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Progress Continues on KeyArena Renovation MOU

 Seattle Arena Oak View Group

A draft for an agreement on the proposed renovation of KeyArena is expected to be finished next month, according to a recent update from Seattle officials. 

The agreement is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Seattle and Oak View Group, the firm that has proposed a $564 million renovation project. Seattle revealed in June that it would move forward with discussions about Oak View Group’s proposal, which would lead to the venue being overhauled to meet NBA and NHL standards.

A draft of the MOU is apparently on track to be ready by September 12. On Monday, Brian Surrat, the head of Seattle’s economic development office, provided an update on the progress being made on the MOU to a Seattle City Council arena committee. More from The Seattle Times:

The council is also to consider a proposal by entrepreneur Chris Hansen to build an all-private arena in the city’s Sodo District. Hansen still has a five-year MOU in effect from 2012 that would provide him up to $200 million in public-bond funds for an arena if he can land an NBA team first.

That MOU expires Dec. 3. Surratt acknowledged the city is still bound by terms of that agreement for now but is focused mainly on KeyArena and “redevelopment of that important city asset” for the time being.

“After Sept. 12, we hope that city council carves out the time,” Surratt said. “I know you have a busy time. Again, we respect that. We hope that council can review this. … We hope to have a process designed for a fairly quick action before the end of the year.”

But some council members expressed concern about being able to meet such a time frame. The council has engaged its own consultant to review the city’s draft MOU with OVG after Sept. 12, but that bumps up against the start of a two-month period typically used by staffers to help finalize the city’s budget.

The proposal from Oak View Group calls for preserving the arena’s roof while digging down 15 feet to expand the venue to 660,000 square feet. KeyArena’s landmark status was recently approved by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, a decision that was discussed here earlier this month.

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