On Monday, the Seattle City Council approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Oak View Group (OVG) paving the was for a $600 million redevelopment plan of KeyArena at Seattle Center and possibly the return of the Sonics. The MOU drew most of the attention during the meeting and brought extensive public comment, but at the meeting the city council also agreed to a small rezone, passed land use regulations for short-term vacation rentals, and landmarked a building in Alaska Junction.
OVG Memorandum of Understanding
The KeyArena redevelopment is expected to top $600 million and breathe new life into an aging facility. Terms of the MOU indicate that OVG will nearly double the total square footage of the arena (368,000 square feet) and honor preservation controls being imposed on the iconic roof. In exchange, the city will allow OVG to hold a 39-year long-term lease of the arena and associated parking garage. The lease could be extended up to an additional 16 years totaling 55 years if approved by the city.
The Seattle Storm, a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, are the arena’s anchor tenant today, but OVG hopes to lure more professional sports teams as long-term tenants. Top of the list is the National Basketball Association in order to bring back the Seattle Supersonics. A National Hockey League (NHL) team is also a priority, and OVG has hinted acquiring an NHL team is more likely in the short-term. The MOU acknowledges the importance of retaining the Seattle Storm.