Building Public Benefits

Conferring with the community to establish a foundation of trust

Project Summary

To build the 225,000-square-foot Addition facility, the Washington State Convention Center must purchase five streets belonging to the City of Seattle. By law, the Center must pay market rate for these parcels and provide a package of public benefits to the Seattle community.

Washington State Convention Center Addition

Public Affairs

Collected and acted on community input to guide a critical element of a $1.7 billion local development project 


The Seattle City Council will ultimately vote whether to approve the proposed public benefits package and resulting street sale. To ensure success, the Addition project team engaged in meaningful, authentic community outreach to coalesce support around a defined set of benefits. In partnership with the project team, Nyhus developed, advertised and executed a large-scale public open house – both in-person and online– to showcase a variety of prospective benefits package elements, and gather feedback.


  • Nearly 500 people participated, in person and online, garnering more than 6,000 total comments.
  • Employing a race and social justice lens to the effort, the Nyhus team performed direct outreach to and advertised with local organizations and news sites that connect with diverse audiences.
  • Multiple local news publications and blogs covered the open house, further extending the reach and underscoring the project team’s commitment to partnering with the community.
  • Using footage from the open house, the Nyhus team developed a video showcasing the reach and impact of the open house project.
  • The video was featured on the Addition website as well as across social media channels, amplifying a message of goodwill and boosting support for the project.
  • The Nyhus team analyzed the comments and feedback and developed a 14-page public-facing report detailing the community’s recommendations from the open house. This report has formed the basis for the project team’s public benefits package, and provided proof of meaningful outreach to key decision-makers at the City.