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Another group opposes SoDo sports arenaJuly 25, 2012 @ 6:32 pm (Updated: 10:11 am - 7/27/12 )
The Port of Seattle is no longer the only vocal opponent of a proposed arena for NBA and NHL teams. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has come out against it too.
The Port says the sports arena in the industrial area of Seattle, south of the football and baseball stadiums, would threaten jobs because it could increase traffic and land value. The Seattle Times reported earlier this week the Port has been using old data to support its claim.
Even so, the West Seattle Chamber agrees with the Port. Calling it "incompatible in our marine, industrial and warehouse neighborhood," the head of the chamber sent a letter Wednesday to the City of Seattle and King County.
Their main concern is the impact the facility would have on congestion in SoDo.
Investor Chris Hansen has purchased property south of Safeco Field for a sports arena. Photo by Natasha Reed
"SoDo is the main artery feeding West Seattle. Many goods needed by West Seattle businesses originate in SoDo warehouses or arrive via truck through SoDo. This is also true for goods and/or freight originating in West Seattle, much of it must go to or through SoDo," writes Dave Montoure, chair of the chamber.
Freight sitting idle in a congested SoDo would be costly for local businesses. Another worry is the impact the arena would have on commuter traffic and family-wage jobs.
The chamber, which represents almost 200 businesses, thinks there is a better place to put an arena. The letter didn't highlight their preferred option.
"The infrastructure investments diverted from SoDo to improve I-5 access via Mercer should be taken advantage of rather than deal with unfunded mitigation that will be required with a new sports and entertainment complex in SoDo," Montoure says.
The King County Council could vote on investor Chris Hansen's arena deal Monday. Both the county council and the Seattle City Council must approve it. Seattle councilmembers haven't set a date yet for their vote.
Hansen has proposed a $490 million facility with $290 million in private investment, and the remaining $200 million would be bonded by the city and county and paid off through arena-generated taxes and revenues over the next 30 years.
By LINDA THOMAS
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