It's Twoo! It's Twoo! Larger Seattle Convention Center Nears

LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
Saw this on the local news today, about movement forward on expanding the Washington State Convention Center, where PAX Prime is held.

Two significant things about this story:
1) It's nice to get some 'official' news about the rumor.
2) The report raises some interesting questions about eminent domain and land law.

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Posts

  • StarYoshiStarYoshi Game Designer / Data Scientist USARegistered User regular
    It's great news, but we're still years out from reaping the fruits of the labor - particularly if construction won't even begin until 2017.

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  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I read something about the property owners of the last piece of land taking the city to court about it. So who knows how long that lawsuit will take.

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    My understanding from the report linked above is that the city has circumvented that whole pesky "legal" process and simply condemned the building occupied by the resisting businesses. It's a shitty but effective way to keep the project on track.

    The business owners say that they were only holding out to get a fair property price. Obviously we have no way of knowing if that was true or not, but either way the city appears to have used a policy loophole to simply steamroll them.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • olanmillsolanmills Registered User regular
    Wow that sucks. I mean, it's great for us as attendees, but the county just stole people's property.

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  • LazorzLazorz Tokyo, JPRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Cool to see that it's actually happening, but it definitely gives me mixed feelings on how they went about it. Even so, by the time the construction starts Prime will already be selling out in seconds. Let's just hope this whole process the county is going through right now will actually be worth the pain.

    Lazorz on
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Sooo... @Lazorz , @StarYoshi - the thread never claimed that this was going to happen overnight or discussed the immediacy of any magical thing like that. It's a discussion about the reality of it happening at all, and the ethics involved.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • SkeleVaderSkeleVader Your Friendly Dark Lord of Destruction Registered User regular
    It sounds to me like the building owners were trying to be a bit too greedy. Of course we don't know all the facts, and news stories are notorious for adding a spin to spice things up.

    In the end I just hope all land owners are given a fair price and the expansion gets on its way.

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  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    Well, if the demolition order is newsworthy, what with all the Socialist protests going on over here, it might become a thing. You know, a Thing. Whether it's something that hangs up the construction remains to be seen. It does sound fishy though.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • MrPulsarMrPulsar Registered User regular
    Gotta love that eminent domain! Hopefully if this is done - which would be cool, don't get me wrong - the city really plans it out in a way that won't hurt local businesses. I do think that for PAX the place is getting a little cramped now, unfortunately.

  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    I have serious reservations about whether the expansions downtown will even be effective. We've got no convenient mass transit, our city planning is a joke (seriously, don't even ask me for a list of examples), and the rate of increasing density and development in and around the core has a good chance of outpacing the convention center's plans. By the time it's built, I fear it will already be both too small for the city's needs while also being too invasive for the surrounding area (nor enough parking, poor traffic management, poor pedestrian planning for the increased crowds, etc...) All this while bulldozing peoples' property to get around the law. Ugh.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Well a convention center expansion will be better than yet another apartment complex for amazon

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
    LexiconGrrlmcdermott
  • LetMeInLetMeIn Registered User regular
    while trying to learn more about the area I found this post. To bad it is to late for the public meeting but it does give a little more info for what is being planned there

  • StarYoshiStarYoshi Game Designer / Data Scientist USARegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Sooo... @Lazorz , @StarYoshi - the thread never claimed that this was going to happen overnight or discussed the immediacy of any magical thing like that. It's a discussion about the reality of it happening at all, and the ethics involved.

    I'm very much in favor of the idea given the limitations of the venue. The legality, etc, of the issue does not concern me as I am not affected. (It wouldn't make me happy if things weren't on the up-and-up, but the convention center needs the additional capacity). I just wish these things didn't take so long to progress, but that is the unfortunate nature of the process.

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  • ddt58ddt58 Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Generally, the property owner can't stop the condemnation. They can go to court to get a higher price than the city offers if they can prove the value.

  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    It's pretty shitty condemning the buildings since the owners don't want to play ball, but at the same time it looks like the owners want a lot and the board has tried offering more than it actually paid for a larger piece of land. So I can see why they did this since the expansion really needs to happen before stuff starts leaving for bigger centers. Which would be a shame since the current one is nice and the state/city so beautiful.

    Really hope they get this land and break ground on the expansion as fast as possible.

  • DreamwriterDreamwriter Registered User regular
    I have serious reservations about whether the expansions downtown will even be effective. We've got no convenient mass transit
    Light Rail and the bus tunnels are very convenient, they go right to the convention center from the airport. And next year Light Rail will reach the University of Washington, by 2023 will reach up north to Lynnwood and East to Bellevue.

    kime
  • LexiconGrrlLexiconGrrl Registered User regular
    I have serious reservations about whether the expansions downtown will even be effective. We've got no convenient mass transit
    Light Rail and the bus tunnels are very convenient, they go right to the convention center from the airport. And next year Light Rail will reach the University of Washington, by 2023 will reach up north to Lynnwood and East to Bellevue.

    I dunno - I think they're convenient for very specific point-to-point transport but not for anything outside of that. So basically, it's great if you want to hang out at the airport. But you can't really get anywhere else. Have you ever tried to get crosstown East-West in Seattle by bus? It's practically faster to walk.

    Happily on Sabbatical. Don't bug me.
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    Build the Renraku Arcology and be done with it.

    ./snark

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  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    dare to compare. eff that noise, this is added floor space on top of what's already there. Thanks @zerzhul !

    Proposed square footage from zerzhul's link. *asterix is approximate measures

    CONVENTION CENTER PROGRAM (square footage that will be added)
    5 stories above grade
    2 stories below grade

    250,000 SF of Exhibition Space*
    120,000 SF of Meeting Space *
    70,000 SF of Ballroom Space*
    280,000 SF of Lobby & Circulation*
    510,000 SF of Support Spaces* (we don't get access to this space, this is for maintenance, janitorial, Enforcers, etc.)
    500-800 Parking Stalls*
    200,000 SF of Loading Area*
    Street-Level Retail & Restaurants

    Current square footage
    numbers taken from http://www.visitseattle.org/meeting-planners/washington-state-convention-center/services-facts/
    I may be pulling wrong or incomplete numbers, so don't slay me for inaccuracies, I just copy/pasted what looked comparable.

    236,700 square feet of exhibit space
    71,000 sq ft of corporate meeting space / Nine additional large meeting rooms, totaling over 27,468 square feet
    Four separate ballrooms totaling 44,628 square feet
    CANNOT FIND Lobby & Circulation numbers
    CANNOT FIND Support Spaces
    1,490 covered parking spaces within the facility (wtf? less parking?)
    CANNOT FIND Loading area SF, but "Three complete loading dock facilities with a total of 23 covered bays" is a lot of space.
    60,000 square feet of retail space including FedEx, concierge, and restaurants

    **edited to reflect zerzhul's input

    NotoriusBEN on
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  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    So how much of that new space would PAX actually get access to for more devs, booths, panels, and people?

    Cause it looks like almost 13k more SF of expo, 20kish more of panel rooms?, 34k more ballroom space(not sure if we use that) and then I don't think we use the lobby space, and attendees don't ever see the rest of that I think.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    No, those numbers are how much would be added, not the "new" numbers

  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    No, those numbers are how much would be added, not the "new" numbers

    So they're adding say 250k SF of expo space for a total of 486.7k? And would PAX actually get use of all that?

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, if you click through to the PDF of the current proposal, it has the following paragraph, which I think makes it a bit clearer.
    The project could add approximately 1,230,000 sf.
    of gross floor area to the existing Washington State
    Convention Center. Preliminary analysis indicates
    that this could include approximately 250,000 sf.
    of new exhibition space, 120,000 sf. of meeting
    rooms, a 70,000 st. ballroom space, approximately
    23 convention center loading bays, and structured
    parking for up to 800 additional vehicles. The
    structure height is approximately 200ft over 5 stories
    with 2 additional stories below grade.

    The PDF, for reference: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/AppDocs/GroupMeetings/DRProposal3018096AgendaID5368.pdf

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    much appreciated zerzhul, I struck out and reworded my post some.

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  • ddt58ddt58 Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    How many more Paxers could the new dimensions accommodate, I wonder?

  • jthom252jthom252 Registered User regular
    Part of me wonders if this could be a bit of a double edged sword, it's good for the long term but could significant construction affect the convention over the next year or two? I know even last year the main theater had limitations due to the construction next door.

  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    One could hope that if construction affects it they might try and hold it apart from bumbershoot and try to get the space they normally have. That or they'll have to shut it down/ move for a couple years. Can't see the city willingly foregoing all that revenue but depending on scale they might close the center

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    sometimes you gotta take the hit for a year or two to get something better.

    keep trying to be one of the lucky 70k people in a sea of 500k trying to get a ticket because the fire marshal wont let anymore people in the building
    -or- (based on the proposed numbers)
    basically double or triple your chances when the new center is in place.

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  • AlazullAlazull Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.Registered User regular
    ddt58 wrote: »
    How many more Paxers could the new dimensions accommodate, I wonder?

    Well, considering most estimates seem to be at least doubling the space already offered, I would imagine at least twice as many.

    The real question is even with the space how many people the Fire Marshal allows in the building at once. While ideally we'd be able to have 150k+, the reason we already can't have more people in the convention center isn't a real lack of space, it's not being allowed to have more in case of an emergency.

  • The Hanged ManThe Hanged Man Once I ate a pizza so big, they gave me a prize. Then I threw up and they took it back.Registered User regular
    Honestly, I'd bet the main impact of added Convention Center space would be absorbing back a bunch of the stuff that's happening in other buildings, without dramatically increasing the number of people who can access it. I think the only off-site part of PAX that they might be really interested in maintaining is the Benaroya Theater.

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  • KeroanKeroan Chicago, IllinoisRegistered User regular
    I used to be a resident assistant for a building of 800 people and I can say that after my fire training... I never want to be in an unsafe emergency situation where too many people pack into a space. *shudder*

    Usually the amount of people in the space depends on the amount of exits and the flow of traffic. All hail the safety inspectors!

  • The Word of BirdThe Word of Bird Might be in a dreamland....Registered User regular
    I have serious reservations about whether the expansions downtown will even be effective. We've got no convenient mass transit, our city planning is a joke (seriously, don't even ask me for a list of examples), and the rate of increasing density and development in and around the core has a good chance of outpacing the convention center's plans. By the time it's built, I fear it will already be both too small for the city's needs while also being too invasive for the surrounding area (nor enough parking, poor traffic management, poor pedestrian planning for the increased crowds, etc...) All this while bulldozing peoples' property to get around the law. Ugh.

    They've been cutting money from transit, while doing projects to screw over drivers into downtown so you kinda have to use the bus cuz no real parking. I love when they actually allowed contractors to just make buildings without any built-in parking. Cuz that really solves everything right?? The current mayor doesn't really like cars, so he's not gonna fix the problem but instead pushes faulty transit! Other states at least have a good structure for it. I wouldn't know about the Convention Center being outpaced, but you can bet it will be overbudget and probably stuck in line behind Bertha! We're still paying huge amounts just to have that machine sitting underground doing jack.

    The eminent domain bs has been happening for years now. Remember the failed Monorail plan? That thing was dead in the water, but they still grabbed up land every which way they could to try to build it! And they brought that guy from California to save it, for the low low price of 300k a month. He saw a sinking ship, but he "tried" to fix it. Yeah. Eminent domain is the go-to for many projects downtown, so unless you have a good lawyer, you're kinda at a loss.

    I hope they can settle things reasonably with the property owners. Pay them a fair price, and still get to expand the Convention Center. Best of both worlds, and it really really needs it!

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  • LetMeInLetMeIn Registered User regular
    I have serious reservations about whether the expansions downtown will even be effective. We've got no convenient mass transit, our city planning is a joke (seriously, don't even ask me for a list of examples), and the rate of increasing density and development in and around the core has a good chance of outpacing the convention center's plans. By the time it's built, I fear it will already be both too small for the city's needs while also being too invasive for the surrounding area (nor enough parking, poor traffic management, poor pedestrian planning for the increased crowds, etc...) All this while bulldozing peoples' property to get around the law. Ugh.

    They've been cutting money from transit, while doing projects to screw over drivers into downtown so you kinda have to use the bus cuz no real parking. I love when they actually allowed contractors to just make buildings without any built-in parking. Cuz that really solves everything right?? The current mayor doesn't really like cars, so he's not gonna fix the problem but instead pushes faulty transit! Other states at least have a good structure for it. I wouldn't know about the Convention Center being outpaced, but you can bet it will be overbudget and probably stuck in line behind Bertha! We're still paying huge amounts just to have that machine sitting underground doing jack.

    The eminent domain bs has been happening for years now. Remember the failed Monorail plan? That thing was dead in the water, but they still grabbed up land every which way they could to try to build it! And they brought that guy from California to save it, for the low low price of 300k a month. He saw a sinking ship, but he "tried" to fix it. Yeah. Eminent domain is the go-to for many projects downtown, so unless you have a good lawyer, you're kinda at a loss.

    I hope they can settle things reasonably with the property owners. Pay them a fair price, and still get to expand the Convention Center. Best of both worlds, and it really really needs it!

    If you check out this pdf is says:
    In a letter dated August 15, 2014, the WSCC PFD offered the Kollias Family LLC. $2,900,000, or approximately $703 per square foot, for the property. This was significantly higher than the WSCC’s appraised value of the property and the $650 per square foot price paid for the Honda property, which was more developable due to its larger size. In an email dated September 17, 2014, a representative of the Kollia's Family LLC. countered with an asking price of more than $400 per square foot above the WSCC’s offer.
    It is hard to compare the Honda and the Kollias Family LLC property values because the Honda property was already on the market while the Kollias property was/is being rented but WSCC did offer more then market value for square foot for that area, you know this because the Honda property is right next door.

    Either way it sucks it had to go this way. BTW I only read pages 31-36

  • FantanaFantana Registered User regular
    It's a thing..our construction company lost the bid on this.. so the bid is out.. meaning this the plans are on paper and will start soon.

  • LetMeInLetMeIn Registered User regular
    I heard it wouldn't be ready till 2022 though

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