They pioneered the use of standardized and modular pre-fabricated building technology which they successfully implemented as a significant military contractor during Word War I. They quickly became an international leader in automotive and aviation facilities construction and pioneered the use of electric welding techniques to build the first all-welded steel frame building in Cleveland in 1928. They continued their success providing significant construction services for military and industrial facilities during World War II in both the U.S. and abroad. The firm currently maintains numerous offices worldwide and its Seattle office continues a long-standing relationship with the Boeing Company. Examples of extant buildings in Seattle designed by the firm include the Frye Warehouses in the Seattle Tidelands area, the third addition to the Metropolitan/ Richmond Laundry (Seattle City Landmark) in the Cascade neighborhood, and the cold storage warehouse for the U.S. Navy Supply Depot (now CityIce) in Interbay.