Letters to the Editor

Our readers weigh in.
FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

THE YEAR OF THE CRANE
Kudos to John Levesque on his “Year in Business” column in the December issue of Seattle magazine (published simultaneously as Final Analysis in Seattle Business). It’s a tour-de-farce of acerbic and accurate insight into Seattle’s growing pains — from the “tunnel not being dug by Bertha” to the “Potola Pit” just a long tee shot to the north, and from the buildings in Ballard being designed by the “Northwest School of the Architecturally Challenged” to “saving the façade of a sweet old building and gluing it to the front of a new hipster-plex” on Capitol Hill. Of the half-dozen bullet points in his business-related “questions to ponder,” my favorite was: “Will the CEO plant a tree in the lobby for old times’ sake” when Weyerhaeuser moves its corporate headquarters to Pioneer Square? It was truly one of the best analysis pieces about Seattle I’ve ever read in its own right, but when couched in the unique Levesque style, it was a real winner.
LARRY COFFMAN
Kirkland

THE BUZZ ONLINE
On Facebook, Second Use Building Materials posted: “A huge thanks to Seattle Business magazine for this [Community Impact Awards] honor, [to] organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Mighty House Construction and Backyard Barter for their collaboration, and our community for their support!”

Also on Facebook, Quantum Windows and Doors posted: “The December 2015 issue of Seattle Business magazine addresses the preservation and adaptation of Seattle’s historic buildings into fabulous retail spaces. We’re doing a happy dance at Quantum seeing our projects at Filson and Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room receiving such deserved press.”

 

Final Analysis: The Sporting Life in 2017

Final Analysis: The Sporting Life in 2017

Three predictions for the coming year on a new arena, an old arena and the Mariners.
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
 
As every first-year business student knows, a city’s economy is not considered “world class” until said city has erected at least four shrines to professional sports and these shrines remain empty and unused most days of the year. Seattle is knocking on the door of world classiness because it already has KeyArena, Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field up and running. Occasionally. Just one more monument to appease the great mass of athletic supporters and we’re there. Hallelujah!
 
It’s only a matter of time because Chris Hansen, the San Francisco rich guy who wants to build a new arena on First Avenue South and bring pro basketball and pro hockey to Seattle, is this close to getting his way. In October, Hansen revealed that he and his investors are now willing to pay the whole honkin’ bill for plopping a new arena into the SoDo neighborhood a block from Safeco Field. He still wants a piece of Occidental Way vacated and also expects some tax breaks from the city, but that’s how rich guys are. (See: Trump, Donald.) Besides, the people who believe we’re not world class until the NBA returns to Seattle are salivating over this deal because it’s the best deal we’re ever going to get
 
Of course, these same people said Hansen’s previous offer, which would have required that $200 million in public money be plowed into a new arena, was also the best deal we were ever going to get. 
 
Hansen’s decision to pay more for his arena places the sports economy clearly in the local spotlight this year. Heaven knows we could use more opportunities to pay $9 for a beer and see millionaire athletes selling Jaguars and BMWs on TV. It’s the kind of economic shot in the arm that only comes around whenever a sports league is in a coercive mood. 
 
And so, in the spirit of this January issue’s “looking ahead” theme, we offer three predictions relating to the regional economy as the Hansen arena intrigue continues to unfold.
 
Prediction 1: Hansen, who has already spent more than $120 million buying up property in the area of his proposed arena, will persuade the Port of Seattle, his arch nemesis in this melodrama, to fold up its tent and send all cargo-handling operations to Tacoma. That decision will pave the way for so many trendy bars and restaurants with names like Kale & Kumquat or Cobblestone & Wingtip that Hansen will be persuaded to create a private streetcar system to connect Pioneer Square with the burgeoning Stadium District. 
 
Prediction 2: The city-owned KeyArena, whose very future is clouded by the Hansen proposal, will announce plans to house up to 10,000 homeless persons every day. Even on days when the Seattle Storm and Seattle University basketball teams need the building, the city believes the Storm and the Redhawks could use the attendance boost, so it becomes a classic win-win.
 
Prediction 3: The Seattle Mariners, who still don’t like the arena proposal, will channel their hostility onto the field of play — and still not win the World Series. (This is called pattern-recognition analysis.) However, always mindful of improving the fan experience — because it’s not whether your team wins or loses, but whether you’re inclined not to press charges for being gouged by a vendor — the Mariners will introduce several new fan-friendly food items, plus mani/pedi stations in the pricey seats and roving loan officers to assist anyone trying to finance the purchase of hot dogs and sodas for a family of four. 
 
JOHN LEVESQUE is the managing editor of Seattle Business magazine. Reach him at john.levesque@tigeroak.com.