OP-ED: A Rainier Valley Solution to Seattle’s Quest for an NBA/NHL Arena

By Richard McIver and David Essig/Special to The Seattle Times:

The Mount Baker light-rail station could be linked to an arena complex in the Rainier Valley.

In the discussion over a new basketball and hockey arena for Seattle, we believe an essential factor is missing in the so-called “Sodo solution” — vision. Our solution, by contrast, offers a grand vision, with broader benefits to the community.

Let’s consider Rainier Valley — specifically the approximately two-and-a-half-acre triangle at the intersection of Rainier Avenue South, Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South McClellan Street.

We suggest building an elevated civic center over the existing bus transit center, providing elevated walkways to the light-rail station and other major destinations, such as Lowe’s, QFC and Franklin High School.

This would create a world-class “Sports, Arts, Civic and Economic Center,” or SPACE Center. It would create an above-ground link between the bus-transfer and light-rail stations. It would support the “bow tie” redesign of the area road network the city is currently researching. More.

A diagram of the community from the North Rainier Neighborhood Plan Update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development.