Long anticipated renovation plans for Seattle’s KeyArena made their way to the city last week with two groups submitting plans for the redevelopment. One of the groups, Los Angeles-based Oak View Group (OVG) submitted plans to the city of Seattle to revamp KeyArena, with a price tag of $564 million.
In the plans, OVG notes that it will be NBA, NHL and concert ready by the time of completion. The arena will expand on the existing venue to 600,000 square feet with the majority of the expansion occurring below-grade. The arena will allow for a maximum capacity of 18,350 people for NBA events, 17,100 people for NHL and 19,100 for concerts. As a comparison, Oracle Arena in Oakland seats 19,596 for basketball games, 20,000 for concerts and 17,200 for ice hockey. The proposed redeveloped Key Arena will also include 16 event level bunker suites and 40 sideline suites. OVG’s plans call for a large capacity club space and a restaurant and bar with views of the Space Needle.
According to the group’s plans, the arena will honor the history and tradition of Seattle Center and the Washington State and Seattle Center Coliseum by preserving original and iconic design features. The group is also seeking that the arena be declared a national landmark and registered on the National Register of Historic Places, due to its history in the 1962 World’s Fair. The group also plans to build to LEED certification and develop the project as sustainable, maximizing on recycling and energy efficiency.
OVG hopes to enter into a public/private partnership with the city of Seattle that won’t require any investment on the city’s end. According to the group’s plans, it will be entirely financed from non-city sources, and OVG will take full financial risk on construction, ongoing operations and capital improvements. The project will be funded with private equity contributed from OVG, guaranteed by The Madison Square Garden Company and debt financed by Goldman Sachs.
The group is proposing a lease agreement of 35 years, with 5 additional 10-year options. On top of that, OVG will pay annual base rent of $1 million per year to the city, with an expected generated net revenue of about $18.5 million in its first year.
The timeline is expected to take a while, with an anticipated 19-month entitlement period to complete design drawings and secure all approvals. After necessary permits, OVG estimates about a 20-month construction timeline.