Image: Mayor McGinn
Chris Hansen bought up a lot of SoDo so that he could build an arena for the return of the Seattle Sonics. A funny thing happened on the way to that happening…it never did. So, Hansen, flush with assets for an arena that's not going to be built anytime soon (even if Seattle secures an NHL franchise), has found a worthy secondary cause for some of it. The would-be Sonics owners has donated a 10K square foot parcel on 1st Avenue South to the A Plus Foundation.
It will serve, pending city permitting, as the headquarters for the organization. Hobson says he hopes to install classrooms, and a basketball court by years end. "Someone is going to be playing basketball in SoDo next year," says Hansen.
Just in case you think this means Hansen is throwing in the towel, hold up. He tells King5 that he's simply trying to make good use of the property that would otherwise go unused. He also added that while he has no interest himself in owning an NHL franchise, he would consider working with potential owners on changing the the Memorandum of Understanding with Seattle and King County, which currently requires an NBA franchise to trigger the arena build.
· Hansen donates SoDo land to youth group [King5]
· All SoDo Arena coverage