Has Hansen’s SoDo arena proposal become the civic Walking Dead?

Apr 16, 2018, 11:34 AM | Updated: 1:50 pm

While the Oak View Group rolls out regular milestones in its effort to rebuild the former KeyArena and bring an NHL team to Seattle, a lingering civic question remains: What is happening with Chris Hansen’s competing SoDo project?

The answer, as it turns out, is complicated. Neither really alive or dead, Chris Hansen’s Seattle Arena proposal, appears snared in the city’s Department of Transportation office. Depending on who is asked, the stalled proposal is either the victim of inadequate information about a street-closure request or it is the target of city leadership intent on delaying it into oblivion.

Mayor Jenny Durkan has declined to either endorse or kill the proposal outright, saying that along with the city-endorsed Seattle Center arena project, “they can move forward.”

Except they haven’t. Only one has. OVG’s arena proposal seemingly has another new announcement each month: New building renderings, new hires, record season ticket deposits.

RELATED: Previous argument against Seattle arena a moot point

Not so for Hansen, the hedge fund manager whose effort to bring the NBA back to Seattle unintentionally opened the door for the other pro sports arena plan. He now finds his own competing effort stalled by a request to permanently close one block of Occidental Avenue South, a process called a vacation.

The closure of that block is necessary for Hansen’s SoDo arena proposal. A different section of Occidental was closed in 1996 to build Safeco Field.

This isn’t the first time the Hansen project has stopped on this point. In May of 2016, the city council turned down the request on a 5-4 vote. But Hansen’s team refiled the vacation request with new information — and no use of public bond money — a year later. And after a series of back-and-forth discussions with the city’s transportation department, Hansen’s team received what they thought was the final set of requests from the city.

In a letter dated Nov. 29, 2017, Beverly Barnett, SDOT’s public space manager, asked attorneys with the land development law firm working for Hansen for details in two additional areas:

1. How the proposed Lander Street bridge would affect the requested closure of Occidental between Massachusetts and Holgate streets?

2. Had the group talked about even scheduling with other groups potentially affected by the street closure including the Seattle Mariners and Sounders, the Seattle RV show, First & Goal among others?

On Jan. 30, 2018, the Hansen group filed a detailed report with SDOT about the traffic impact of the bridge coupled with the requested Occidental closure. And the group said it has reached out to all of the stakeholders and reached scheduling agreements with those who responded.

And now Hansen, sources said, wants to see the requested vacation back in front of the city council for another try.

RELATED: New hope for preserving Memorial Stadium?

But still no word from SDOT.

Asked what the Hansen group still needed to provide, SDOT’s communication supervisor Norm Mah said in an email, “…the additional documentation relates to the potential scheduling of events. SDOT will be working with the applicants and other parties on this issue as part of the review process.”

Asked specifically what additional documentation Hansen’s group needed to provide, Mah replied in a second email, “I do not have anything additional to share with you other than what I previously provided.”

Durkin’s office also declined to comment on the Hansen project.

Local News

covid...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine study seeks local participants to understand COVID spread

UW Medicine invites Washington state residents up to age 85 to submit a survey about their exposure to COVID during the pandemic as part of a study.
1 day ago
Amazon...
MyNorthwest Staff

Amazon hiring for more than 500 positions at new sort center in Fife

A new Amazon facility in Fife, Washington, that's set to open later this month has starting hiring for more than 500 positions.
1 day ago
hospitals...
Nicole Jennings

Rural Eastern Washington hospitals say no big losses in staffing post-vaccine mandate

Some of the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that were expected to have big losses after the vaccine mandate say things are going well.
1 day ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
2 days ago
Some of the located containers, captured by the US Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles helicopter....
KIRO 7 News Staff

Containers catch fire on ship near Victoria, same ship lost about 40 containers off Washington coast

After about 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Friday, containers on the ship caught fire Saturday.
2 days ago
refugees...
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Has Hansen’s SoDo arena proposal become the civic Walking Dead?