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Cleveland Cavaliers explain Q transformation project details: construction timeline, jobs and total cost

By Karen Farkas • Mar 16, 2017 at 5:30 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- How exactly do the Cleveland Cavaliers plan to spend $140 million renovating Quicken Loans Arena?

While Cuyahoga County Council deliberated legislation to issue $140 million in bonds in a plan that would cost a total of $282 million over 17 years, the team provided details about construction, jobs and the cost. The Cavs would pay for $122 million through increased rent, while the county, Destination Cleveland and city of Cleveland would pay for the rest, without raising taxes.

The Cavs said they were interested in gaining approval in 2014, when then-Executive Ed FitzGerald turned down the proposal, so they could take advantage of the arena being torn up during the Republican National Convention.

Want to know how many jobs the plan will bring, and what it will mean for event space?

Here are answers, provided by the Cavs in emails and information provided to County Council Tuesday.

How will the $140 million be spent?

$96 million: Projected construction cost.

$10.3 million: Architectural and administrative expenses.

$7.6 million: Technology upgrades (includes video, external signs).

$7.2 million: Contingency fund.

$7 million: Furniture, fixtures and equipment.

$5.2 million: Insurance, site preparation (fences, signs, barricades)

$2.7 million: General contractor fee.

$1.5 million: Steam line relocation.

$1.1 million: Plans examination, construction permit and other fees.

$1 million: Surveying and testing fees.

$1 million: Escalation cost for work in 2018.

$500,000: Liability insurance.

What percent of the cost will be spent on building supplies? What percentage on jobs?

An average overall number for the construction portion of the project is 50 percent labor, 50 percent material.

What is the construction schedule?

A two-year period, with the largest and most disruptive portions occurring during the summer, when there are fewer events.

"If we had been in a position to have been approved in 2014 in time to make the full 2015 construction window, we would have performed the first phase of work in 2015 and then used the period of time post-RNC in 2016 where many sections of the interior of the arena were altered to have come out of that process and worked to compete the second phase as opposed to restoring the building to its original condition at that point."

How many jobs do you expect to be created by construction? Will they be local? Is there a goal for hiring minority- and female-owned businesses?

Field workforce of 2,250 people; and roughly 250 office/administration personnel for a total of 2,500 new construction-related jobs.

We expect the majority of jobs to be filled locally.

The county and Gateway have goals of 30 percent of contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. The Cavs say they will meet or exceed the goals.

How will construction in 2018 affect ticket and merchandise sales and bed tax collections, which are part of the funding?

"Part of the complexity of this project is keeping the arena largely operating during the overall construction period. The concentration of construction would largely take place during the off-season of the NBA/AHL, which is the slower event season of summertime for arenas."

Construction could be concentrated during three summer months in 2018, and the team will try to keep the building operating.

How many jobs will be created inside the Q by the new addition? Will they be permanent? What will the new permanent jobs be?

The Cavs say the renovations won't significantly increase the current 2,500 full- and part-time jobs at the Q.

"The majority of job activity and impact inside The Q is more so tied to the extension of job life span in general, through at least 2034 for both full and part time jobs. Transforming The Q creates a growth platform for jobs, while not transforming or extending the life of The Q leads to event and job reduction."

The Cavs say upgrades could lead to job growth throughout the Gateway area, though.

Will all current entrances remain open after construction is concluded -- with the new enclosed main entry off Huron?

"Once construction is complete, the Q will have the same number of entrance locations with enhanced and enlarged spaces to improve the entry and exit process."

Will the finished space be used for events that could have been scheduled in the county-owned hotel, convention center and Global Center for Health Innovation?

"We don't see conflict here. The enhanced spaces are not being constructed to compete with the convention center. The additional space will be focused as supportive for events at The Q.

"There is extremely minimal use projected for the new space at The Q which could result in event production groups choosing between the convention center/hotel spaces and The Q. More so, the additional space is projected to enhance The Q's booking and event capabilities in a way that would result in community bids for events using convention facilities/hotel space in conjunction with The Q, not in competition. In other words, convention center/hotel business has the potential to increase as a result of The Q Transformation."

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