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Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of January 2024

Facilities Management Advisor’s “Under Construction” series highlights some of the latest, most interesting facility project announcements every month.

Hornets Arena Overhaul

Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) has unveiled plans for major renovations at Spectrum Center, home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Dubbed “Re!magine Spectrum Center,” the $215 million project includes a range of fan-focused and back-of-house upgrades to the 19-year-old arena. Renovations will start in May and take place during the next two NBA offseasons, with full completion expected by the 2025-26 NBA season.

Rendering courtesy of HSE

Organization: Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Type of project: Renovation
Size: 785,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $215 million
Design-build team: Perkins&Will, Turner Construction, D.A. Everett, et al.
Status: Announced Jan. 12
Expected completion: Before 2025-26 NBA season

Interesting tidbit: The project will add 2,500 lower-level seats, allowing more fans to be closer to the action, and all seats throughout the bowl will also be replaced. To better support traffic flow, the arena will add a fourth vomitory in the lower level, create wider corridors, and make entrance alterations. Other upgrades include renovating premium clubs and suites, creating more community gathering spaces, and fostering a frictionless concession experience with camera-driven tech. Building system improvements include HVAC, electrical, lighting, plumbing, and security upgrades. In order to accommodate all these renovations, Spectrum Center will be closed from May through September in both 2024 and 2025.

Quote: HSE EVP & Spectrum Center General Manager Donna Julian said, “Re!magine Spectrum Center touches nearly every aspect of the arena and allows us to remain the premier destination for sports and entertainment in the Carolinas.”

More details available here.

Country’s Tallest Building

Will the tallest building in the U.S. be located in… Oklahoma? Developer Matteson Capital and architectural firm AO have proposed a four-tower, mixed-use project named the Boardwalk at Bricktown in Oklahoma City. One of the structures, called Legends Tower, could be record-setting. Notably, the ambitious project is still far from fruition and contingent on approvals, but plans call for a hotel, residential units, stores, restaurants, entertainment spots, public spaces, and more.

Rendering courtesy of AO

Organizations: Matteson Capital, AO, and other partners
Location: Oklahoma City
Type of project: New build
Size: Spans ~5 million square feet
Estimated cost: N/A
Status: Proposed
Expected completion: N/A

Interesting tidbit: New York City’s One World Trade Center is currently the tallest building in the country. It opened in 2014 and stands at a symbolic 1,776 feet high in reference to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. As proposed, Legends Tower would be 1,907 feet tall, another symbolic number for the year Oklahoma became the 46th state in the U.S.

Quote: Scot Matteson, CEO of Matteson Capital, said, “Oklahoma City is experiencing a significant period of growth and transformation, making it well positioned to support large-scale projects like the one envisioned for Bricktown.”

More details available here.

$800M Meta Data Center

Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, execs from Meta Platforms Inc., and local officials recently gathered to break ground on a new $800 million data center campus in the Hoosier State. Meta, the parent company behind Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is building a 700,000 square-foot facility at the River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville. The data center will be the tech giant’s 18th in the U.S. and 22nd in the world.

Courtesy: Gov. Holcomb’s X account

Organization: Meta
Location: Jeffersonville, Ind.
Type of project: New build
Size: 700,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $800 million
Status: Ground broken Jan. 25
Expected completion: 2026

Interesting tidbit: Like all of Meta’s data centers, the Jeffersonville facility will be powered by 100% renewable energy, and the campus will achieve LEED Gold certification once operational. The data center is expected to be an economic boon for the state, creating 100 operational jobs and supporting over 1,250 jobs at peak construction. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has provided Meta with a 35-year data center sales tax exemption, with a chance for future incentives.

Quote: Brad Davis, director of data center community and economic development at Meta, said, “Jeffersonville stood out as an outstanding location for our newest data center thanks to its great access to infrastructure, deep pool of talent, and amazing community partners.”

More details available here.

Philly Train Station Redevelopment

Amtrak and partners kicked off a $550 million restoration and renovation project at the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Opened in 1933, the station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the busiest intercity passenger railroad facilities in the country. As the first phase of a larger District Plan, the project includes expanding food and retail offerings, upgrading landscaping, modernizing Amtrak corporate offices, and enhancing building infrastructure to achieve and maintain a state of good repair. Elevator and escalator work has begun, with additional construction continuing through 2027.

Rendering courtesy of Amtrak

Organization: Amtrak
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Type of project: Renovation
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: $550 million
Design-build team: Gilbane, SOM, et al.
Status: Started in January
Expected completion: Year-end 2027

Interesting tidbit: Amtrak has partnered with Plenary Infrastructure Philadelphia as the master developer whose responsibility it is to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the station improvements for 50 years as part of a public-private partnership (P3) agreement. The project also includes investing $2.5 million into a community impact fund to support career development of women, people of color, and individuals of under-represented groups throughout Philadelphia.

Quote: Amtrak EVP of Business Transformation and CFO Tracie Winbigler said, “This large-scale restoration and renovation project will enhance the station’s functionality and improve the customer experience for Amtrak, SEPTA, and NJ TRANSIT customers, while preserving this iconic Philadelphia landmark for future generations.”

More details available here.

Wider Wingspan for Airport

Tulsa International Airport (TUL) wants to boost the “international” part of its name, provide more convenience to travelers, and attract new business from airlines. The airport has broken ground on an International Customs Facility, which will allow commercial air carriers to offer nonstop international flights out of TUL for the first time. The 45,000 square-foot addition to the existing terminal will cost nearly $41 million and is partially funded by grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Courtesy: TUL

Organization: Tulsa International Airport
Location: Tulsa, Okla.
Type of project: New build
Size: 45,000 square feet
Estimated cost: Nearly $41 million
Design-build team: Narrate Design and Flinto Construction
Status: Ground broken Jan. 24
Expected completion: Late 2025

Interesting tidbit: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agency has been on-site at TUL for decades, but up until this point, the CBP has only been able to accept and clear international general aviation and cargo flights. The new International Customs Facility is designed to ensure a seamless experience for travelers who want to fly nonstop to TUL’s top international destinations, such as Mexico or the Caribbean. Furthermore, additional revenue from landing fees can be reinvested into future airport improvements, and the new gate will provide airlines with another option for domestic flight operations during peak periods.

Quote: TUL CEO Alexis Higgins said, “As we continue to grow and evolve, this project reaffirms our dedication to investing in the airport’s future.”

More details available here.

Honorable Mentions

Do you have a major project announcement you’d like considered for the “Under Construction” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com.

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