The City of Renton was approached by a potential "investor" who voiced interest in building some type of arena, but never followed up after initial contacts, Mayor Denis Law confirmed via email with Renton Patch.
The investor reportedly was interested in the vacant property located south of The land is currently owned by Mercer Island’s ITF Developments, LLC,. which bought the land from the Boeing Company for $10 million. ITF Developments declined comment regarding the current status of the land.
Despite the investors never following up, Mayor Law said, "We have always been open to talking with any potential investors for an arena or other major uses."
Arena talk has moved into the fast lane with the King County Council taking a vote on Monday on the proposed SODO arena at 1 p.m.; with the city of Seattle to follow suit. Hansen's spokesperson told Renton Patch on Thursday that both councils would need to vote yes on the $490 million arena. One "no" vote from either council and the project could be dead.
Hansen said during Thursday's "Bob and Groz Show" on 710 ESPN Radio, “We’ve said all along that if an arena isn’t built in Seattle, it probably will be built somewhere else...I mean, that’s just a fact. Whether it’s Bellevue or Renton or somewhere else that we haven’t thought of, it’s highly likely an arena’s going to be be built in the next three or four years.".
Personally, he "suspects Bellevue is the likely alternative site, given the amount of available acreage, proximity to Bellevue Square and hotels, and easy access to transportation links."
City of Bellevue officials confirmed to Patch on Friday that another investor, Don Levin, is prepared to spend $100 million on an arena suitable for just an NHL team. The SODO arena could house both NBA and NHL.
Bellevue City Councilmember John Chelminiak told the Seattle Times, "If an arena were to be built in Bellevue, it would likely be in the Wilburton or Bel-Red area, both of which are close to freeways and future Sound Transit light-rail stations."
"Easy to get in and get out," Levin said in the Times article, noting that light rail would make the commute easier from Seattle and surrounding areas. "I think the city (Bellevue) has a good base of restaurants and hotels, so the teams could stay there and the fans could stay there. You'd be bringing in a lot of people to spend a lot of money."
Check back later this week for more updates from Monday's King County Council meeting.