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Quicken Loans Arena Renovation Project Celebrates Topping-Off Ceremony

Quicken Loans Arena topping off ceremony

The Cleveland Cavaliers‘ Quicken Loans Arena renovation project celebrated a milestone Wednesday, when a topping-off ceremony took place. The ceremony saw the final steel beam hoisted into place atop the arena.

In keeping with the topping off tradition, in addition to an evergreen tree and an American flag, flags representing the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, along with flags representing the Iron Workers Union Local #17, Forest City Erectors, Whiting-Turner, the Cavaliers and the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters were placed on the beam.

“As the final beam is raised on the Q Transformation project, I want to recognize the Cleveland Cavaliers for their commitment to the citizens of Cleveland. Through the financial, economic and community benefits the people of Cleveland gained through this project, the project continues to be a valuable investment in our city’s neighborhoods and our future,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

“This topping off is a great milestone for this important project. Our investment in The Q is an investment in the future of this community,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “The Q is one of the key economic drivers of our county, bringing millions of fans to hundreds of events. These are people who then spend money in our restaurants and bars and in our shops. Add to that the almost 1,500 construction jobs that have been created by this transformation and this is a project we can all be proud of.”

According to numbers from the Cavaliers, minority, female and small business and workforce inclusion efforts continue to exceed the project goals pursuant to the City of Cleveland’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), endorsed by the County, and adopted in resolution by Gateway Economic Development Corp.

Highlights as of December 2018:

  • 54% of the workforce resided in Cuyahoga County, exceeding the project’s County workforce participation Community Benefits Agreement (C.B.A.) goal of 25%.
  • 24% of the workforce resided in Cleveland, exceeding the project’s City C.B.A.’s goal of 20%.
  • The Minority Business Enterprise workforce participation level of 25% exceeds the C.B.A.’s goal of 16%.
  • The Female Business Enterprise workforce participation level of 6% also exceeds the C.B.A.’s goal of 5%.
  • The percentage of total construction contract dollars awarded thus far with minority, female and small business enterprise diversity is 59%.

“From the onset, our goal was to ensure that we provided opportunities for a local and diverse group of subcontractors, vendors, tradesmen and women to be a part of this major community project. Being able to exceed the project’s goals thus far is part of this milestone celebration today and something all of us can be very proud of,” said Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski. “We also want to commend and thank our general contractor, Whiting-Turner, for their partnership and commitment towards our diversity and inclusion efforts. We will continue to make that commitment a top priority as the project heads towards the finish line later this year.”

The topping off culminates almost a year of structural steel work on the project, which began in February 2018. More than 4,750 pieces of steel equivalent to 1,229 tons, have been installed to form the frame of the arena’s new north atrium and south entrance.

A new street-facing exterior glass façade and north atrium that will add 42,530 square feet of new public space to The Q is taking shape. When complete, 77,110 square feet of exterior glass curtain wall made up of 1,475 pieces of glass will have been installed.​

Work on the south side of the arena is near completion, adding 6,350 square feet to provide a more expansive and modernized Discount Drug Mart South Entrance along with the new “South Neighborhood,” a social gathering spot featuring a lineup of new food and beverage offerings. Scheduled to be the first to open in mid-February is the new Saucy Brew Works Pub, and soon thereafter, two food concepts from local chefs Jonathan Sawyer of the Greenhouse Tavern and Karen Small of the Flying Fig.

The ongoing renovation project is a private-public partnership between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Cavaliers to renovate an arena that opened in 1994. The project’s total investment has increased to $185 million from its original $140 million 50-50 private/public funding agreement. When Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert and the organization committed an additional $45 million of private funding towards additional upgrades, it raised the team’s current private funding commitment from $70 million to $115 million. The Cavaliers’ portion of the funding covers all non-public, club, suite, team, premium space, AV/LED, lighting and multi-media upgrades, as well as a significant portion of the public space updates, which includes concourse improvements and square footage increases.

Quicken Loans Arena closed for the summer of 2018, allowing for the start of work on the interior of the building that included the suite level, five membership spaces and the Cavaliers and Monsters locker rooms, which were completed when the arena reopened in October. As work continues on the exterior and interior of Quicken Loans Arena throughout the Cavaliers 2018-19 season, the venue will close again for the summer of 2019 to complete the project and is slated to reopen in October.

Image courtesy Quicken Loans Arena.

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