WA convention center reaches $161M deal to buy Seattle bus station
- King County (Seattle) Metro has entered into a preliminary agreement to sell one of its bus stations to the Washington State Convention Center for $161 million, according to The Seattle Times.
- A 32-year financing deal would see the proceeds fund future growth of the county's bus service under the agency's Metro Connects initiative. The deal will also see $5 million allocated to affordable housing and $4.5 million to public art.
- The WSCC's $1.6 billion, 8-acre expansion will take over the space, which seven lines currently use to serve passengers or park between trips. The city's light-rail system will reportedly absorb the passengers who used that station.
The WSCC renovation and expansion currently underway is part of the city's attempt to capture more convention business. According to Seattle officials, the city lost out on $1.6 billion in revenue because the existing facilities cannot accommodate large conventions and shows. The competition for profitable convention business has also prompted other cities to boost their capacities as well. In fact, New York City officials broke ground this week on a $1.5 billion, 1.2-million-square-foot expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in the hopes of luring in some of those large-scale meeting dollars.
Construction on the WSCC was briefly sidelined when the original joint venture of Skanska and AECOM Hunt was booted from the project. WSCC manager Pine Street Group said the joint venture was not aggressive enough in pursuing cost savings for the project. Skanska-Hunt and the WSCC eventually reached an $8 million settlement for the contractor's work, and the joint venture of Clark-Lease Crutcher Lewis has taken over. The cost of the project has increased from $1.44 billion to $1.6 billion, but construction is still expected to be complete as originally scheduled, in 2020
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