Sodo Arena group refiles petition to vacate Occidental Avenue

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SEATTLE — Investor Chris Hansen and the SoDo Arena group have refiled a petition with the City of Seattle that would allow for the vacation of Occidental Avenue South.

Vacating the street is viewed as the last major step toward Hansen getting a master use permit and making the arena “shovel ready,” which might help him acquire a NBA team.

A previous vacation petition was voted down 5-4 by the city council in May. A release on says since the previous petition, the arena group has "reworked our proposal to address the concerns" raised by residents and the city council.

"This new petition incorporates all amendments to the previous petition considered by the City Council, and builds on it with several important differences," the group said in the release.

Since the previous petition was filed, the group has announced the arena will be 100 percent privately financed. Traffic improvements to the area have also been added to the plan.

"Since the City Council considered the previous street vacation petition last year the long-stalled Lander Overpass project is close to being fully funded, with the SoDo Arena making a contribution to that important freight mobility project," the group said.

The group will pay for fair market value of the street.

The Port of Seattle and other groups have opposed vacating the street. A memorandum of understanding for the project with the city and King County expires at the end of the year.

Recently, a renovated KeyArena has also been discussed as a spot to host an NBA team.

Councilman Time Burgess told Q13 News' Aaron Levine that he will likely vote for the vacation petition.

Former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn reaffirmed his support of the arena Wednesday.

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