The design team for investor Chris Hansen released the architectual drawings Friday for a new basketball and hockey arena in the Sodo neighborhood just south of Safeco and CenturyLink fields.
360 Architects show the arena with steps climbing to a high glassed public entryway on First Avenue South at South Massachussets. The upper two stories are also wrapped in windows that will allow fans and concert-goers to look out at the city skyline and Elliott Bay.
Hansen has proposed a $490 million sports and entertainment venue with seating for 18,000 to 20,000. He is seeking a professional basketball team to play at the arena, a condition for getting up to $200 million in city and county construction bonds, and hopes to attract a National Hockey League team.
The public will get a chance to comment at a Dec. 11 meeting of the Downtown Design Review Board at City Hall. A five-member citizen panel made up of architecture and development professionals will question the project designers and decide if the proposal fits within the city’s downtown design guidelines.
It’s the first time a City of Seattle sports facility has gone through the formal design review process, said city planner Garry Papers. Design review is meant to insure that new construction works with the surrounding neighborhood and with city infrastructure including transportation. Neither Safeco Field nor CenturyLink field were formally reviewed.
At an initial Design Review Board hearing earlier this week on conceptual drawings for the arena, board members questioned how the architects would ensure the Sodo neighborhood remains active, even when events aren’t scheduled.
They also questioned how fans would get to the arena on First Avenue South when most of the public transit is on Fourth Avenue South and separated from the arena by multiple train tracks.