- The Metropolitan King County Council has approved the $275 million sale of a downtown Seattle bus station to accommodate the 4-acre, $1.6 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC), according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
- Construction on the 11-story addition was originally set to begin in September, but the Seattle Design Commission must still approve the design, a process that will most likely keep crews from starting work until early 2018.
- The WSCC and commission officials are also in talks about the terms of a city benefits package, which will influence when building permits for the project are issued. The permit date will determine exactly when King County Metro buses will stop using the station, which is projected to be between March and September 2019.
The WSCC will pay, according to the county, $25 million cash up front and then make payments to the Metro on the balance through 2048. The purchase price also includes $5 million to build affordable housing. The project costs will be paid with bonds backed by county hotel taxes. Construction is expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 2,300 permanent positions.
The WSCC project hit its first bump back in March 2016 when WSCC manager Pine Street Group removed the joint venture of Skanska and AECOM Hunt for allegedly not pursuing cost savings as enthusiastically as the WSCC said it expected. Skanska-AECOM Hunt and the WSCC took the matter to court, and the WSCC agreed to pay the contractors $8 million as part of a settlement. The joint venture of Clark-Lease Crutcher Lewis took over construction of the project.
Like other cities throughout the country, the WSCC is increasing its capacity in order to accommodate bigger conventions and events. According to Seattle officials, the city has missed out on $1.6 billion in revenue because of the WSCC's size limitations.