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Chris Hansen continues bid for Seattle NBA arena, buys more SoDo property


Chris Hansen’s bid for a new NBA arena in Seattle continued recently, after he bought up a pair of properties in the city’s SoDo neighborhood.

SoDo arena group, NAACP end up holding secret Sonics meeting

His real estate adviser told the Puget Sound Business Journal that the entrepreneur has not given up on hopes of building an arena for a men’s pro basketball team.

According to property records, Hansen bought two parcels of land in SoDo for almost $5 million. Any potential arena would still require Seattle’s City Council to sell him part of Occidental Avenue.

Seattle City Council had originally decided not to sell that portion of Occidental to Hansen in a narrow 5-4 vote almost three years ago.

That being so, Hansen faces an uphill battle, given Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s reluctance to develop over the city’s wide swathe of industrial land.

“As mayor, I am committed to fostering an inclusive and resilient local economy, which requires readily available industrial lands,” Durkan wrote in a July 15 letter.

Hansen clears up SoDo arena role in Seattle NBA effort

In a city where areas for mixed-use housing are few and far between, people like Hansen see SoDo as a prime neighborhood for increased density. Still, Hansen’s real estate adviser told the Journal that it “may take years” to realize the goal of an arena.

Hansen’s investment group has already spent $129.5 million to purchase 13.5 acres of SoDo. Eventually, he hopes to build his arena just south of T-Mobile Park’s parking garage.

His past efforts on this project include a secret meeting held with the Seattle King County NAACP in May, where they discussed “objectives for SoDo.” The NAACP had been rumored to be working with Hansen to aid in the Occidental Avenue sale.

Meanwhile, massive renovations for KeyArena continue, as the future home of Seattle’s yet-to-be-named NHL team.

KIRO Radio staff contributed to this report

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