Port makes pricey deal to keep shipper in Seattle

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SEATTLE —

The Port of Seattle will retain a major shipper that threatened to leave because of the proposed new sports arena by paying a stiff price.

 

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported that the Port of Seattle agreed to pay Korean shipper Hanjin a one-time fee of $4 million upon execution of the contract that went before the port commission Tuesday.  

 

Hanjin had threatened to leave, citing concerns about traffic and other issues related to a new arena to be built in SoDo.

 

The terms of the contract also stipulates that five cranes will be sold to Hanjin for $1 each and the port will add up to $35 million in capital improvements and accept a less favorable rate structure.

 

The contract ensures that Hanjin will remain a tenant of Terminal 46 for the next decade.

 

The commission voted to approve the deal Tuesday.

 

Despite opposition from the Port of Seattle, which said the new arena would be a "job killer,"  plans for the proposed arena are moving forward.

 

"This clarifies the direction for the future of Seattle's working waterfront at Terminal 46," said Cameron Williams, President of ILWU local 19 regarding the approval of the deal. "This is a real win for family wage jobs, and for Seattle as a global trading partner."

 

"However, the timeline of any third arena in SoDo puts us in an even more precarious position at the end of the first lease extension in the year 2024," he added. "Two years for an EIS, the Arena MOU providing five years to find a team, and construction at three years---merely kicks the can down the road. We are looking down the road fifty years, not just ten years."

 

A public meeting regarding the arena’s design is being held Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the City Hall in downtown Seattle.  Sketches of a proposed design released last month received mixed reactions.

 

See a timeline of Seattle's campaign for NBA team here.