What could the future hold for Key Arena?

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Photo: Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

Last week was a busy one for potential Seattle NBA/NHL arenas. After Chris Hansen stated that he’ll pay for a $500M+ new Sodo arena with private funding, Mayor Ed Murray told The Seattle Times that LA-based Oak View Group has expressed interest in Key Arena. In addition, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), an arena builder and manager for Key Arena marketing, appears open to a renovation of the Key.

Mayor Murray announced that the City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) in January. The RFP process opens up Key Arena renovations to private parties.

He also acknowledged the impact to Uptown:

“We continue to listen to options to redevelop KeyArena as part of our revitalization of Seattle Center. There are many challenges to consider, including how to address traffic in the growing Uptown neighborhood, and any viable plan will include efforts to mitigate these concerns, while also bringing Seattle tremendous cultural and financial benefit. But, I remain committed to building a state-of-the-art arena in Seattle, and this effort means multiple entities could be working to make that a reality. I also remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle.”

While traffic woes would certainly increase with a revamped arena, the positive impact to Queen Anne and Uptown businesses would be significant. When we lost the Sonics, local restaurants and bars lost business – and some had to close down.

You can read the latest on Hansen’s proposed Sodo arena and the possible renovation of Key Arena in this Seattle Times article.

5 story efficiency apartment building proposed for 215 1st Ave N

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UPDATE: No parking will be provided at the proposed building, due to its location in the Uptown Urban Center, per Seattle Municipal Code 23.54.015.

A tiny little building at 215 1st Ave N will make way for a 5 story apartment building that will house 71 “small efficiency dwelling units” and two live/work units at street level. The parcel includes the adjacent parking lot for a total of 7200 square feet of land.

The existing building will be demolished and one exceptional tree will be removed to make way for the new construction. No updated details on parking, but an earlier permit states 25 parking spaces, 14 of which will be underground.

And Early Design Guidance meeting is scheduled for 8pm Wednesday, November 16th at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W). The meeting is open to the public for comments on site planning and design issues. You can also submit comments via email or snail mail to:

City of Seattle
Seattle DCI – PRC
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

The deadline for all comments related to site planning and design is November 16th.

Preserving Uptown at this Thursday’s Queen Anne Historical Society

You’ve likely seen our coverage on changes to Uptown, with the potential for some areas to see new developments soaring to 16 stories. The Uptown rezone brings up the issue of preservation – how can Uptown continue to grow while preserving its historic character?

Uptown EIS Rezone

That issue is at the center of this week’s Queen Anne Historical Society public meeting, this Thursday, October 27th. All are welcome to join QAHS members and four special guests to discuss what Preserving Uptown means.

The meeting starts at 7pm at Aegis Living at 2900 3rd Ave W, and it’s open to anyone with an interest in the proposed rezone and the character of Uptown/Lower Queen Anne.

Join the conversation with these guest speakers:

  • Jim Holmes, Seattle City Planner and Uptown planning lead
  • Debi Frausto, Uptown Alliance’s chair of the Uptown Urban Design Framework
  • Katherine Idzoriek, architect and President of the Uptown Alliance
  • Jill Crary, Seattle Center Redevelopment

Parking is available on 3rd Ave W in front of the building and in the garage, entrance off W. Florentia. For garage access, use the intercom, and please sign in upon arrival.

Avoid 99 and spend Saturday walking an Uptown Jane’s Walk

This Saturday, May 7th is the annual Jane’s Walk event, taking place in neighborhoods across Seattle. Named after Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), these walks celebrate urban communities. Jane was an urbanist and activist who championed a community-based approach to city building – and what better way to explore the community than by foot?

Jane’s Walks are free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The goal of the free walks is to not only explore a neighborhood, but to also share stories about the community, the city, and meet neighbors.

This weekend’s Jane’s Walk features Uptown (aka Lower Queen Anne to some). Local residents Katherine Idziorek, co-President of the Uptown Alliance and Debi Frausto, former Chair of Friends of Lower Kinnear Park and current Uptown Arts and Culture District focal point, will lead the walk.

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Walk Route

A) Lower Kinnear Park: Meet at the entrance to Lower Kinnear Park (at the end of W Roy Street) – learn about recent park renovations and improvements

B) Counterbalance Park: Uptown’s urban stage

C) The Labyrinth: Walk the labyrinth at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

D) UpGarden P-Patch:Visit a community P-Patch garden on the roof of the Mercer Parking garage!

E) EXPO Apartments: Learn how the community worked together with developers to shape the EXPO Apartment building.

F) KEXP: Visit 90.3 KEXP’s new home at Seattle Center!

G) Queen Anne & Mercer apartments: Learn how the community worked with developers to help a new project fit into the neighborhood.

H) Uptown Parklet: Visit Uptown’s tiniest park, a park”let” at SIFF Cinema Uptown

I) South Korean Consulate: See the future site of the South Korean Consulate

J) Nielsen’s Pastries: Pop in for a coffee or authentic Danish kringle at Nielsen’s Pastries

K) Selig Office Building: See the construction of a new half-block office project

L) Thomas Street Pedestrian Bridge: Walk from Uptown over busy Elliott Avenue to enjoy beautiful Sound views and a connection to Seattle’s waterfront parks

Stop by the W Roy Street entrance to Lower Kinnear Park to join the walk at noon on Saturday. Katie will be wearing her red KEXP t-shirt, and the walk will take about an hour. Happy walking!

Uptown Alliance meets today, Expedia campus and Roy St shelter on the agenda

Uptown Alliance new logoThe Uptown Alliance meets today, Thursday, September 10th at 7pm in the EXPO Apartments Community Room (100 Republican St). After a couple months off for summer, the Uptown Alliance is back and has a full agenda this Thursday, including presentations on the Expedia campus, Uptown Urban Design Framework, and the homeless shelter at 157 Roy St.
Here’s the agenda:
  • 7:00 – 7:10  Welcome and introductions (Rick Hooper)
  • 7:10 – 7:30  Expedia Uptown campus plans (Lynn Claudon, Natalie Quick)
  • 7:30 – 8:15  Uptown Urban Design Framework update (Jim Holmes, Lyle Bicknell, Debi Frausto)
  • 8:15 – 8:25  Counterbalance Park activation update (Matt Adkins)
  • 8:25 – 8:30  Transportation Committee update (Michael Davis, Nick Kullman)
  • 8:30 – 8:40  157 Roy shelter update (Rick Hooper)
  • 8:40 – 9:00  Topics of concern, approve July meeting minutes
The meeting is open to all. If you have comments, feedback, or topics of concern for upcoming meetings, mark your calendar for this Thursday.

Early morning shooting at Lower Queen Anne gas station leaves one dead

Gas Station shootingThe Seattle Police Department has posted a blotter post on an early morning shooting at the Shell gas station at the corner of W Denny and Queen Anne Ave N. One person died from gunshot wounds, two more were injured.

If you have any information or tips on this open investigation, please contact SPD at 206-233-5000.

Here are the details from SPD:

Detectives Investigate Fatal Shooting in Lower Queen Anne

Homicide detectives are investigating an early morning shooting at a gas station at Denny and Queen Anne Avenue North.

Officers responded to several 911 calls of shots fired shortly after 3:00 am.  When they arrived, they found a 22-year-old man dead and two other men with gun shot wounds. Seattle Fire responded and transported the two injured men to Harborview Medical Center for emergency treatment.

Homicide and CSI detectives responded to the scene, interviewing witnesses and canvassing for evidence. After further investigation, detectives have determined that the shooting took place inside of the parked car and that suspects and victims have been accounted for. Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that the shooting occurred as a result of a drug robbery.

This remains an active and on-going investigation. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call SPD Homicide tip-line at (206) 233-5000.