Seattle's hopes of building an arena to lure the NBA back to the city hit a snag on Monday evening.
The Seattle city council voted against giving a street vacation in order to build the new Seattle Arena in order to lure both NBA and NHL teams. The council voted 4-5, defeating the measure that would've made the new Seattle Arena shovel-ready in hopes to lure an NBA or NHL franchise in the near future.
The street in question is Occidental Ave., located near the Port of Seattle, in the historic SODO district. The vote in question was whether to give investor Chris Hansen the right to buy and vacate one block of Occidental. Vacating the street was the last major hurdle in order for Hansen to obtain a master use permit in hopes of breaking ground on the new arena before a memorandum of understanding allowing $200 million in public funds for the project expires in late 2017.
According to KING5 News, "Council President Bruce Harrell voted yes along with council members Tim Burgess, Rob Johnson, and Mike O' Brien. While council members Sally Bagshaw, Lorena Gonzalez, Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez, and Kshama Sawant voted no."
Councilwoman Gonzalez provided the final vote, in which she voted against the measure because she had a "profound and deep struggle" towards selling the street to project manager and potential arena owner Chris Hansen.
Many of the council members had issues with the effect it would have on jobs near the Port of Seattle. Though a time-lapse video posted by the creators of SonicsGate website filmed from a rooftop facing Occidental showed that not much traffic comes through that area and that claims of use of the street during port shipping use were false. This also came after one of the biggest cargo freights docked in the Port of Seattle.