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January 29, 2016

WSCC wants street, alley vacations for expansion

Courtesy LMN Architects [enlarge]
Part of the expansion will be underground.

The Washington State Convention Center is asking the city of Seattle for a series of alley and street vacations for the $1.4 billion expansion project.

The project encompasses three blocks bounded by Pine and Howell streets and Ninth and Boren avenues. The vacations include alleys on each of the three blocks, a section of Terry Avenue between Howell and Olive Way, and space underneath Olive Way.

The convention center wants to put a 150,000-square-foot exhibition hall, loading docks and other back-of-house functions underground. Doing that requires using space under Olive and Terry.

Matt Griffin of Pine Street Group, the development manager for the convention center expansion, said the team plans to put the streets back in place, redo sidewalks, and add canopies, landscaping and other features to make the area around the expansion pedestrian-friendly and part of the urban neighborhood.

The expanded convention center would be a nearly 200-foot-tall structure with 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, 125,000 square feet of meeting rooms, 60,000 square feet of ballroom space and 25,000 square feet of retail. To the north would be a 28-story residential tower and 16-story office tower. Both tower projects will be permitted and then sold to developers.

LMN Architects is the designer and a Skanska-Hunt joint venture is the general contractor/construction manager. MKA is providing structural and civil engineering services.

The goal is to begin construction in the second quarter of 2017 and open the new facility in 2020.

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