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Originally published January 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM | Page modified January 23, 2013 at 1:19 PM

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Latest Sodo arena plan is an eco-friendly design

The design for the proposed Sodo basketball arena was again debated Tuesday evening, with much of the discussion focused on closing nearby streets during events.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The latest designs for the proposed Sodo arena show shimmering walls of water along the west facade and on the stepped plaza to the main entryway. The architects for investor Chris Hansen on Tuesday also outlined ideas to make the facility environmentally sustainable, from capturing and reusing rainwater to solar heating and generating energy for the surrounding neighborhood.

The plans were presented to the Seattle Downtown Design Review Board, in the third meeting with Hansen’s architectural team, to give feedback about how the arena will function in an urban/industrial neighborhood and affect visitors and the surrounding streets.

Hansen is proposing a $490 million basketball and hockey arena in Sodo, including $200 million in public money that would be repaid through revenue generated by the arena. On Monday, Hansen announced he had reached a deal to purchase the Sacramento Kings, pending NBA approval. Two lawsuits are challenging the financing and the location.

The Seattle Mariners on Tuesday again questioned whether South Massachusetts Street, at the north end of the arena site, and Occidental Avenue South, which approaches the site from the north, could realistically be closed during arena events.

Hansen’s design team has said it would like to close those streets on game days to create a pedestrian concourse.

Melody McCutcheon, an attorney for the Mariners, said the streets allow access for emergency vehicles and the disabled, and for traffic in and out of the Mariners parking garage.

“The arena poses challenges,” she said. “There are competing needs for the streets.” She did say that representatives of Hansen’s had preliminary conversations with Mariners management to address the street-use issues as well as whether the Mariners parking garage could be shared with the new arena.

Design Review Board members said the grand-entry stairway rising from Massachusetts Street might have to be reoriented if the street can’t be closed to traffic on game days.

“It’s a city street. I find it very hard to imagine it being a festival street and a lot of the time being closed,” said Brian Scott, a developer on the Design Review Board.

Hansen’s team plans to submit its Master Use Permit application to the city in April, said attorney Jack McCullough.

Tuesday’s meeting was planned as the last early-design guidance session, but because of the outstanding issues, another meeting likely will be scheduled in February.

Lynn Thompson: lthompson@seattletimes.com or 206-464-8305. On Twitter:@lthompsontimes

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