A series of new reports by the Port of Seattle predicts dire transportation, economic and land-use impacts if Seattle agrees to build a new, half-billion-dollar NBA arena near Port operations in Sodo. The Port, and its consultant Peter Steinbrueck (the former city council member) have been vocal in their opposition to the arena proposal.
The Port will officially discuss the reports at its meeting at 1:00 this afternoon.
Here are some highlights from the three reports; we’ll report more from this afternoon’s meeting.
If the arena is built in the proposed SoDo location, the Port’s economic report concludes, “opportunities for future growth” could be “significantly impacted” both by additional congestion (slowing Port trucks down) and an arena entertainment district for which Hansen has already purchased nearly a block of SoDo land. (Only the strip club Dream Girls refused to sell).
After outlining the Port of Seattle’s advantages over other West Coast ports (deep harbors, fully built terminals), the report goes on to outline the Port’s challenges, including financial pressures on cargo carriers and shippers, which, it says, will only be made worse by a new arena because the location will, in the report’s words, “exacerbate the situation for exporters by increasing the cost of transportation related to both additional congestion and likely shift of businesses to more remote locations” further south.