FIRST REPORT, 11:26 AM: With the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce board taking a stand against the SODO location proposed for a new Seattle sports arena (as first reported here last week), it’s higher on the radar here – so here’s a new development: Less than 3 hours before the King County Council holds a public hearing on the possible county investment in the plan, the Seattle City Council has announced it’s “in discussions” with would-be arena investor Chris Hansen, and has gone public with a four-page letter to him, signed by 8 councilmembers (all except Bruce Harrell). You can see the letter here; the concerns it outlines include the ones on which the WSCoC and Port of Seattle have focused:
… In particular, transportation issues must be addressed and freight mobility impacts mitigated to protect the city’s vital maritime and industrial job sectors. …
The letter spends even more time on concerns about “ongoing financial exposure” to the city and a “balance of public and private benefits.” But it also makes a point that “it would be unfortunate if the project were to founder now …”
Meantime, in advance of the public hearing and expected County Council vote this afternoon, West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott co-authored an essay explaining why he believes they have “done (their) due diligence”; read it here. (If and when there is a vote, we’ll add that update to this story.)
6:46 PM: The County Council’s vote was yes. Read about it on their site.