SEATTLE - John Torrance can rattle off the numbers with the best of them.
Developer pitching downtown waterfront arena, convention center
He can quote how many people are in the Seattle-metro area, the size of the convention center, or the city s rank in the TV markets all off the top of his head.
But nowadays, he seemed focused on one number: 46. As in Pier 46.
Torrance, a Vice President at CB Richard Ellis, is pitching building an arena/convention center/ferry terminal on the Pier. He s not the first person to do that. Back in 2008, former Sonic Downtown Freddie Brown was talking about building an Emerald City Center there to host an NBA and NHL team.
Torrance claims, he s been working on this for two years, and is finally ready to go public. He s released a series of architechtural drawings, which he believes could drum up support to build the complex, currently leased to Hanjin shipping.
It fills two big needs, he says by phone. It s a perfect spot.
But unlike Chris Hansen, down the street, Torrance doesn t own the land. He also doesn t have the backing of big money investors, yet.
There is also another issue. The land is not for sale.
Peter McGraw, spokesperson for the Port, called the idea a non-starter . We have no plans to make plans, said McGraw. We d like Hanjin to be here for a long time.
Brian Robinson, who founded Arena Solution, and has been an advocate for the Hansen proposal and efforts in Bellevue, says other proposals are further along. The proposed development of Pier 46 is conceptual in nature. It currently lacks the support of key government officials and a committed ownership group willing to bring the NBA or NHL to any arena that could be put there. Until these components are identified there is a real risk that it will distract officials from the more viable project.
Torrance seems undeterred, and says he s still working with national developers on the project, and hopes to reveal more soon
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