LOCAL NEWS

Previous argument against Seattle arena now a moot point

Oct 27, 2016, 5:38 AM | Updated: 10:55 am
arena, Seattle arena...
Citing traffic concerns as a reason for not building a new Seattle arena in SoDo isn't as strong an argument as it once was. (SDOT)
(SDOT)

The Seattle City Council’s support of the Port of Seattle, rather than an unknown future that comes with a new sports arena, is a big reason investor Chris Hansen was unable to move forward with developing a block of the SoDo district. One of the arguments was that port traffic, and traffic in general, already struggles to get through the area thanks, in large part, to the railways.

Danny O’Neil: Hansen’s latest offer shows how serious he is about bringing NBA to Seattle

One of the focuses has been South Lander Street, which is broken up by tracks used by Amtrak and Sounder train services, as well as BNSF. Approximately 100 train crossings occur on Lander and surrounding streets each day, according to the city. As a result, the city says Lander is closed for nearly five hours a day — The Seattle Times reports an average of 4.5 hours a day.

A time-lapse video from the Seattle Department of Transportation shows just how frustrating it can be to drive along the busy roadway.

The city’s answer to the railway nightmare is a bridge over the tracks between 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South on Lander. That would keep the train traffic from impeding the estimated 11,000 — or more — vehicles that currently cross the tracks every day.

The problem has been, of course, money. The total cost to build an overpass is an estimated $140 million. However, the Move Seattle property-tax levy approved last fall included about $20 million for the project that had already received funding. A $45 million federal government grant put the city even closer. As of July, the city had about $100 million available. King 5 reported Wednesday that the project has an approximate $27 million funding gap.

The city announced this fall that the project is moving forward and construction is expected to begin in early 2018 and should be complete by early 2020.

Related: Chris Hansen offers to forego public financing for Seattle arena

Hansen and his investment team said they would pitch in for the Lander overpass as well. In return, arena backers want the Seattle City Council to approve the Occidental Street vacation, which was previously recommended by the Seattle Design Commission. Hansen and his team also want a waiver of the city’s admissions tax and an adjustment on the city’s business tax rate on out-of-town revenue, KIRO 7 reports.

On top of that, Hansen announced a plan Wednesday that would forgo public financing for the arena.

City Council Budget Committee Chair Tim Burgess says that is game-changing.

“There was a lot of public money involved and he didn’t get the street vacation the first time around for a whole variety of reasons and I think this removes one of the potential hurdles to that,” he told KIRO 7.

But with a street vacation still required for Occidental and concern over a general increase in traffic if another arena is built, a Lander overpass isn’t enough for some critics. This is what Port Commissioner John Creighton told KIRO 7:

“One thing we’re very excited about is — we’ve always said we want the Sonics back in Seattle,” he said. “And we’ve said that we stand ready to work with the city and the county on alternative sites for a basketball arena.”

The port, a major maritime union, and the Mariners have opposed the SoDo arena plan, citing traffic concerns.

Creighton said Hansen’s offer to end his Memorandum of Understanding with the city and county “gives everyone an opportunity to hit the refresh button” to look at alternative sites.

But Creighton isn’t the person Hansen needs to convince. It’s the nine-member Seattle City Council and mayor he has his eyes on.

Local News

(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

35 Marysville teachers receive layoff notices after voters reject levy extensions

Thirty-five teachers in the Marysville School District received layoff notices last week, after voters rejected levy measures that would have funded 14-18% of the district’s overall budget.
22 hours ago
...
Gwen Baumgardner

Car thefts are on the rise in the region

In Seattle, there have been 2,075 vehicle thefts already this year. Seattle police reported that approximately 86% of stolen cars are recovered.
2 days ago
Kirkland, WA (Getty Images)...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Tax hikes to join booming property values in East King County

Property values in select cities in East King County have skyrocketed, leading King County Assessor John Wilson to warn homeowners about noticeable increases in property taxes.
2 days ago
Pike Place...
MyNorthwest Staff

Enraged Pike Place motorist pleads not guilty to assault with a motor vehicle charges

A man arrested for an assault stemming from a Pike Place incident pleads not guilty in King County Superior Court.
3 days ago
tukwila...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Prolific Seattle-area smash-and-grab ATM thieves formerly arrested for murder

60 robberies involving trucks driving into local stores to steal ATMs and cash registers may be solved with the arrest of two men at a Tukwila motel Friday morning.
3 days ago
schools...
Dalton Day

Rival to First Student exposes Seattle Schools’ fumbled bidding war

First Student's competition has accused Seattle Public Schools of “arbitrarily and improperly” awarding a district contract to First Student.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Previous argument against Seattle arena now a moot point