Queen Anne Community Council meeting has Key Arena and SPU expansion on the agenda

The Queen Anne Community Council meets tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7th at Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St). This month’s agenda includes Key Arena and Seattle Pacific University’s plans to expand to the west of 3rd Ave W.

Here’s the full agenda:

7:30 – Adoption of Agenda

7:35 – Open Forum-comments from the attendees

7:45 – Seattle Pacific University-Natalie Quick et al

8:10 – Street/Park Fund voting

8:25 – NAC approval of Bill Wilkerson, new facilitator

8:30 – Key Arena

8:35 – Committee Reports

9:25 – New Business

9:30 – Adjournment

All are welcome to attend QACC meetings.

AEG withdraws Key Arena proposal

Today, KING5 reported that AEG has withdrawn its proposal for its version of the Key Arena renovation. That leaves only Oak View Group in the running for the potential revamp of the Key.

According to a letter from AEG, the firm has lost confidence in the City and the process. Here’s the full letter from AEG to the Seattle mayor and city council:

Dear Mayor Murray and Seattle City Council:

We are writing to inform you that Seattle Partners must regretfully withdraw our bid to redesign and renovate KeyArena.

We remain firm in the belief that our proposal best serves the people of Seattle, but, unfortunately, significant factors through the bidding process have eroded our confidence in the ultimate execution of this project, no matter which group is selected. We fear the City is driving toward an unrealistic financing structure, and we believe the City has failed to conduct a sufficiently thorough, objective and transparent process to properly evaluate the respective strengths and weaknesses of the two proposals and, most significantly, to identify the proposal best positioned to deliver a project consistent with the community’s interests.

The people of Seattle deserve a world-class sports and entertainment venue capable of bringing back NBA and NHL teams. We have engaged earnestly in a process that we had hoped would be relentless in its pursuit of that objective, and we put forward a proposal we believed most certain to deliver a successful completed project that would attract professional basketball and hockey teams.

Notwithstanding our confidence in the merits of our proposal, over the past two months, Seattle Partners has actively sought feedback from community leaders, City staff and members of the City’s Community Advisory Council, and, in response, we have explored improvements to our proposal. However, consistent with a general lack of active engagement through this evaluation process, the City declined to seek improved terms, refusing requests from us and others to call for a “best and final” offer from both bidders. We have seen little indication of the collaborative and iterative process we were told to expect and is typical of such requests for proposals.

In addition, the City’s decision to withhold critical financial portions of Oak View Group’s proposal from the public, while releasing the financial details of our proposal with our full support, raises serious questions about the integrity of the decision-making process and the ability of the public to make a fair and equitable comparison.

Despite the lack of transparency, we are generally familiar with Oak View Group’s proposal, including changes to it that have been conveyed via media accounts and otherwise. Based on our experience, we have strong reservations about whether that proposal can be successfully achieved consistent with the City’s best interests. If the City elects to proceed with that remaining proposal, to protect the public interests of Seattle, it is imperative that you closely and diligently monitor the process to ensure that Oak View Group is held accountable for all elements of what it has very publicly promised to the citizens of Seattle.

Seattle Partners remains deeply committed to this great city, and we thank the countless civic leaders who offered helpful input and partnership on our proposal. We wish the City the best of luck in its pursuit of an arena project that can provide what the region’s passionate sports fans deserve – to see the Sonics and professional hockey return to the Emerald City.

Sincerely,
Bob Newman
President, AEG Facilities

Alex Vouvalides
Chief Investment Officer, Hudson Pacific Properties

Key Arena redevelopment: take the Uptown Alliance survey and attend a public meeting

If you have questions, concerns, opinions (or all three) on the redevelopment and/or possible replacement of Key Arena, the Seattle Uptown Alliance has two options for you.

First, take the Uptown Alliance’s survey on Key Arena plans. It’s a short 10 question survey with two key rating/ranking questions:

Potential community benefits: what you believe is most important, whether it’s community, transportation, or clean-up impacts.

Preferences for Key Arena: what you prefer for the future of Key Arena, from keeping the original structure as-is to completely demolishing it, and whether you want NBA/NHL teams playing at the Key.

The survey takes less than 3 minutes to complete, so take it today! Then, mark your calendars for a special community meeting to discuss the redevelopment of Key Arena and its surroundings. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13th, at 7pm. The agenda is TBD, if you want updates on the meeting, RSVP here.

City opens up RFP for Key Arena renovation

As we reported back in July, the City of Seattle is seeking options for a renovation of Key Arena. At the time, the City stated it would open up a Request for Proposals (RFP) process in January. Fast forward to today, and RFPs are now being accepted.

Per the City:

“The City of Seattle is seeking proposals from parties interested in redeveloping and operating KeyArena at Seattle Center as a world-class civic arena presenting music, entertainment, and sports events, including the potential for NBA and NHL events. Responses are due to the Office of Economic Development by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, 2017.”

A full FAQ on the process is available online. It covers the whys, the hows, the expected impacts, and timeframe. It also answers questions about potential NHL and NBA teams and the proposed SODO arena.

As for funding, the RFP ask proposers be responsible for 100% of the funding to complete the redevelopment, construction, and operation of Key Arena.

Uptown Alliance meets Tuesday: Uptown schools and Key Arena RFP on agenda

The Uptown Alliance kicks off this year’s regular meetings tomorrow, Tuesday, January 10th. In 2017, the UA’s general meetings will be moving from the 2nd Thursday to the 2nd Tuesday of every other month: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be held at 7pm at the EXPO Building Community Room at 118 Republican St (Corner of Republican-Warren).

Agenda:
7:00-7:10: Welcome and Introductions

7:10-8:00: New Schools (in or near Uptown) – New Seattle Center High School + new Elementary school. Speaker Flip Herndon, Assoc. Superintendent of Facilities and Operations, Seattle Public Schools, will lead a discussion of needs, opportunities, and possible role for UA to help plan and support major new capital bond issue in 2018.

8:00-8:30: Committee / Issue Updates:
– Uptown Urban Center EIS/rezone process and timeline
– Key Arena upcoming RFP; community role/concerns
– Transportation Committee
– Roy Street, QA-Magnolia News event
– District Council next steps

8:30-8:45: Topics of Concern

8:45 – 8:55 January UA 2017 elections

8:55 – 9:00 Approve minutes from November

What could the future hold for Key Arena?

key-arena-seattle-times

Photo: Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Last week was a busy one for potential Seattle NBA/NHL arenas. After Chris Hansen stated that he’ll pay for a $500M+ new Sodo arena with private funding, Mayor Ed Murray told The Seattle Times that LA-based Oak View Group has expressed interest in Key Arena. In addition, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), an arena builder and manager for Key Arena marketing, appears open to a renovation of the Key.

Mayor Murray announced that the City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) in January. The RFP process opens up Key Arena renovations to private parties.

He also acknowledged the impact to Uptown:

“We continue to listen to options to redevelop KeyArena as part of our revitalization of Seattle Center. There are many challenges to consider, including how to address traffic in the growing Uptown neighborhood, and any viable plan will include efforts to mitigate these concerns, while also bringing Seattle tremendous cultural and financial benefit. But, I remain committed to building a state-of-the-art arena in Seattle, and this effort means multiple entities could be working to make that a reality. I also remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle.”

While traffic woes would certainly increase with a revamped arena, the positive impact to Queen Anne and Uptown businesses would be significant. When we lost the Sonics, local restaurants and bars lost business – and some had to close down.

You can read the latest on Hansen’s proposed Sodo arena and the possible renovation of Key Arena in this Seattle Times article.

Bernie Sanders rally planned for Sunday at Key Arena

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 8.47.22 AMToday the Bernie Sanders campaign announced a rally at Key Arena this Sunday, March 20th. The rally begins at 2pm and is a free event and open to the public, so the crowds may be large. (we do not have estimates from SDOT yet)

Per the event page, tickets are not required, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged. Admission is first come, first served. You can RSVP here.

According to the Seattle Times, Seattle is #1 among the 50 largest US cities for per-capita donations to Bernie Sanders. In advance of large crowds, the campaign is “strongly” encouraging both carpooling and public transportation, including the Monorail.

Expect Lower Queen Anne/Uptown to be crowded on Sunday afternoon prior to and following the event.

Traffic Alert: Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Seattle Marathon will impact traffic this weekend

Two traffic alerts for today and tomorrow – Trans-Siberian Orchestra is at Key Arena today, Saturday, for performances at 4pm and 8pm. The city estimates 10,000 people will attend each of the shows (20,000 total), so expect traffic around Key Arena this afternoon and evening.

The bigger impact will likely be from the Seattle Marathon, which is tomorrow, Sunday, November 29th. The organizers cite the Seattle Marathon as the “largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest and one of the top ten largest in the US” – what does that mean? 15,000 participants + thousands of spectators, and road closures around the Seattle Center, where the race starts and finishes.

The race map with street closures is below. For some reason, the Seattle Marathon organizers have once again decided to produce a West-oriented map, instead of the standard North-oriented view. So, it may look a bit odd, but note that 5th Ave near the Seattle Center will be closed 5:30am-9am, and one side of Mercer will be closed 8:45am-4pm.

Click the map for a larger image:

And, just to make things a bit more complicated, traffic-wise, the Seahawks are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at CenturyLink tomorrow (Sunday), with kickoff at 1:25pm.

Traffic Alert: Barry Manilow at Key Arena tonight

ManilowPlan ahead for 10,000 Barry Manilow fans coming to the neighborhood tonight. Manilow is performing at Key Arena, and it’s his last multi-city tour. Kudos to Manilow for keeping a set of affordable tickets too:

The GRAMMY®, TONY®, and EMMY® Award-winning musician’s career skyrocketed to superstardom when his mega hit song, “Mandy,” topped the charts in 1975.  In the spirit of that special year, tickets will be priced to tie into that year and will start at $19.75.  According to concert promoter AEG Live, Manilow insisted that the average ticket price remain low and that a greater range of ticket prices be available.”

The show begins at 7:30pm and runs until 11pm, so expect traffic and parking to be tricky starting around 6:30pm or so.

We Day Seattle is Thursday at Key Arena; expect increased traffic from chartered buses

We Day Seattle returns to Key Arena tomorrow, Thursday, April 23rd, hosting 11,500 attendees that will arrive by private bus service between 8am and 10am, and depart between 2pm and 4pm. A heads up for traffic around Key Arena during the morning and early evening rush hours.

What’s We Day? According to their web site, We Day is “an annual series of stadium-sized events, We Day brings together world-renowned speakers and performers… with tens of thousands of youth to kick-start a year of action through We Act. You can’t buy a ticket to We Day—you earn it by taking on one local and one global action.”

Kids who attend this year’s We Day Seattle 2015 will hear from a wide variety of celebrities from sports, acting, performing, as well as from inspirational speakers. Local celebrities include Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Seahawks players Doug Baldwin, Luke Wilson, and Bobby Wagner, local band The Head and the Heart, and more.

We Day MapTraffic-wise, here’s what you need to know from SDOT:

Buses will be staged at Smith Cove Cruise Park Terminal 91.

Buses will use curb lanes for drop-offs between 8-10am and pick-ups between 2-4pm at the following locations:

  • east side of 1st Ave N between Thomas and Republican
  • south side of Republican between 1st Ave N and Warren Ave N
  • east side of Warren between Republican and Mercer
  • south side of Mercer between Warren and 5th Ave N
  • east side of 4th Ave N between Mercer and 5th Ave N
  • west side of 2nd Ave N between Thomas and Denny Way
  • both sides of Thomas between Warren and 5th Ave N
  • east side of Warren between Thomas and John streets

Plan ahead for increased traffic from the busses and 11,500 attendees. It’ll be crowded around Key Arena and the surrounding streets.