- There’s been a major shakeup on the $850 million KeyArena NBA stadium renovation project in Seattle, Washington, with Mortenson Construction taking over the role of general contractor from the joint venture of Skanska USA and AECOM Hunt, developer Oak View Group-Seattle announced.
- Ken Johnsen, OVG-Seattle senior construction executive, said Mortenson had provided several months’ worth of preconstruction services for the project and that he "felt this project needed a dedicated single source team.” Johnson said the parting of ways with Skanska-AECOM Hunt was amicable and that his decision was also based on the joint venture’s "construction priorities as well as the busy Seattle construction market.”
- Also joining the KeyArena’s construction and design team is architecture firm Rockwell Group, which will work with the existing architect of record, Populous, and will design the arena’s suite and club levels. Tim Romani, CEO of project management firm CAA ICON, said the project’s schedule would not be impacted by the change to Mortenson.
Kevin McCain, Skanska’s executive vice president and general manager of Seattle building operations said, “Given the market challenges and shift in timing, it did not make sense for our joint venture to move forward to the next phase of the project, so we recently came to a [mutual] decision to end our joint venture’s involvement with the arena project. We are excited about the NHL coming to Seattle and we will provide full support to Oak View Group during this transition.”
It was just last week that KeyArena officials announced the start of construction one day after the city won a National Hockey League franchise. The project’s price tag has increased by $150 million from previous estimates. Oak View CEO Tim Leiweke said much of the extra money represented higher labor and additional design costs. The developer is financing the project with $1.6 billion and is responsible for any budget overruns.
The revamped venue will see the construction of a new 19,000-seat arena and other modern features, all built underneath the existing, historic roofline, one of the city’s conditions for moving forward with the project. The NHL set 2021-2022 as the opening season for the new team in order to give Oak View enough construction time. The developer, which will lease and operate the city-owned arena for 39 years, anticipates that construction will be complete in time to host concerts and other events in April or May of 2021.
In a previous version of this article, Mortenson was misspelled.