Friday, August 26, 2011

Seattle Times: Parking spat may stall project at CenturyLink Field

The story about the parking lot north of Seahawks stadium that is slowly being sold by King County to a condo/apartment developer has reached the Seattle Times.

The problem: Developer Daniels Real Estate and the owner of the stadium, known until recently as Qwest Field, haven't reached agreement on replacing 491 premium parking stalls the development would displace.

King County owns the property, nearly 4 acres covering the northern half of the parking lot. The sale to Daniels is to close Sept. 12. Work on the first phase — 444 apartments in 10- and 25-story towers, plus retail — is expected to start days later.

But one of Daniels' prospective construction lenders put a hold on the loan last week, citing the dispute over replacement parking.

. . .
A series of inter-government agreements allowed the PSA and First & Goal to continue free use of the 491 stalls and all the revenue they generate until redevelopment happened.

Then the developer was to provide a replacement parking structure.

Those agreements also included language allowing the PSA to "seek transfer" of the 4 acres from the county if redevelopment hadn't begun by July 2008, and if the board determined it needed the property.

That's the provision the authority cited in its Aug. 11 resolution threatening to seek ownership.

It's unclear how far the PSA can push that. The panel can't condemn property, Hine said.

The sale contract the county signed with Daniels in 2007 included language requiring the developer to provide replacement parking both during construction and permanently, adding that it "must be acceptable to the PSA."

Yang said the county and Daniels both have lived up to their legal obligations. Daniels has offered to build a replacement garage on two sites, or to pay cash to settle the issue, he said.

PSA officials wouldn't discuss details of those offers. But Hine said none fully replaces what the stadium would be losing.

There's money involved here. The county expects to get $10 million from Daniels when the sale closes.

First & Goal collects $2 million a year in revenue from the 491 parking stalls, Postman said; a 1 percent parking tax the PSA collects on that goes to help pay off bonds sold to build the stadium.

But "it's not a question of revenue," said another Allen representative, Lyn Tangen. "It's a question of having adequate parking."

Seattle Times, Parking spat may stall project at CenturyLink Field

First and Goal, the stadium authority, whoever, should take control of the property, pay the county the 10 million dollars, build an underground garage, restaurants and shops on the street level and an arena on top.

He would make a killing, Seattle would get an indoor facility that would have the least involvement from the City of Seattle, and people that can afford an NBA ticket would flood local businesses 41 nights a year (and/or NHL).

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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