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Washington State Convention Center’s Massive Addition “Tops Out”

Washington State Convention Center’s Massive Addition “Tops Out”

June 11, 2021

Live from the historic Virginia Inn in downtown Seattle, Construction Attorney Ellie Perka interviews Matt Griffin, Managing Partner at Pine Street Group, about one of the largest construction projects taking place on the West Coast today: a massive expansion of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) in downtown Seattle.

WSCC’s new addition, known as “Summit,” opens in mid-2022 and will add 7.7 acres of usable space to downtown – doubling current convention capacity. This is a big week for Matt and his team! On June 11, WSCC celebrates “topping out” construction with a crew lunch and commemoration ceremony.

Join Ellie and Matt as they discuss the downtown Seattle revitalization, overcoming financial and construction hurdles and how Seattle will bounce back from the recent pandemic.



02:01 – Matt grew up in Seattle and became an Engineer.

03:33 – 90's Era Seattle: boarded-up downtown blooms with development. Matt describes the Three Block Project.

05:55 – Ellie and Matt wax nostalgic about the Nordstrom flagship store moving into the Frederick & Nelson building.

07:14 – Perspective on how Seattle will bounce back as we emerge from the pandemic.

13:22 – WSCC: the big mega-project happening downtown.

14:06 – In 2013/2014 WSCC was turning away more business than it was booking. Seattle is popular for conventions.

15:19 – Matt: “What we’re trying to do is have more conventions, not bigger.”

16:21 – Squeezing 7.7 new acres of usable space in crowded downtown.

17:31 – What happened to the bus station located where WSCC Summit is now?

19:59 – Financing the project, especially during COVID-19.

21:27 – Shout-out to the people building WSCC Summit! Focus on employing people of color, people from high-priority zip codes and apprentices.

22:09 – Study in Oct 2020 showed tax revenue would come up short, Matt describes private financing methods secured in early 2021 to complete the build.

24:22 – Seattle has become the #1 city in USA for foreign investment.

25:31 – Matt describes the “topping out” ceremony June 11. Seattle luminaries and even sports celebrities make a cameo for this digital event.

28:04 – Is it true the top-floor ballroom will be as big as a football field?

29:50 – Fortunate to have LMN architects on this project. World-renowned firm from Seattle.

29:15 – WSCC bought the property under the sidewalks, very unusual. Why?

30:01 – Natural light makes a difference. Summit will have skylights even in the basement.



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DISCLAIMER: Ellie is a lawyer but not necessarily *your lawyer. This podcast is not legal advice and listening does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Vaccinating Your Workforce: Voluntary vs. Mandatory Programs

Vaccinating Your Workforce: Voluntary vs. Mandatory Programs

May 7, 2021

People who work in Human Resources, owners of small businesses, and managers of workforces large and small are arriving at a crossroads: should one make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory or voluntary for their workforce?

Host Riley Moyer welcomes guest Mike Kitson to distill hours-worth of discussion about workplace vaccination considerations into a digestible short session. Mike is a seasoned attorney who focuses his practice on defending and advising public entities and private companies in employment law matters.

Mike covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time, including implications of E.U.A. approval, what current EEOC guidance entails and considerations regarding incentive programs for employees.


COVID-19 Resource Center:

Form I-9 and COVID-19 Related Flexibility

Form I-9 and COVID-19 Related Flexibility

April 29, 2021

Host Riley Moyer welcomes guest Dustin O’Quinn to discuss how employers and human resources personnel can overcome the pandemic-exacerbated hurdle of inspecting identity and employment eligibility documents while operating in a remote workplace.  

Dustin is a business immigration attorney who practices in Lane Powell’s Seattle office and had a front-row seat to all the chaotic changes that have occurred with business immigration throughout 2020.  

This episode is from a presentation originally recorded on December 8, 2020. 


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Washington State’s Paid Medical Leave

Washington State’s Paid Medical Leave

April 22, 2021

Host Riley Moyer invites guests Katheryn Bradley and Shirley Lou-Magnuson to share tools and advice with employers navigating leave and accommodation obligations for a compliant, well-managed workforce. Katheryn and Shirley are attorneys who practice with our firm’s labor & employment team. 

With the patchwork of federal, state and local leave laws to administer on top of new paid family and medical leave programs, many employers were already reeling when 2020 began. But the pandemic hit, and quarantine orders followed, and employers faced new challenges with teleworking and managing employees without available childcare.  

Congress responded with emergency legislation mandating paid leave for COVID-19 related illness and childcare purposes. Washington Governor Inslee also issued proclamations requiring accommodations for high risk employees. While employees explore a smorgasbord of leave and accommodation possibilities for managing their lives during the pandemic, this has left many managers and HR professionals feeling overwhelmed. 

This episode is from a presentation originally recorded on October 15, 2020. 


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Meet Shirley:

Meet Riley:

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