While there have been no major developments to report in our quest to build arenas and acquire teams, there are some things to be aware of.
Upcoming Seattle Design Commission meeting
Mark your calendars for June 18. On that date, the Seattle Design Commission will meet at City Hall to discuss the schematic designs of waterfront kiosks, as well as the design development of Fire Station 22.
Oh, and one more thing. They will be discussing the level of public benefit provided by Chris Hansen's proposed arena in SoDo. It's very possible they will vote on whether to give a thumbs up to the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Forgot to tell you guys
When Hansen was in town doing his media tour a couple of weeks ago, he hung out at a local restaurant with a group of people that included Bill Wixey, Donald Watts, other people, and some of the staff at Sonics Rising. When I say some of the staff, I mean people other than me. I think that might be why I didn't mention it until now. I've been pouting because I didn't get to go. One of the drawbacks to living on the east side of the mountains.
Any way, they apparently ate, drank, and watched Game Four of the Western Conference Finals together. So I've been having to live with "so I was talking to Hansen one night and ..." ever since. He recommended patience, but expressed confidence in his plan that night, regardless of what happens with competing proposals. Man, that guy treats stressful situations like water off a duck's back.
Still pouting, by the way.
Not an entity to duck input from the general populace, the city held a public scoping meeting on June 2 to discuss Ray Bartoszek's arena proposal. Chris Daniels reported on it.
Lloyd Skinner, a consultant on the environmental review of the project, told a small crowd that the proposed "Northwest Arena" would host up to 230 events, and meet Silver LEED status, if constructed. Investor Ray Bartoszek, has filed preliminary paperwork to construct an "entertainment venue" on about 195,000 square feet of space. Architects, from the firm Populous, told the crowd the building would be 700,000 square feet, and shared new conceptual designs of the Arena.
Skinner says the meeting was held to generic public feedback on the scope of any environmental review. The feedback period last until June 12, and Skinner says the EIS would begin shortly after. It's scheduled to address four items, at least, including land use, aesthetics, air quality and transportation impacts. Skinner says after the final EIS is complete, in 6-12 months, there would be a number of other steps, including architectural reviews, development agreements, and a potential street vacation.
At the meeting, some renderings were released.
We haven't really heard squat about what potential Bellevue investors are doing lately. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, but here's some music while we wait for them to surface.
WATCHING FROM AFAR
This month is a fairly big one for two situations that we are monitoring. The local governments in Wisconsin and Glendale, Arizona have some major decisions to make with rather large ripple effects.
What rhymes with Ducks?
The Wisconsin situation pertains to the arena situation for the Milwaukee Bucks. As you may have heard, Governor Walker and friends released a plan to save the team last week. Will it be in the budget or separate from it? Will it be approved? We shall see.
Sonics Rising founder Brian Robinson weighs in.
"The deal there contains some very controversial ideas, including securing a large chunk of money via the collection of bad debt but in doing so they have produced a deal that may otherwise be palatable at a city and state level. The county carries the brunt of the financial burden and a lot depends on whether their clever effort to circumvent city council is successful.
I have been saying for a long time that having the Milwaukee situation resolved is a positive for us either way and I've meant it. It's been fun to watch the politics play out and of course it would be good for Seattle if their deal just fell apart and the team was available to relocate, but it's also really good for us if they get things resolved in their favor. If that happens I'll be happy for the fans of Milwaukee and also appreciate that another key milestone has been accomplished."
Those Wiley Coyotes
We watched with great interest a couple of years ago as the Glendale City Council approved a new lease that kept the Arizona Coyotes in town. As it turns out, they are now looking for a way out. Tonight they will take a vote on whether to break that lease. The Coyotes have vowed to fight the council in court if the answer is yes.
Brian weighs in here as well.
"I think the Phoenix situation really illustrates the fact that well intended deals can wind up with a lot of problems if they are not given enough thoughtful consideration. Our deal, having been through years of vetting and refinement is light years away from those in Phoenix, Sacramento and Milwaukee which were put together much more quickly. When we do finally get a team everybody involved is going to benefit from all the agonizing delays.
In general I try to avoid analyzing these situation too closely as they play out. It's fun to be a spectator but none of them actually relate to us in any way unless they begin to actively propose relocation. Until that time we're all better off avoiding the distractions and making sure our own arena deal is honored by city council."
There truly isn't much we can do right now. All of the Seattle and Tukwila stuff is taking place behind the scenes. All of the Milwaukee and Glendale stuff is getting more chaotic by the day, but all we can do for now is watch from the sideline.
Best thing we can do? Stay positive.