Mayor: Renton Was Approached By Investors To Build Sports Arena

Investors never followed-up; Chris Hansen could eye Renton if Seattle says no.

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.

Or not.

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.

Jenny Manning July 30, 2012 at 05:25 PM
We're getting some great comments on Facebook: Julie Sauve Abraham: "We have a stadium." Nancy Patterson: "NO!!!'" Bev Spears: "What type of sports would be played there? Would be a 405 Nightmare if it draws a lot of people all at once! Can the city handle more traffic?" Rashaad Powell: "An outdoor basketball court should be put at Gene Coulon Park" Adrian Rush: "It would be a great thing for Renton -- if the arena deal falls through in Seattle. But I'd much rather see an arena in SoDo next to the baseball and football fields." Chad Buechler: "It sure would be a lot of people, but people equal problems and profit! It would be quite the feat to manage that successfully and as a lifelong resident, I'm pretty skeptical that this is a good choice for our community. That being said, I'd sure be interested in details if this idea gets off the ground." Ira Sacharoff: "Annex Skyway, then via eminent domain condemn a bunch of properties, build the arean, and voila! Economic revitalization!" Rashaad Powell: ‎"@Chad- More money, more problems..." Tyler Morse: "Bring the NHL to Renton." Jerry Gresham: "Hell yes!" Darla Vaughan: "YES!" A Christina Fyri Reichlin: "Yes, lets talk about WIN WIN WIN solutions, the port workers will support I think!" Danae Michelle: "Christian hell no thats ridiculouss a terribl,e idea and spot that area is already terrible on 405 during peak traffic times, add an arena it will be a disaster."
Jenny Manning July 30, 2012 at 05:35 PM
This is a hot topic! Here are more Facebook comments: CellSeattle.com: "The commerce brought by such a stadium would be helpful for our area - I would not be thrilled by the increased traffic. How cool would it be to have another sports team though?" Mary Stroh: "NO!" Kristie Walker: "No no no no no no no. No no. No no no. No more money, time, etc. wasted on public sports boondoggles." Judy Vargison: "No not at the landing." Danielle Suzanne Arrasmith: "And what would be done to protect the residents from the crime and increased traffic.?" Jason Granquist: "After the shady Seahawks deal attempts to blight areas of the highlands and the state of the PUBLIC library? No!" John Tobin: "Would rather see a Softball/baseball complex built. A place that would bring in a ton of money, give the community a place to play in one spot.." Matt Phillips: "Build a rugby/soccer/lacrosse field!"
Union_Hat July 31, 2012 at 07:59 AM
A sports arena in Renton is a very interesting idea. The Landing is not the best siting option in terms of mobility. I-405 from Renton to Bellevue is the most congested freeway in the northwest. The most arena friendly area in Renton is the north end of the Valley just north of the Federal Reserve Bank. There is plenty of land. Existing parking in the area is not used at night. It is just over a mile from I-5, and near I-405, I-167, SR-181 (W. Valley Hwy.), E. Valley Hwy., the Tukwila Sounder Station, the Interurban Trail, the Green River Trail, the Springbrook Trail and just south of the Sound to Lake Trail. It is not far from the bLight Rail line. Add ramps on I-405 at Oakesdale and I-167 at SW 27th St. and complete the Strander - SW 27th St. connector and there are few more accessible undeveloped areas in all of King County. Initially the economic activity outside the stadium would focus on South Center, but the available land immediately adjacent to the new Arena would likely develop at a fairly rapid pace. The area is very close to SeaTac Airport and several more Airport hotels might be built. More Restaurants are likely, and they would be newer and cooler than the stuff in Tukwila. The increased traffic could draw the next “South Center” shopping annex to the Renton Valley, where South Center should have been located 50 years ago.


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