As the Seattle City Council and King County Council consider whether to approve the proposal for an arena in SODO, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has gone on record as opposed to the proposed location – NOT to the idea of an arena, but to the proposal for putting it in SODO. The Chamber has just sent this letter to both:
Honorable Members of King County and Seattle City Councils
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (WSCC) has taken a position in opposition to the proposed Sodo location of Arenaco’s sports and entertainment complex. Our Chamber feels that the proposed sports and entertainment complex is a type of use that is incompatible in our marine, industrial and warehouse neighborhood.
WSCC is chiefly concerned about the impact such a facility would have on congestion in Sodo. Sodo is the main artery feeding West Seattle. Many goods needed by West Seattle businesses originate in Sodo warehouses or arrive via truck through Sodo. This is also true for goods and/or freight originating in West Seattle, much of it must go to or through Sodo.
WSCC wishes to emphasize that freight mobility is not simply an issue for marine cargo, it’s an issue for freight movements of all sizes and destinations. Freight sitting idle in a congested Sodo is costly to local businesses large and small.
The letter continues after the jump:
Next, Sodo congestion has an impact on commuter traffic to and from West Seattle and has a direct impact on the quality of life for all West Seattleites.
WSCC is further concerned about the impact such a facility would have on family-wage jobs that would potentially be displaced by gentrification in Sodo. Sodo jobs are important locally and regionally; preservation of these family-wage jobs should be a major consideration when weighing the cost-benefit of a new sports and entertainment complex.
Finally, WSCC believes that there are many locations in the region better suited to host a new sports and entertainment complex. The infrastructure investments diverted from Sodo to improve I-5 access via Mercer should be taken advantage of rather than deal with unfunded mitigation that will be required with a new sports and entertainment complex in Sodo.
West Seattle Chamber of Commerce
The County Council may vote as soon as next week whether to approve a plan that could eventually invest up to $80 million in the arena plan (here’s the story from our partners at The Seattle Times).