SEATTLE – June 15, 2021 – The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) recognized a major
milestone in the construction of the Addition project, also known as the Summit building. On Friday,
June 11, construction crews hoisted the final beam onto the steel structure, officially “topping out” the
“This is an exciting day that is dedicated to the people who made this project a reality,” said Frank
Finneran, chair of the WSCC Board of Directors. “The past year has tested us, but the construction crews
are innovators and problem solvers. They have kept going and kept safe while advancing this
To “top out” a construction project is an industry tradition, marking both the progress toward
completion and creating a moment to highlight the dedication of the project’s workforce. To thank
workers and commemorate the moment, local luminaries and sports icons contributed congratulatory
messages in a short video that was shared with the Addition’s construction team during the topping out.
Due to COVID‐19 protocols, the milestone was celebrated virtually rather than holding the typical onsite
gathering of construction workers and project team members. Video of the topping out was shared
Monday on the WSCC Addition website.
Since breaking ground in 2018, Addition crews have erected 21,000 tons of steel. Their construction
efforts will double the existing capacity of the Washington State Convention Center, adding
approximately 255,000 square feet of exhibition space, 120,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and
60,000 square feet of ballroom space.
Clark | Lewis, a joint venture between Clark Construction Group and Lease Crutcher Lewis, is the
project’s general contractor. The steel erection subcontractor is American Bridge. LMN Architects is the
“The topping out ceremony is an opportunity to salute the men and women building the project for
their dedication to their craft and to this project during an extraordinary time,” said Ben Eitan, vice
president with Clark | Lewis. “Fifteen months ago, we could not have imagined the circumstances
brought on by the pandemic. Despite them, our team and partners have risen to the challenge and
continued to move construction safely forward, demonstrating that Seattle has the best talent – and
people – to deliver this project.”
In the five years prior to the start of construction, the WSCC had to turn away as much business as it
booked due to space or schedule constraints. The expanded capacity will allow the region to capture
more than $2 billion in lost revenue associated with the hundreds of events it couldn’t accommodate
before. The first booking for the new building occurred just three months after groundbreaking. That
event, scheduled for 2024, will use both the Arch (existing convention center) and Summit buildings.
Currently, there are 33 conventions confirmed for Summit through 2027.
When operating at capacity, Summit operations are anticipated to generate an estimated $260 million
per year in visitor spending and create 2,300 new permanent jobs at the facility and in hospitalityrelated
businesses that depend on a strong recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID‐19
“The Washington State Convention Center Addition presents a transformative opportunity at the
intersection of an emerging culture of the delegate of the future, the evolving trends in the convention
center industry and the development of Seattle’s vibrant urban core,” said Mark Reddington, partner,
LMN Architects. “As a catalyst for revitalizing and re‐connecting Seattle’s core neighborhoods, the
integration of the WSCC Addition with its surroundings will be the basis for a rich and unique experience
for both delegates and residents, an experience that is unique to Seattle.”
As part of this project, WSCC will invest more than $93 million in community improvements and has
committed approximately $135 million to contracting with upwards of 100 minority‐ or women‐owned
businesses. The Addition will activate four city blocks with new sidewalks, lighting, retail and landscaping
to transform the pedestrian experience, bringing communities together and creating a safe, active space
in Seattle’s downtown core.
“This project will truly be transformative for the city and for the region,” said Tom Norwalk, President &
CEO of Visit Seattle. “Seattle has unique qualities as a meetings and convention destination. The Summit
building will enable WSCC to more effectively capitalize on that and bring even more tourism revenue to
the region. Its neighborhood‐driven design approach emphasizes public spaces and pedestrian
connections. The WSCC Board of Directors’ commitment to diversity and inclusion on this construction
project has created important opportunities for local workers and businesses. This project helps position
the region for a vibrant post‐pandemic recovery.”
The Addition is scheduled to open in mid‐2022.