The Washington State Convention Center and team of contractors previously selected to build a $1.4 billion expansion have settled a lawsuit out of court, leaving the convention center free to hire a new builder.
Officials from the Washington State Convention Center and contractors hired to build a $1.4 billion expansion said Tuesday they’ve settled a lawsuit that threatened to stall the project.
While neither side would disclose the terms of the settlement, the contracting team — a joint venture of Skanska and Hunt Construction Group — issued a statement saying the split with the convention center was “amicable.”
The Washington State Convention Center Public Facilities District, the entity that controls the convention center, selected the Skanska/Hunt team in summer of 2015 through a competitive process. The partnership then provided months of preconstruction work worth about $4 million before the convention center fired the contractors in March.
Soon after, the team filed a lawsuit alleging it had been unfairly terminated and seeking to stop convention-center authorities from bringing in a new contractor.
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Earlier this month, King County Judge Beth Andrus denied Skanska-Hunt’s bid to be reinstated as the contractor, but ruled the convention center should not select a new contractor and ordered a trial within 120 days of the ruling to determine whether the termination was wrongful.
Chris Toher, Skanska USA’s executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement that the partnership is “pleased to resolve this matter amicably and in a manner which we believe recognizes the valuable services our team provided over the past nine months.”
Frank Finneran, chair of the convention-center board, said in a statement that the board terminated the Skanska/Hunt team over cost concerns.
The board is now free to select a new general contractor to build the expansion, which was estimated to start in 2017 and wrap up by 2020.
The expansion will roughly double the convention center’s space, allowing it to attract larger and more events, according to Visit Seattle, a nonprofit that promotes tourism in the region.
Matt Griffin of the Pine Street Group, which is the expansion’s project manager, said it’s unclear how long it will take to select a replacement contractor, but that the construction is expected to move forward on schedule.