SEATTLE – Chris Hansen’s real estate consultant says, “We’re done.”
Those were his words, after Hansen’s WSA Properties closed Wednesday on the final piece of land needed for a new Seattle arena.
Hansen will buy three lots just east of 1st Avenue South for $9,024,600. They were previously owned by Coast Crane Properties, and Hansen’s team already had an option to buy the land at 1746 & 1760 1st Avenue South. It currently houses Mac’s Smokehouse and the 1st Avenue Deli.
The deal was finalized only after Hansen’s group arranged lease separation terms with the current tenants. The 45,000 square feet involved would be the southwest corner of Hansen’s proposed arena development. It is currently under environmental review.
It means Hansen will have acquired more than $65 million in land for his arena project. Hansen’s real estate consultant Bill Vipond says the soft costs, including legal fees, will push the price between $70 to $80 million.
"It's been two and half years of work. We're done. We own everything we need to own," said Vipond.
Hansen’s team believes this also sends a message to the NBA, which is deliberating the next few days over the Seattle arena plan, Hansen’s bid for the Kings franchise, and a counter bid from Sacramento.
Vipond says all the land was paid for with cash, and is not financed. He says there is not one bank loan involved.
“That’s commitment,” he said.
The NBA’s combined relocation and finance committee is meeting in New York City to discuss Hansen’s bid, and a competing effort from a Sacramento group.
A source close to the ongoing negotiations with the NBA says Hansen has argued Sacramento cannot compete with his level of investment and land acquisition. Hansen has a purchase agreement for 65% of the Kings franchise, at a cost of $341 million. The team would be valued at $525 million. He recently agreed to raise the valuation to $550 million. The deal needs league approval. Hansen’s group separately also will purchase 7% of the franchise, pending league approval, at a cost of $15.1 million. A Sacramento investor failed to match the bid for the share, which was part of a California bankruptcy proceeding.
Sacramento County Assessor records still show multiple owners for the parcels listed in the designated Sacramento arena location. It’s unclear, based on records, whether all the needed land has been formally acquired by the same person or group.
However, NBA spokesperson Tim Frank said Wednesday: “We received a submission from the Sacramento group last night and we will be reviewing it with our committees in the meeting this afternoon.”