The proposed Sodo sports arena will get its final appraisal from the Downtown Design Review Board today. Early iterations of the arena’s architectural drawings were criticized by online readers as resembling a Sherman tank. In the latest drawings, the flat, oval roof is now surrounded by what looks like a vegetable steamer (see page 42), though photos submitted by project architects 360 Architecture suggest its supposed to resemble a jet engine (see page 38).
In two previous meetings, the Design Review Board has questioned how a big plaza space and stairway at the north end of the arena site will stay active and inviting, even when events aren’t scheduled. New drawings show the space being used for a variety of activities including an ice skating rink, a snowboard or ski hill (down the steps) a removable skate board park, and perhaps, more likely, game day crowds.
An investment group led by Seattle native Chris Hansen finalized a deal with Seattle and King County in October to build a $490 million sports and entertainment venue with $200 million in public money to be repaid through revenue generated by the facility. Two lawsuits are challenging the financing and the location.
The Design Review board meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave. The five-member citizen panel made up of architecture and development professionals will question the project designers and determine if the proposal fits within the city’s downtown design guidelines. This is the last of the so-called “early design guidance” meetings for the project.
The next step is for Hansen’s group to submit a formal building permit application.