August 14, 2018
Press Releases & News

Clark | Lewis Begins Construction on Massive Washington State Convention Center Expansion

SEATTLE - After nearly a decade of design and planning and 2 years of preconstruction, the long-awaited expansion to the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) in downtown Seattle is underway. Clark Construction Group is delivering the $960 million project in a joint venture with Seattle-based contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis. Pine Street, L.L.C., is the project developer and owner’s representative. LMN Architects is the project designer.

Clark | Lewis team members joined State, County, City and Convention Center executives, tourism officials, community leaders, and representatives from the project’s developer and design teams, to kick off the massive expansion project with a groundbreaking ceremony on August 14. As one of the largest projects in downtown Seattle’s history, the 1.4 million-square-foot addition -- now known as Summit -- is expected to have a significant economic impact on the region. The facility will nearly double the convention center’s exhibition space and is anticipated to bring more than 400,000 new conventioneers to the city each year.

While Seattle’s tourism industry is certain to benefit once Summit is complete, the project’s economic impact is already being evidenced in the construction positions that are and will continue to come online to support building efforts over the next three years. King County Executive Dow Constantine, who participated in the groundbreaking festivities, noted the positive effect the project is anticipated to have on the region, stating that nearly 6,000 workers will support the development and construction of Summit, and subsequently, the project will support them and their families. Clark | Lewis is committed to utilizing local labor and talent to deliver the project. This commitment includes creating opportunities for minority- and women-owned firms to play meaningful roles in the construction process. The team has established a goal to award $80 million in contracts to local MBE and WBE businesses.

The Summit expansion entails constructing a new ballroom, flex space with an outdoor terrace, and a new exhibit hall, as well as the construction of two adjacent building podiums to house future residential and commercial development in the area. The project team received Master Use permits for the expansion project at the end of June and began demolition of select surrounding structures in late July.

Clark | Lewis was awarded the project in 2016 and has spent the last 24 months spearheading preconstruction efforts and executing an extensive make-ready work plan, which involved complex transit work, the relocation of an electrical duct bank, construction of a temporary ramp and the modifications of a communications room for the King County Transit system, and myriad other preparatory logistical activities. This extraordinary effort required heavy coordination with numerous local agencies, including King County, local and regional transit authorities, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, and Seattle Department of Transportation, among others.

The Washington State Convention Center is situated in Seattle’s urban core and surrounded by four prominent city streets. The Summit expansion will span under Olive Way and cantilever a corner of the facility over a portion of the I-5 interstate, making coordination and precise execution essential. The project team has conducted widespread community outreach to engage and inform local businesses about construction operations.

When complete, Summit will provide views of the Puget Sound and surrounding city-scape and will serve as a link between the downtown corridor and Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The building’s façade will be comprised of glass curtain wall with iconic elements to both showcase the structure’s architectural design and complement the fabric of the downtown area.

With the groundbreaking festivities behind them, the Clark | Lewis team will focus on completing demolition activities and relocating the Convention Place Station bus layover parking and bus stops. Sheeting and shoring, excavation operations, and the temporary relocation of existing Olive Way will commence this fall.

The project is scheduled to be completed within 36 months.