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NEWS|November 24 2020

November Newsletter

The Washington State Convention Center Addition takes shape above Pine Street (foreground) and Interstate-5 (right).


The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) Addition project has made significant progress since breaking ground in 2018, but if a solution to its $300 million funding gap isn’t identified by the end of 2020, steps will be taken to begin shutting down the project in the Spring and sending 1,000 workers home.

The deep drop in lodging-tax revenue in King County due to the coronavirus pandemic has impaired WSCC’s ability to complete the long-planned second round of financing needed to finish the project in 2022. Mothballing the Addition project will deprive our region of a crucial tool for an inclusive economic recovery.

The pandemic’s destructive impact on local businesses and individuals – particularly the 80,000 people employed in King County’s hospitality industry – makes the project’s completion even more essential to our area’s economic resilience and long-term strength. The project employs thousands in a construction sector expected to provide fewer jobs in 2021 than in 2020.

Recently, the Washington Research Council published an update to its 2016 report on the then-proposed expansion of the Washington State Convention Center. The update delineates losses to the community in the event of a project shut down.

With the Addition in its third year of construction, it’s important to reflect on its economic, social and community contributions.

The Addition project will require some 350,000 cubic yards of excavated dirt and 21,000 tons of steel.

Building Careers

Over the course of construction, the project is expected to employ an estimated 6,000 union construction workers including hundreds of apprentices. These jobs provide family wages and the potential for a lifetime of security. As of November 2020, minorities comprise more than 30% of the project workforce, and 26% are Priority Hire workers from economically distressed ZIP codes.

Additionally, the project has helped increase access to job training and career opportunities through its partnership with ANEW. Programs like this give workers, including at-risk populations, an opportunity to learn on a complex project and be part of a large, coordinated effort. The Addition has generated 84 pre-apprenticeship graduates since construction began.

Investing in Our Region

In addition to being a crucial driver of Seattle’s economic recovery, the Addition project has already conveyed much of the $93 million it has committed to community investments, with more to come.

In July 2020, the project completed delivery of $40 million in investments for affordable housing as part of its commitment to support racial equity and fair access to housing opportunities in Seattle and King County.

Construction at Scale

A project of this magnitude requires a skilled workforce, community engagement, and a lot of metal. To get a sense of the Addition’s impact, consider that it will require:

  • 21,000 tons of steel
  • 350,000 cubic yards of excavated dirt
  • 15+ miles of mechanical piping
  • 26 miles of plumbing piping
  • 99 miles of PEX piping
  • 800+ tons of sheet metal ductwork

Our region’s prosperity relies on projects like the Addition. For more information on the Addition project’s community and economic benefits, visit our website.

Yours in Partnership,
The Addition Team

Open for business 2022.


Economic Profile

A report by Washington Research Council.

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