Seattle officials say Sodo group’s offer to also renovate KeyArena is too late

In making its latest proposal, the Sodo group, led by Chris Hansen, said it was offering an alternative KeyArena solution in the event its project is ultimately approved. But the city’s Office of Economic Development issued a terse “no thanks” to the offer in a statement.

A group proposing to build an arena in Seattle’s Sodo District on Thursday offered a privately funded plan to renovate KeyArena into a smaller-sized concert venue.

The proposal, said to be for $90 million to $100 million, was almost immediately shot down by the city, which is already finalizing a draft Memorandum of Understanding with the Los Angeles based Oak View Group (OVG) to renovate KeyArena for $564 million for NBA and NHL teams and large-scale concerts.

That draft MOU is to be forwarded to the Seattle City Council next Tuesday with possible final approval by year’s end.

In making its latest proposal Thursday, the Sodo group, led by entrepreneur Chris Hansen, said it was offering an alternative KeyArena solution in the event its project is ultimately approved. But the offer seemed unlikely to generate positive city response, given how it feels it already has that solution after spending months undergoing a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to renovate KeyArena into a major venue — not a downsized one.

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The city’s Office of Economic Development issued a terse “no thanks” to the offer in a statement that read: “If the Sodo Arena group was interested in redeveloping KeyArena, they should have submitted their proposal during the RFP process, which would have shown a willingness to work with the city on this project.

“They did not submit a proposal and continue to show no interest in working with the city.’’

The RFP process was launched in January and asked for offers to renovate KeyArena into a “world class” venue for concerts, the NBA and NHL. OVG and the Seattle Partners group submitted rival bids, with the company led by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff getting the city’s pick.

Hansen’s group, in the meantime, revised its plans to use up to $200 million in public-bond money for its Sodo project and asked the city to reconsider its previous request to be sold a portion of Occidental Avenue South. The group needs the street to complete its arena land acquisitions but was previously denied an initial request in a 5-4 city council vote in May 2016.

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