While the return of the Seattle Sonics is still very much up for debate, one issue seems to have been decided. Seattle's Downtown Design Review Board officially approved the early design of Chris Hansen's SoDo arena on Tuesday.
Of course, that doesn't mean it's settled and we can start building it tomorrow. There's still a ways to go.
· First, the arena backers can now apply for a master-use permit, which might be approved as soon as November.
· Second, planners will need to figure out how they're going to build a roof over the arena's plaza on the corner of First Avenue South and South Massachusetts Street.
· Third, designers will need to work in work the Design Review Board's recommendations and then show the new-and-improved designs to them in the "recommendation phase" (So many phases!).
· Fourth, convince the Board that a "fin wall," a narrow facade that runs along First Avenue, is necessary and of value.
· Fifth, sort out all those legal issues that aren't going away.
· Sixth, have an actual basketball team to play in the arena.
· Seventh, build that sucker!