According to a new article from the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker, a New Mexico-based real estate investment company known as M.T. Phoenix LLC has reached out to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and volunteered to pay for renovation to KeyArena to make it viable for the NBA and NHL once again.
M.T. Phoenix LLC's Vice President is Christopher Brozovich, a Seattle native. Brozovich wrote to Murray on July 20, stating that his company had seen the AECOM report stating that KeyArena could be brought up to current standard for a sum of $285 million and that his company is willing to fund the renovation in its entirety. Brozovich has not heard back from that letter, but in an interview with the Times he stated that that his group is "still interested in the project" and that they have "the full amount" and are willing to spend it if it turns out to be a wise investment.
This is just the latest in a long discussion of KeyArena renovations, dating back to when the Sonics were still here and Howard Schultz was seeking public money. He was ultimately denied and... well, we all know the rest. And while Brozovich has not heard back from Mayor Murray, he did speak to councilman Tim Burgess, who, according to Brozovich, "expressed his frustration about the agreement that they're locked into with Chris Hansen."
Burgess, however, reiterated the city's commitment to the current MOU, saying he "made it very clear to them that we have an existing agreement with Chris Hansen and that the city would not do anything to interfere with or undermine that agreement." He did, however, say that M.T. Phoenix "had some interesting ideas on what could happen with KeyArena."
Murray has long stood steadfast in his support of the Sodo arena plan, although Baker reports that even that may be wavering behind closed doors. When the Arizona Coyotes were rumored to be up for relocation in June, Murray's office refused to comment and Murray told his spokesperson Viet Shelton in an email, "I am re-evaluating our role in this issue." What that means could be up for debate, but soon after that the city began exploring legal actions for, as Baker puts it, "moving beyond" the MOU with Chris Hansen and company.
Brozovich says he is not looking to undermine Hansen or the Sodo arena, he just wants to help facilitate an end result. M.T. Phoenix even reached out to Hansen, expressing a desire to help them finish the project, but again received no response. "If it happens, that's cool," Brozovich said. "But it's just to be able to know that I helped out my city."
Chris Daniels posted an article this evening expanding on the story. He announced that Mayor Murray plans to turn in legislation on the vacation of Occidental Avenue to the City Council by month's end. Murray reiterated his commitment to the Sodo arena project, saying "I said from the beginning, I would honor the agreement when I came in. We're honoring the agreement."
As far as the Brozovich story, Daniels did some digging on M.T. Phoenix LLC and discovered the group may not be as prepared to make the financial commitment as it seems. Members of both Hansen's and Ray Bartoszek's prospective investor groups denied having ever heard from Brozovich or M.T. Phoenix. Daniels also says that Murray never responded to the inquiry because "I don't believe this is the time to have those conversations because of the contract that is in place... Key Arena is part of the deal, (Chris Hansen) has control over Key Arena at this point, and we aren't at this place to entertain ideas, until this arrangement plays out or doesn't play out."
As for the email from Brozovich, Daniels reports that it came from a Yahoo account and was littered with grammatical errors. It also listed a website for M.T. Phoenix LLC, which, according to Daniels, "has some stock photos and lists Terry McMains at its CEO, and Matt Donald as its president." Brozovich is listed as a "Vice President of Lending," despite his title on his email being "Senior Loan Advisor." Daniels looked into the LinkedIn accounts for the employees named and found that McMains was the "Director at Large American Rain Catchment Systems Association" and founder of "Aqua Harvest" before aligning himself with M.T. Phoenix.
Donald is listed as an Associate Broker at ReMax Alliance and is currently a personal trainer. His account makes no reference to M.T. Phoenix. Donald's acccount lists him as "Senior Partner" of M.T. Phoenix and as having a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medical Technology.
Brozovich was not available to comment, according to Daniels.