Residents of Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood meet to talk about future of KeyArena

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SEATTLE — Sean Kaywood says, four years ago, he chose to open his business, Roaring Bowl, in the Uptown neighborhood of Seattle, because he thought events at KeyArena would mean big business.

“Omigosh, if there was just more business at the KeyArena because sometimes there’s weeks where there’s no events at all.  I know for a fact any restaurant around Qwest or Safeco, they get super busy, so more events in the area would be great,” says Kaywood.

He’s one of many in the neighborhood hoping for just that.

Andrea Mirante just listed her Air BNB, “The Queen Anne Castle House”, about three weeks ago. She’s hoping to see more events at KeyArena, too.

“It would definitely help the community with all the businesses, retail, restaurant, bars and, of course, Air BNB,” says Mirante.

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On Monday night, people who work and live here in the Uptown neighborhood attended a special meeting hosted by the Seattle Uptown Alliance, to discuss the redevelopment of KeyArena.

“Our primary concern is that we do understand that the city is going to do something with KeyArena, so, how will that new facility work for the residents and the people who work in uptown?” says Robert Cardona, of the Seattle Uptown Alliance.

While a redevelopment would mean more events, which could mean more people and, in turn, more business and a flourishing neighborhood, right no, the reality is residents and workers are concerned over parking and traffic impacts.

“If you are talking about a facility that is going to house anywhere between 150 to 200 events on a calendar year, how are you going to move people in and out? Having a redeveloped arena whether, it’s Ke Arena or called something else, would only add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood. Again, it’s all about smart development,” says Cardona.

Organizers say Monday night's meeting was just a chance for neighbors to meet and talk. The City of Seattle is seeking proposals from parties interested in redeveloping KeyArena and, according to the city website, those proposals are due by April 12. People we spoke with say they are excited to see what comes of that.

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