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Massive expansion of the Washington State Convention Center “Topping Out”

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Live from the historic Virginia Inn in downtown Seattle, construction attorney Ellie Perka interviewed Matt Griffin, Managing Partner of Pine Street Group, about one of the largest construction projects taking place on the west coast today: a massive expansion of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) in downtown Seattle.

The new expansion of the WSCC, known as the “Summit”, will open in mid-2022 and will add 7.7 hectares of floor space to the city center – doubling the current convention capacity. This is a great week for Matt and his team! On June 11th, the WSCC will celebrate the topping-out ceremony with a crew lunch and a memorial ceremony.

Join Ellie and Matt as they discuss revitalizing downtown Seattle, overcoming financial and construction hurdles, and how Seattle will recover from the recent pandemic.


2:01 AM – Matt grew up in Seattle and became an engineer.

03:33 – 90s-era Seattle: Boarded-up downtown is blooming with development. Matt describes the three-block project.

05:55 – Ellie and Matt get nostalgic about the Nordstrom flagship store moving into the Frederick & Nelson building.

7:14 am – Perspective on how Seattle will recover as we emerge from the pandemic.

13:22 – WSCC: The big mega-project in the city center.

14:06 – 2013/2014 WSCC rejected more deals than booked. Seattle is popular for conventions.

15:19 – Matt: “We try to have more conventions, not bigger ones.”

16:21 – 7.7 hectares of new usable space are being squeezed in the overcrowded city center.

5:31 PM – What happened to the bus station that is where the WSCC summit is now?

19:59 – Project funding, especially during COVID-19.

21:27 – Greetings to the people who are building the WSCC summit! Focus on employing people of color, senior zip code people, and apprentices.

10:09 PM – A study in October 2020 showed tax revenue was going to be tight, Matt describing private funding methods secured in early 2021 to complete construction.

24:22 – Seattle is # 1 in the US for foreign investment.

25:31 – Matt describes the “topping-out” ceremony on June 11th. Seattle luminaries and even sports stars make a cameo for this digital event.

28:04 – Is it true that the ballroom on the top floor will be the size of a soccer field?

29:50 – Lucky to have LMN architects on this project. World famous company from Seattle.

29:15 – WSCC bought the lot under the sidewalks, very unusual. Why?

30:01 – Natural light makes a difference. Summit will even have skylights in the basement.


Project details: www.wsccaddition.com

Meet Ellie Perka: https://www.lanepowell.com/Our-People/Ellie-Perka

Matt Griffin’s Company: www.pinest.com

Virginia Inn: www.virginiainnseattle.com

DISCLAIMER: Ellie is an attorney, but not necessarily * your attorney. This podcast does not constitute legal advice and listening to it does not result in a client relationship.


The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. Expert advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstances.

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