Events DC Announces Smoot|Gilbane JV for $65M ESA Project in Washington

Tue September 20, 2016 - Northeast Edition #19

The $65 million arena and training complex will include 4,200 split-bowl seating configuration to maximize use as a performance venue.
The $65 million arena and training complex will include 4,200 split-bowl seating configuration to maximize use as a performance venue.

Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, announced the selection of a Washington, DC-based construction management joint venture, Smoot Construction Company and Gilbane Building Company, to construct the Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.

“We're excited to bring the locally-based construction management joint venture of Smoot|Gilbane onboard as part of the team for the Entertainment and Sports Arena project. We remain committed to utilizing the best and brightest while supporting our homegrown businesses,” said Gregory A. O'Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “We continue to stand behind our commitment to honoring opportunities for local businesses and District residents and building a state-of-the-art facility that will bring so many economic and civic benefits to our DC community.”

For its Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) goals for the ESA project, Events DC remains dedicated to its pledge of 50-percent CBE participation for all major contracts inclusive of program management, architectural and engineering and construction management services. Additionally, at least 35-percent of the work is to be performed by Small Business Enterprises (SBEs). The development of the ESA is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction, including many apprenticeship opportunities for District residents. In the coming months, Events DC and Smoot|Gilbane will collaborate and announce a series of workshops and job fairs to maximize opportunities for businesses and residents during the ESA project.

“We are honored to be selected by Events DC, and we are excited to partner with Gilbane Building Company to construct DC's exciting new Entertainment and Sports Arena,” said Mark S. Cain, president and CEO of Smoot Construction Company of Washington, DC. “We look forward to bringing our experience and building a fan-favorite sports and entertainment facility to Ward 8.”

As the joint venture providing construction management at-risk services, Smoot|Gilbane will partner with Events DC to provide cost, schedule and constructability input during the design process; build and deliver the new ESA for its fall 2018 opening; and grow and develop local DC contractor capacity by maximizing opportunities for local Ward 7 and 8 trade contractors and suppliers.

“The new Entertainment and Sports Arena project gives our team the chance to bring our best practices in NBA facility construction and our experience building on the St. Elizabeths Campus to benefit both the District and the Congress Heights community,” said Drew Mucci, Gilbane senior vice president. “We are so excited to be part of the transformation of St. Elizabeths East — it's a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Smoot|Gilbane's partnership spans over 50 years. Its projects include the on-time, on-budget delivery of University of Maryland's 17,950-seat Comcast Arena and the award-winning Dunbar and Roosevelt High School projects.

Its commitment to building long-term and lasting partnerships also extends to the local DC contractor community. Smoot|Gilbane has engaged two Ward 8 protégés — Hardlight Construction and Saxon Collaborative — to participate in the management team and trade work on the ESA project. Smoot|Gilbane is committed to supporting these emerging Ward 8 firms — and furthering Events DC's goal of growing local capacity through this project.

Announced in the fall of 2015, the ESA will become the future practice facility for the Washington Wizards, home court of the Washington Mystics and a premier entertainment venue in the District. The arena is also expected to generate significant expansion of arts, cultural, entertainment and civic programming, including hosting many non-professional-basketball-related events each year.

Events DC along with its project teams, Brailsford & Dunlavey as the program management team, the architect/engineer joint venture of Washington Arena Design Group, comprised of Rossetti and Marshall Moya Design and the addition of Smoot|Gilbane as the construction management team, will be responsible for the planning, design and construction of the new facility. Upon completion, Events DC will be responsible for the operation of the arena.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 with completion in the fall of 2018.

The $65 million arena and training complex will include 4,200 split-bowl seating configuration to maximize use as a performance venue.