Friday, August 25, 2017

OVG doesn't sound opposed to a SoDo street vacation

On OVG's web page, they state what they believe, an arena must be built first before it would attract a sports franchise. They would have to get all of their approvals from the city and then spend 20 to 24 months building an arena. 

If they really believe this then a conditional street vacation in SoDo, that couldn't begin arena construction without first securing a sports franchise, would not attract the NHL or NBA.
So, if it isn't going to be successful then why is the mayor and council halting progress on the street vacation?

An excuse I heard somewhere was that the city's efforts are working on KeyArena. But how can that be? The MOU states that Chris Hansen is paying the fees for his project. If they need more people, hire them. If been a staff analyst, their excuse is horseshit.
The city has budget approval from Hansen or it doesn't. The city needs to explain that in the budget. I look forward to that accounting.

What are they afraid of?

"Will a music-first approach to building an arena impact the ability to attract an NHL or NBA team? 
No. OVG's approach of building a world-class music, sports and entertainment venue will provide the best chance of attracting NBA and NHL teams. History supports our belief that the NBA or the NHL will come when a suitable arena is built. The only way to privately finance an arena without a team is to have a robust music and entertainment calendar. If we attract teams, we will adjust the music programming to accommodate the Storm, NBA and NHL schedules before booking other events to ensure teams can be competitive."

Is Ed Murray breaking the MOU with Chris Hansen?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

KING5: KeyArena, landmark status fallout

Here's twist to the latestest effort to remodel KeyArena.
But Lois Maag, a spokesperson for the Department of Neighborhoods, shed some light on how the process would work moving forward.
"The project team (in this case OVG) would pursue proposed alterations through the Certificate of Approval process," she wrote via email, in regards to whether Oak View Group would have to preserve the garage. "The applicant can apply for a Certificate of Approval to alter or demolish the building, following the procedures in the Landmarks Ordinance. Before pursuing that option, the staff would urge them to explore alternatives to demolition and discuss them with the Landmarks Board."
What's next for proposed KeyArena renovation after landmark designation? via @KING5Seattle

A process OVG did not anticipate. KeyArena has already been gutted and the floor lowered. The garage is an interesting problem. Can they find another path into the arena? That's a big ask. Relocating the garage and/of its contents to another location would be a challenge.
Ok, good luck.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Seattle Preservation Board designates KeyArena, Bressi Garage, as Landmarks

KING5's Chris Daniels reports on the potential benefits and complications the landmark designation means.
KeyArena was a forgone conclusion years ago, but the garage was in question.
What was going to be modern use with OVG controlling the property, (are they paying for that?), has taken a turn to 1923.

It's most likely the city will gloss over this by claiming they will figure it out after committing to the project, like they have with everything else (public cost, transportation, revenue splits, did I mention transportation?).

Chris Daniels:

The original Oak View Group proposal has called for tearing down the Bressi Garage, which was built in 1923, for use as a staging area and potential future office space, as well as an entry point for a subterranean tunnel to a loading dock on the south end of the new facility.  The City's Economic Development office offered it up in the original request for proposals for renovation of KeyArena.

However, the 11-member Preservation Board felt, after a tour Monday, that the building has an important place in Seattle history.  It voted to preserve the walls of the brick building, interior trusses, and deck.  Board members argued that it deserved designation because it "it is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political or economic heritage of the community, city, state, or nation" and "it embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or a method of construction."

Historic Preservation does not necessarily rule out renovation, but the designation triggers a "controls and incentives" phase of development.  Erin Doherty, who is the coordinator the Landmarks Board, said after the meeting that the Bressi ruling triggers a wide variety of possibilities, but the design and how the building is treated within it, will be a factor.  The designation could also trigger a negotiation or settlement with Pottery Northwest or potentially a new plan for the tunnel and staging area.  It may also make the city eligible for further historic tax credits.  On Monday, OVG Chair Tim Leiweke, Director of Special Project Lance Lopes, and potential NHL investor David Bonderman were all seen at City Hall meeting with council members.

Seattle Preservation Board landmarks KeyArena, Bressi Garage