Seattle arena project expected to get official approval Monday

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by CHRIS DANIELS / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

SEATTLE – The King County and Seattle City Councils are expected to approve the proposed arena deal on Monday afternoon.

Hansen wants to build a $490 million NBA/NHL arena south of Safeco Field, and has already snapped up $53 million in land for the project.

The proposed, and council amended, deal from investor Chris Hansen, calls for up to $145 million in public financing if Hansen can get one team to fill the building, or up to $200 million for two teams.  The financing would be paid by arena generating revenue and includes no new taxes.

City Council members say the deal was dead until Hansen agreed to use a portion of the public financing ($40 million) for a transportation fund, and up to $7 million more for KeyArena modifications.  It’s likely an NBA team would have to play in the building at Seattle Center, while an arena was under construction. 

The project still needs a full Environmental Impact Study, and Hansen has to have a team, before construction can begin.

The EIS is a point of concern for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 19.  The ILWU says it will announce Monday plans to sue to try and stop the project, saying the EIS study will be a “sham” and make a “mockery” of the process.

Council members, at the County, and the City, say the deal includes strict language for the EIS and the planned lawsuit will have no impact on the vote tomorrow.

The King County Council is slated to take up the issue in its 1:30pm meeting, and is expected to approve the deal.  The Seattle City Council is expected to do the same in its 2 p.m. session.

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