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KeyArena Renovation Project Switches General Contractors

KeyArena renovation Oak View Group

A change in the general contractor for Seattle’s KeyArena renovation project has taken place, with Mortenson replacing Skanska Hunt in the role. 

Oak View Group is leading and financing the major overhaul of KeyArena, which is being raised to modern NBA and NHL standards and will begin hosting an NHL expansion squad in 2021. Skanska Hunt, a joint venture between the firms Shanska and AECOM Hunt, was initially chosen in July as the project’s general contractor, but reports of late had suggested that a switch to Mortenson was on the way. Due to a variety of factors, the project’s cost estimate has risen from an initial $600 million to possibility as much $850 million, while a previously targeted fall 2020 completion has been scrapped in favor of an early 2021 opening.

In making the announcement, project officials noted that Mortenson would come to the project with familiarity, as its Seattle office led pre-construction efforts. Along with the appointment of Mortenson to the general contractor post, project officials also revealed that the Rockwell Group has been tabbed to handle the design of suite and club levels. More from the Seattle Times:

Mortenson was named to the position on Tuesday, with Skanska Hunt stepping away after having been on the project since late July. Also, the Oak View Group (OVG) developer and arena project team announced that world-renowned architectural firm Rockwell Group has been contracted to design the arena’s suite and club levels — an addition expected to drive the final arena price tag up toward $825 million and possibly $850 million.

Project officials say the change will not impact the project’s completion date and that all costs are being absorbed privately by OVG and its partners as per a deal with the City of Seattle. The Seattle Times first reported on Saturday that a general contractor change could be made.

“Mortenson’s local Seattle office spent five months leading pre-construction efforts on the arena project and is very familiar with our approach and goals,’’ Ken Johnsen, senior construction executive on the project, said in a release.

In the same release, Skanska executive vice-president Kevin McCain said: “Given the market challenges and shift in timing, it did not make sense for our joint venture to move forward to the next phase of the project, so we recently came to a mutually agreed upon decision to end our joint venture’s involvement with the arena project.”

The scope of the upcoming renovation is elaborate in scope, as it calls for leaving the arena’s distinguished roof line intact, while digging down to create more interior space and modern facilities. Should construction work proceed on schedule, the venue would reopen ahead of the 2021 season for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, with the NHL expansion squad debuting there that fall.

Rendering courtesy Oak View Group.

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