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May 3, 2016

Council won't vacate street for new arena

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle's City Council has voted not to vacate a stretch of road where an investor hopes to eventually build an arena that could house an NBA and NHL team.

The council on Monday chose not to give up a small section of Occidental Avenue South in the city's Sodo District, throwing a wrench in Chris Hansen's arena project by a 5-4 vote.

The street vacation was viewed as the last major step toward Hansen getting a master use permit and making the arena “shovel ready,” which might help him acquire an NBA team before a memorandum of understanding for the project with the city and King County expires in late 2017.

The Port of Seattle and other groups opposed vacating the street, saying the arena project could infringe on nearby industrial activities.

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