Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Erik Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, and Russell Wilson have announced via their website that they have formally submitted a new petition to vacate Occidental to make way for a multipurpose arena. The petition was submitted to the Seattle Department of Transportation and still requires City Council approval.
Per the announcement, “if approved by the City Council, this conditional street vacation will finally put us in position to work with the NBA and NHL to acquire teams for Seattle.”
The new petition features several amendments to the original, including;
- The Arena Will Be 100% Privately Financed - The Arena requires no public financing – it will be 100% privately financed.
- Traffic Improvements - We are contributing an additional $1.3 million to implement several SDOT projects in the 2016 Freight Master Plan – on top of the benefits recommended by SDOT and Seattle Design Commission.
- No Team Means No Arena Means No Vacation - There will be no vacation unless and until an NHL or NBA team is acquired and the arena is under construction. If a team isn't acquired and the arena project does not get built in this location, the street will not be vacated.
- Joint Scheduling Agreement - An agreement has been made with the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders, ensuring no major event will occur at the arena at any time that overlaps with major events at Safeco Field or CenturyLink Field.
They also reiterated that they will make a contribution to the Lander Street overpass project, and that the previously agreed upon Community Benefit Agreement and Labor Peace Agreement will remain in place. According to the announcement, “the new benefit package totals almost $27 million, not including the mitigation that will be required by the Master Use Permit approval or the cost of purchasing the section of Occidental.”
As far as the KeyArena RFPs go, the announcement says that “approving the street vacation will not interfere with the City’s RFP process for Key Arena. Any Key Arena renovation plan will take 5-7 years to complete. Our plan, on the other hand, can be ready to go quickly with the street vacation. This puts the city in the best position to take advantage of any franchise opportunities.”
You can read the full announcement at http://www.sonicsarena.com/news/article/to-the-sonics-faithful-1