- The Washington, DC, convention and sports authority Events DC has announced its choice of Gilbane Building Co. and Smoot Construction Co. to build the new Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA).
- Aside from hosting entertainment events, the WNBA's Washington Mystics will use the 4,200-seat facility as its home base, and the NBA's Washington Wizards will conduct practices there.
- Construction on the arena, in the city's Congress Heights neighborhood, is expected to begin in 2017, with the facility's opening scheduled for fall 2018.
Events DC officials said the Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) goal for all phases of the arena's design and construction is 50%, with 35% of total contracts set aside for small business enterprises (SBEs). Events DC and Smoot|Gilbane said they also plan on holding job fairs and workshops to encourage local resident and business participation in the project.
Smoot|Gilbane will provide construction management at-risk services, in addition to acting as a consultant through the design process. Smoot and Gilbane have maintained a joint venture relationship for more than 50 years, according to an Events DC press release. They have also brought in two local companies, Hardlight Construction and Saxon Collaborative, as part of the management team for the ESA.
Smoot is also part of the construction team building the $540 million National Museum of African American History and Culture — the newest Smithsonian museum on the Washington, DC National Mall set to debut in late September.
In another landmark Washington sports facility, Turner Construction has broken ground on the $300 million, 19,000-seat waterfront D.C. United soccer stadium. The team will keep playing in RFK Stadium until the 2018 Major League Soccer season when their new home is complete. City and team officials said the project will create nearly 1,000 construction and permanent jobs, with 50% of the surrounding commercial space reserved for local businesses. Kansas-based Populous, which designed Nationals Park in DC, is also the architect for the D.C. United stadium.