SEATTLE – On March 31, the Public Facilities District Board and developers for the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) Addition project confirmed the sale of $342 million in municipal bonds, a private funding source, that closes the financing gap and enables on-time completion of Summit. These bonds replace the need for potential loans being considered by King County, the City of Seattle and the State of Washington. Pine Street Group reported that orders in excess of $3 billion were placed for the $342 million in bonds, a testament to the belief by the bond market in the long-term strength of the hospitality industry in Seattle and our region.
The WSCC Summit building project broke ground in 2018 and is on track to open in mid-2022. Currently, there are 32 conventions scheduled for the Summit from 2022 – 2026, fulfilling the demand of planners and attendees by adding crucial meeting space.
“We are grateful to the leadership of the county, city and state for considering loans to bridge the gap,” said Frank Finneran, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Washington State Convention Center. “Now with this private funding established we can proceed with confidence immediately.”
“This is fantastic news for our clients and the region,” said Jeff Blosser, President and CEO, Washington State Convention Center. “We are extremely pleased to have the necessary funding now in place to keep the momentum of the Addition project moving forward so we can realize the opening of Summit for events and bring meeting attendees back to our great city.”
“Our optimism around the future of Seattle grows as the final funding for Summit is secured with construction well underway, and the building on-track to open mid-2022. Having two buildings to offer for future conventions, both in the heart of our vibrant downtown, is an incredible and unique asset,” said Kelly Saling, Vice President, Convention Sales and Services, Visit Seattle. “We know meetings and conventions are a key tool for regional economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and for our collective long-term economic vitality. This is one of the vital sparks Seattle needs to sustain the resilience and innovation of our downtown.”
The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) has also announced it achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, The GBAC STAR Accreditation Council determines each facility’s accreditation by examining its ability to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. For more information on the GBAC STAR facility accreditation program, visit the Global Biorisk Advisory Council website here.
Over the three-plus-year construction period, the Summit project team will hire as many as 6,000 union construction workers, including 900 apprentices. When at full capacity, the Summit building will create about 3,900 new jobs and generate about $260 million in new customer spending and $19 million in sales taxes each year. The current construction workforce is diverse: more than 30% are people of color, quarter are priority-hire workers from economically distressed ZIP codes, 17% are apprentices, and around $125 million in contracts were awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses. Summit construction is now more than 55% complete, with 99% of materials purchased.
The Summit is more than a convention center – it is also the conduit for a $93 million community benefits package, which will create better mobility in the downtown core, enhance economic opportunities and provide affordable housing for residents in the greater community. The $93 million investment includes substantial funding for affordable housing, parks and open spaces, improvements to Pike and Pine between downtown and Capitol Hill, bicycle infrastructure, a lid I-5 study, and more.
About Visit Seattle:
Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. Visit visitseattle.org.
About Seattle Convention Center:
Seattle Convention Center, located in the heart of downtown and walking distance to world‐class hotels restaurants, entertainment and attractions, has been the Northwest’s premier meetings and events facility since 1988. As a Public Facilities District, its longstanding mission for operations consists of creating jobs and business activity to boost the local, regional, and state economy, and generating civic benefits for the people of the region. For more information, visit seattleconventioncenter.com.
About GBAC, a Division of ISSA
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit gbac.org.
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