BOOM, The Seattle Center for Architecture and Design summer exhibition, pays tribute to places lost, persevered and desired during moments of rapid real estate development and growth in Seattle.

The exhibition focus on four Seattle neighborhoods that are facing, or have faced, drastic socio-economic change, and examines themes of transformation, memory, culture, and speculations on the future of the city. In Ballard, the exhibition analyzes how industries have swiftly changed from maritime to the service sector; in SoDo, the development of the Port and its effect on the Duwamish River and indigenous communities are scrutinized; for the Central District, the exhibition focuses on the community of color and how it has been affected by redlining and restrictive lending procedures; and in South Lake Union, the exhibition appraises the recent tech and real estate boom.

While the exhibition examines how contemporary Seattleites are reacting to gentrification and displacement, it places the recent boom affecting the city in a historical continuum of expansion, real estate development, and change.

Featuring the artwork of C. Davida Ingram, Eroyn Franklin,Seattle in Progress, No Touching Ground, and Rodrigo Valenzuela, BOOM will also premiere new video work byPaul Komada and Inye Wokoma, new drawings by Ghosts of Seattle Past, and it will be the first exhibition of the Invisible Seattle archive.




A rendering of the proposed arena.
A rendering of the proposed arena.

In a 4-1 vote yesterday, a Seattle City Council subcommittee decided to forward the issue of whether the city of Seattle will give up a street to build an arena in SODO to a full-council vote on May 2nd. While the result of the vote was expected, dissenting views were presented by council members attending the meeting during the comments section, suggesting that the upcoming full council vote could be close.
Acquiring Occidental Avenue South is a key hurdle in Chirs Hansen’s, the primary investor in the project and Seattle native, campaign to build an Arena in SODO. The project, which hopes to coax an NBA team back to Seattle, is estimated to cost $490 million with a proposed direct public investment of $200 million split between the City of Seattle and King County.
Sally Bagshaw, the lone dissenting member of the subcommittee, argued there is no legal reason for the city to give up part of Occidental Avenue South now. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Hansen, the city, and King County requires the acquisition of an NBA team to trigger up to $200 million in public bond funding. If Hansen fails to procure a team before the MOU expires in November 2017, the project would lose its public funding. Bagshaw was quick to point this out during Tuesdays meeting adding, “There is absolutely no evidence at this point the NBA commissioner is going to allow the Supersonics [which moved to Oklahoma City in 2008] to return anytime soon. And there’s ample evidence to the contrary. There’s no team for sale…”
Subcommittee chairman Mike O’Brien countered Bagshaw’s argument stating “I believe there’s a path where this arena could be built, we’d get significant benefits and would continue to make other investments where we’d continue to make our port and maritime industrial sector a thriving sector.”
Along with O’Brien, council members Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell and Rob Johnson have all pledged their support for the project. Council member Lisa Herbold is expected to join Bagshaw in voting no, leaving Kshama Sawant, Debora Juarez and Lorena Gonzalez’s votes as decisive.
The vote on May 2nd serves as the final political obstacle for the proposed SODO arena. If the Seattle City Council votes yes, Hansen will easily acquire a Master of Use Permit, paving the way for the project.