SEATTLE – Prospective Seattle NHL owner Victor Coleman recently purchased buildings on two city blocks near the Stadium District for $281 million.
Public records show “Hudson and First King LLC” bought the property at the intersection of 1st/King back in July of 2013 for $224 million. Another LLC, called “Hudson Merrill LLC,” purchased the Merrill Place building, one block over, in February for $57.6 million.
Both LLCs list the same address at Coleman’s Hudson Pacific Properties in Los Angeles. That company’s website says it owns the three properties that were part of the purchases.
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That would mean Coleman has already spent more on land in the SoDo area than investor Chris Hansen, who would like to build an NBA/NHL arena in the neighborhood. It also may be an indication of Coleman’s interest in the spot of town for a new sports complex. He also owns a building in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood and in Lynnwood, as well as multiple buildings and movie studios in Northern and Southern California.
Coleman, along with a couple business partners, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, all were part of a delegation that flew to Seattle on May 6 and had individual separate meetings with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. The latter meeting occurred at Seattle City Hall.
Murray says the group asked about the possibility of changing the Memorandum of Understanding for the Seattle Arena project, and he told them the council was not likely to do so.
The arena project is currently undergoing an environmental review. That needs to be completed, and an NBA team to be acquired, before construction and financing can begin. There is no such clause, if an NHL team, was to be acquired first.
Hansen has remained quiet on the situation, but has said repeatedly that he was looking for a “partner” for the complex and has publicly indicated he would listen to an NHL-first scenario, if that “partner” is willing to assume some of the financial risk on the complex.
There has no indication yet whether Coleman would be willing to provide capital for a new arena or adjustments to the existing KeyArena. An NHL team would likely have to play there on a short-term basis, while a new arena is constructed.