BCCA requests Meydenbauer Center upgrades | Council calls $12.5M renovations a modest investment

Bellevue councilmembers voiced approval Monday of financing a $12.5 million renovation of the Meydenbauer Center to include technological upgrades in high demand by its users and modernizing the 20-year-old facility.

The fact that the center has consistently met its maintenance and operation coverage and the authority board can inject $4 million in reserves into the project alleviated some concerns about the proposal, councilmembers said, which includes the issuance of $8.5 million in tax-exempt bonds.

Rick Carlson, chairman of the Bellevue Convention Center Authority Board, told the council the Meydenbauer Center has generated about $400 million in economic impact since opening in 1993, including $34.7 million and $8 million in state and county tax revenue, respectively.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Wallace lauded the BCCA's proposal to use reserves to pay down its principle for the project, adding he is excited about upgrading a city asset that is self-sustaining.Mayor Claudia Balducci said the renovation project cost appears to be a modest proposal, considering the projected growth in revenue through the hotel/motel tax.

BCCA Director John Christison told the council that exterior remediation for the center is estimated to cost $2.7 million, interior improvements are $8.7 million and new structured cabling and network upgrades are $1.1 million. The BCCA is hoping to get direction from the council sometime in the fall.


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