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October 9, 2018

Northgate picked for $70M NHL center

Images provided by NHL Seattle [enlarge]
The 180,000-square-foot NHL Seattle Ice Centre would have three NHL-regulation ice rinks.

Generator Studio of Kansas City is designing the facility, which will house the team headquarters and a training facility.

The Seattle Hockey Partners Group announced yesterday plans to build a $70 million “ice center” on the Northgate Mall property.

The 180,000-square-foot NHL Seattle Ice Centre would serve as a headquarters and training facility for a future National Hockey League team, as well as a space for adult and youth hockey and public skating.

The league is expected to vote in early December on whether to award Seattle a team.

The privately funded project would become an anchor tenant in Simon Property Group's massive Northgate mixed-use redevelopment.

It would be on the east side of the property, facing Fifth Avenue Northeast, but no specific location has been identified.

Generator Studio of Kansas City, Missouri, is the architect.

The training center would have a number of features to serve the team and the community:

• Three NHL regulation ice rinks, including a main rink with seating for 1,000 spectators. The other two rinks would have seating for 400.

• An NHL training center with fancy locker rooms, and strength and conditioning areas

• Offices for NHL Seattle hockey operations and administrative staff

• Restaurant, bar and retail space

• Ice sports rentals, a retail shop, community locker rooms and hospitality areas

• An adjacent park

The Seattle ownership group said it's working closely with the NHL, Simon Property Group and the city of Seattle to begin construction as soon as possible. The plan is to have it finished in time for the NHL team's first season, tentatively slated for 2020.

The project would be contingent on Seattle being awarded a team.

Simon Property Group, which owns Northgate Mall, filed plans earlier this year to redevelop the 55-acre site at 401 N.E. Northgate Way with offices, retail, hotel, housing and green space over the next several years.

The advanced state of Simon's redevelopment plans is an advantage for the training center, said Lance Lopes, project leader for the ownership group.

“The folks at Simon Properties have been working for two years on a master plan and entitlement process that we're actually plugging into at a fairly late stage. So we feel confident we're going to be able to get this up as quickly as possible. Whether we get our 2020 date remains to be seen, but that's going to be our goal.”

Lopes said ice centers like this one are trendy right now.

Generator Studio has designed a similar center for the St. Louis Blues NHL team, and the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks are also completing new facilities.

The Northgate ice center would be built in phases. The first phase would include the ice rinks and team training facilities. The second phase would complete an 85-foot office building next door for the team headquarters and business operations. Two floors of the office building would be part of the first phase.

Lopes said the site could also accommodate a practice facility for a future National Basketball Association team, but no planning for that has been done.

Backers of the Northgate project are also touting its proximity to the new light rail station, set to open in 2021.

Lopes called the project “the latest cornerstone of the public/private endeavor to transform Northgate into a thriving, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented urban center.”

Last month, Seattle City Council approved the ownership group's plans to move forward with a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena, where the hockey team and any future NBA team would play.