Seattle Arena Approved by the Seattle Design Commission

After thoughtful consideration this morning, the Seattle Design Commission voted 6-0 to recommend approval of the proposed arena at 1700 1st Avenue South. This comes on the heels of a recommended approval by the Design Review Board earlier this week.

Since the arena proposal involves the closure of a street segment (Occidental Avenue South between Massachusetts and Holgate Streets), it required review and approval from the Seattle Design Commission through the street vacation process. The Commission’s review included assessing the function of the street system and how the street vacation impacts the remaining streets in the area. The Design Commission also evaluated the public benefits in exchange for the street closure.

The Commission will soon provide official feedback to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), which informs SDOT’s formal recommendation to City Council on whether or not to approve the street vacation. SDOT’s recommendation is anticipated to be completed and transmitted to City Council this fall.

The City Council will then hold a public hearing and will deliberate at one or more meetings before making a decision. Street vacation decisions go to the City Council’s Transportation Committee and then to Full Council for a final decision.

If the City Council grants the street vacation request, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will then publish the Master Use Permit decision for the arena, including mitigation of the impacts noted within the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which DPD issued in May 2015. With the Boards & Commissions process complete, City staff will continue to review appropriate traffic mitigation measures and move towards a decision. DPD’s decision on the proposal is expected to occur in early 2016, pending Council action on the street vacation.

View the Seattle Arena permit timeline.

Seattle Arena Final Environmental Impact Statement Available

This morning, public notice was posted regarding the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Seattle Arena proposal. The Final EIS includes updated traffic and transportation information, additional information on parking locations, additional details on transportation mitigation, and comments received on the Draft EIS with responses to those comments. The FEIS also updates potential mitigation measures for the identified impacts.

Private proposals such as this are required to evaluate a “no action” alternative plus other reasonable onsite alternatives for achieving the proposal’s objective on the same site. The FEIS includes the analysis of two onsite arena alternatives at 1700 1st Avenue South.

Since ArenaCo has proposed that the City and County help fund the arena, the City and County decided to compare environmental impacts of building the proposed project at other locations. The additional locations are the KeyArena site at the Seattle Center and Memorial Stadium site adjacent to Seattle Center. Analysis of those two locations is included within the FEIS, in addition to the two onsite alternatives on the project site and a “no action” alternative. Please refer to the links below for detailed information in the FEIS.

 

Read answers to frequently asked questions.

Next steps

Since the arena proposal involves the closure of a street segment (Occidental Avenue South), it must also be reviewed by the Seattle Design Commission through the street vacation process. The Commission’s review includes assessing the function of the street system and how the street vacation impacts the remaining streets in the area. The Design Commission also evaluates the public benefits in exchange for the street closure. The Commission then provides feedback to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), which informs SDOT’s formal recommendation to City Council on whether or not to approve the street vacation. The Design Commission’s review and SDOT’s review is planned to be completed no later than the end of August 2015.

The City Council will then hold a public hearing and will deliberate at one or more meetings before making a decision. Street vacation decisions go to the City Council’s Transportation Committee and then to Full Council for a final decision.

If the City Council grants the street vacation request, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will then publish the Master Use Permit decision for the arena, including mitigation of the impacts noted within the FEIS. Our decision on the proposal is expected to occur in early 2016.

View the Seattle Arena permit timeline.