KeyArena’s slanted roof closer to being named Seattle historical landmark

OVG seeks up to $70 million in historical landmark tax credits for its possible renovation of the arena.

KeyArena, and specifically its “iconic’’ roof, is one step closer to being designated a historical landmark.

A nine-member landmarks preservation board, appointed by the city, voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the venue being nominated for the status. The board, consisting of architects, historians, a structural engineer and representatives from the fields of urban planning, real estate and finance, also approved nominating the nearby NASA Building and Blue Spruce Apartments — both part of the same 1962 World’s Fair — and the Bressi Garage. But the board rejected the same for the West Court Building.

“I think it pretty clearly meets most of the criteria, if not all of them,’’ board member Steven Treffers, a senior architectural historian at Rincon Consultants, told his fellow panelists.

The historical designation is coming into play now because a Los Angeles-based company, the Oak View Group (OVG), has proposed a $564 million renovation of the 55-year-old venue for NBA and NHL use. OVG had members present at Wednesday’s hearing, including senior projects director Lance Lopes, who declined to comment afterward other than saying the decision was expected.

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The nomination now moves on to a designation hearing scheduled for Aug. 2. After that, if approved, the board would confer with the city and OVG to negotiate controls and incentives surrounding the modification of construction to meet preservation needs.

OVG submitted its proposal to the city assuming the venue — and more specifically, its Paul Thiry-designed roof — would gain historical preservation protections. In fact, OVG has also submitted a federal request for up to $70 million in historical landmark tax credits for its renovation.

There are six criteria to be considered for…

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