Seattle Convention Center

North America’s first high-rise convention center nearly doubles Seattle Convention Center’s capacity and ushers in the future of meetings

SEATTLE – Summit, the Seattle Convention Center’s (SCC) $2 billion
downtown addition – and North America’s first high-rise convention
center – has announced its opening celebrations will commence on January

 This addition nearly doubles the capacity of the Seattle Convention
Center, adding 573,770 square feet of event space including 62 meeting
rooms, a 58,000-square-foot column-free and divisible ballroom featuring
3,900 suspended planks of reclaimed wood, 248,450 square feet of exhibit
space, 140,700 square feet of naturally lit lobby space and the
14,000-square-foot outdoor Garden Terrace. Covering 1.5 million square
feet, Summit, and the original Arch building, one and a half blocks away,
together create a campus built to usher in the future of meetings and

 More than a decade ago, the Center’s board of directors determined
that the economic impact benefiting the state of Washington could be
substantially increased by the addition of a second SCC facility. This
is highlighted by the fact that between 2012 and 2015, the Center turned
away over 300 potential events due to the unavailability of space in the
Arch Building on the dates desired.

 Following an extended planning and design period, contractors broke
ground on the expansion in August of 2018.

“Congratulations are in order to the board for having the vision to
build two stacked buildings in downtown Seattle,” said Frank Finneran,
Chair of the SCC Board of Directors. “This project was more complex
and difficult than building in the suburbs, but the vision has now
become a reality. We could not have accomplished this without our
trusted partners, including the developers at Pine Street Group, the
talented design crew at LMN Architects, and Clark/Lewis for the
construction. It took a large, talented team to make it happen.”

 With the new space at the Summit, new opportunities have arisen.
Currently, there are 58 events booked there with an additional eight
using both the Arch and the Summit, significantly increasing the
Center’s economic impact on the region.

 “We’re thrilled for the new opportunities Summit together with Arch
will create for our clients, community, and industry,” said President
and CEO Jeff Blosser. “The Seattle Convention Center is pleased to
increase its availability of space for event planners and extend its
connection to those who live in, visit or work downtown.”

 Summit’s downtown urban location offers easy walking proximity to a
multitude of entertainment, retail, and accommodations for meeting
attendees with approximately 7,000 hotel rooms within a six-block
radius. The building is also situated off Interstate 5, providing easy
access to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and is near the Link
light rail and other public transportation. For those driving in, SCC
operates three garages, including one at Summit.

 “This is a thrilling moment for Seattle and those who have worked
tirelessly to bring us to this point,” said Tammy Canavan, FCDME
President & CEO of Visit Seattle. “Summit is just the latest piece in
a tapestry of new Seattle offerings that will welcome visitors and
meeting attendees into the central fabric of our community. Combined
with the city’s ever-expanding – and diverse – hotel inventory, SEA
Airport’s new International Arrivals Facility, and the enhancements
being made to our beloved Waterfront, Seattle’s singular beauty and
spirit will be on full display for our guests.”

The citing of the original Arch building in 1988 with Summit nearby in
the heart of downtown gives visitors access to the vibrancy of the city
alongside views of the mountains and bay surrounding it. Summit is
designed to engage and enrich this distinctive urban setting. The
stacked configuration maximizes the efficiency of the site and the effective
flow of attendees between event spaces, and the large windows and
skylights bring in natural light to all levels, including the
below-grade exhibition floor. The building incorporates a layering of
soft and hard elements as well as an homage to Seattle. The Hillclimb, a
grand, suspended stair and escalator system, features wood native to the
Pacific Northwest and provides access from street level to the ballroom
level, as well as seating.

Summit is projected to achieve LEED Gold certification, having used
environmentally friendly design elements during the construction and
planning to do likewise in its operations. These include using
sustainably sourced, recycled materials throughout the building, such as
plant-based acoustic ceiling tiles and bio-based fabric panels. The
rooftop incorporates solar panels that will improve the building’s
energy performance by 30% over the baseline rating and a rainwater
harvesting system will reduce irrigation usage by a projected 89%.
Summit also ties in a touch of history with its drive for sustainability
by using reclaimed wood from a business that formerly occupied part of
the construction site. Upon its opening, visitors will be graced by a
striking wooden chandelier designed by local artist Cathy McClure, the
shadows from which are projected onto the floor and recall a sun-dappled
forest. This is just one of Summit’s many notable visual pieces that
are part of the building’s years-long, $6.5 million public art
initiative that is continually sourcing works from diverse, local

 This addition reflects the Center’s ongoing commitment to the
surrounding community with a $93 million benefits package to enhance the
lives of area residents via affordable public housing, public art and
open spaces, and improvements to the pedestrian, bicycle, and transit
infrastructure. Approximately $40 million of the investment package was
devoted to the creation and preservation of affordable housing units, a
legacy initiative that carried over from the Center’s board of
directors in their civic mission to have a positive impact on the
community while constructing the Arch building. While planning Summit,
the board of directors established a goal of awarding $80 million in
work scopes to minority- and women-owned businesses. Thus far, nearly
$150 million in work scopes have been awarded to these businesses, more
than doubling the initial goal. With the opening of Summit, the
additional generated business will have far-reaching economic impacts via
meeting attendee spending at area businesses, restaurants, and hotels.

About the Seattle Convention Center

Seattle Convention Center, located in the heart of downtown and within 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 [2].

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