Brian Surratt, head of the City of Seattle’s economic development office, said Wednesday he plans to forward a recommendation to Murray’s office in June as expected and that a final decision should be made late in the month. “We are full steam ahead.”
The man running the KeyArena renovation proposal process says Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s decision not to run for re-election will have zero impact on proceedings.
Brian Surratt, head of the City of Seattle’s economic development office, said Wednesday he plans to forward a recommendation to Murray’s office in June as expected and that a final decision should be made late in the month. Surratt dismissed a suggestion Tuesday by mayoral candidate Mike McGinn that more time is needed to vet proposals by the Oak View Group and Seattle Partners.
“Not from our standpoint,’’ Surratt said. “We are full steam ahead. We’re excited about where we are, and the two proposers are just as eager.’’
Both groups have already met with a city advisory committee as well as city executive officials and some staffers. The advisory committee will forward a recommendation on to a three-member executive panel — of which Surratt is part — and will provide Murray with a recommendation next month.
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Once Murray gives his decision to the city council in late June, it must decide between a KeyArena renovation and a new arena pitched for Sodo District by entrepreneur Chris Hansen.
Council president Bruce Harrell has said a vote on whether to vacate part of Occidental Ave. S. for Hansen’s project could happen by September.
Surratt said he understands some people are concerned about the requests for public money contained within both KeyArena proposals.
SP is seeking up to $250 million in public-bond funds for its $521 million proposal, from which it would save about $48 million via lower interest rates. The group has guaranteed repayment on the bonds and told the city it would generate a yearly surplus via the plan.
OVG has asked for tax-revenue streams after construction on its $564 million renovation proposal and wants the Port of Seattle to fund construction of an 850-stall parking garage.
“We made it clear we want to have minimal city involvement in the two proposals,’’ Surratt said. “We’re going to make our assessments and go from there.’’
But Surratt also cautioned that: “There is so such thing as a perfect proposal.”
Both OVG and SP officials will be on hand Thursday for an open house at KEXP on 1st Avenue N. in the city’s Uptown district from 5-8 p.m. They will discuss plans for the site and take public questions.