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The Washington State Convention Center has secured prime land in its bid to double the size of its facilities with the recent $56.5 million acquisition of several Denny Triangle parcels now occupied by a Honda dealership.

Jeff Blosser, CEO of the Washington State Convention Center, said the Dec. 30 purchase of the parcels along Boren Avenue and Olive Way allows the convention center to keep its options open as it plans for future expansion. The Honda dealership is next to a King County transit station, over which the convention center also wants to build.

Though plans are still in the preliminary stage, a new facility on the Honda and transit-station sites could connect to the convention center along 9th Avenue and cost between $650 million and $700 million to construct, he said.

It could offer a 170,000-square-foot exhibit hall underground and a 140,000-square-foot exhibit space above ground. The convention center now offers two exhibit halls, each about 100,000 square feet, he said.

The parcels where Honda of Seattle operates under a lease were sold by Auburn-based Cassieford Co. for about $650 a square foot, said Stuart Williams, managing director of commercial real-estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, which represented the seller. The lease expires in March 2015, and Blosser said any construction wouldn’t start before 2016.

Williams said the convention center’s potential expansion on the site is a tipping point in the neighborhood’s growth.

“As downtown has moved north over the years, and clearly South Lake Union has moved south, it’s the logical area to grow,” Williams said. “You’ll see more multifamily and more hotels there to support the doubling of the convention center.”

The family that owns the Honda dealership also owns a Toyota dealership being displaced by’s construction of a campus in Denny Triangle and is moving both businesses to Airport Way, Williams said.

Honda of Seattle couldn’t be reached for comment.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or On Twitter @sbhatt