Sometimes, all it takes to get things done is for a little competition. Soon after we learned that there are competing groups in Bellevue and Tukwila looking to attract an NHL franchise to the area, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced that after months of waiting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be completed by May 7th, 2015. Murray pointed out that the delay had less to do with the ongoing Seattle tunnel work and more to do with Chris Hansen's delay in delivering necessary paperwork.
Even with an approval, construction on the arena is still unlikely based on the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), which requires an NBA franchisee to commit to Seattle. Since it is much more likely that an NHL franchise will come to Seattle first, the mayor also announced Wednesday that he is willing to go to the Seattle City Council to modify the MOU accordingly, adding "the NHL indicated a willingness to move here as soon as there is an arena."
Murray also said that the design review and SDOT review of the Occidental Ave street vacation could be complete by August and revealed plans to funs a Lander Street overpass, which would go a long way in appeasing the Port of Seattle, the arena's most public detractor. Murray added that, if all goes accordingly, the city could award Hansen a master use permit by early 2016.
· Seattle mayor: Arena EIS done May 7, open to NHL first [King5]
· Report: Seattle Arena FEIS to be completed May 7, NHL-first still a possibility [SR]
· Could Seattle's Sports Arena End Up in Bellevue or Tukwila? [CS]
· All SoDo Arena coverage [CS]