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Exterior Wall Work Begins on $930M WA Arena

Friday, May 15, 2020

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Excavation at the $930 million renovation of Seattle’ Key Arena is officially completed, according to reports, and work on the structure’s new walls is full steam ahead with a crew abiding by social distancing standards.

Other than a voluntary halt for about four days, according to the Seattle Times, work has maintained at the site as getting the 44 million-pound roof off its temporary structure was deemed an essential task (in addition to the city owning the building, making the project work on a “government facility”).

Project Background

The Seattle City Council took the final step in green-lighting the redevelopment of KeyArena in September 2018, unanimously approving the deal with The Seattle Arena Company, or ArenaCo, which included Oak View Group. Oak View at the time tapped the joint venture of Skanska and AECOM Hunt as the general contractor of the project, with Populous as the architect and CAA ICON as project manager.

Renderings: Populous

Excavation at the $930 million renovation of Seattle’ Key Arena is officially completed, according to reports, and work on the structure’s new walls is full steam ahead with a crew abiding by social distancing standards.

For the project, all updates to the structure will be done without touching the arena’s famous roofline. Since the arena is a designated historic building, four supporting pylons will first be installed so that the entire interior can be redone. The playing floor will reportedly drop 15 feet, to 58 feet below grade, allowing playing lines for hockey and basketball to line up.

An additional 50,000 square feet will be added for more storage and premium club space, which will offer views of the Space Needle. The capacity for the venue will be expanded to 17,400 for NHL games at 18,600 for NBA, meaning the building’s area will grow to 750,000 square feet.

The new arena will be home to Seattle’s WNBA team the Seattle Storm, with fingers crossed for an NHL team and eventually an NBA team as well.

Originally, the project was supposed to be completed in time for the 2020-21 NHL season with a price tag of $600 million, both of which have been pushed incrementally since the project’s inception.

In August 2018 (before final approval), OVG pointed to steel and aluminum tariffs as part of the reason for the rising price.

The cost hikes were also partly to blame for the replacement of general contractor JV Skanska and AECOM, which was swapped for Mortenson Construction less than a week after the groundbreaking at the end of 2018.

Other than a voluntary halt for about four days, according to the Seattle Times, work has maintained at the site as getting the 44 million-pound roof off its temporary structure was deemed an essential task (in addition to the city owning the building, making the project work on a “government facility”).

In May 2019, the budget was updated to the $930 million price tag with an opening date of June 2021.

In January of this year, the roof entered its “floating phase,” when it was suspended by the temporary structure of 72 steel columns. New foundation was also poured at that time.

What Now

The new arena floor is now complete—53 feet below ground, about 15 feet deeper than the original floor—giving the space its new square footage of just over 800,000.

In addition, workers have begun erecting steel for the first new wall of the arena. Eight of the permanent 22 Y columns have been reattached to the roof and four additional support buttresses are also being prepared.

The opening date is still slated for summer 2021, though now the June target is a little less set in stone, partially because of the uncertainty that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four-day voluntary shutdown went over social distancing ground rules and, according to officials, the daily 225-300 workers have been adhering to the new protocols.

So far, no COVID-19 cases have been reported at the site.

   

Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Renovation; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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