Editor's Note: The Seattle City Council will make a final vote to approve the KeyArena renovations on Monday, Sept. 24.

The $700 million KeyArena renovation will cause displacements and take some getting used to over the next two years. Morgan Littlefield, new community liaison for private developer Oak View Group, shared what the community benefits will be over the next 39 years during last Thursday’s Uptown Alliance meeting.

Oak View Group has brought on Skanska-Hunt for the redevelopment project, which will double the publicly owned venue’s square footage and meet NBA and NHL standards for bringing in new sports teams — the memorandum of understanding includes a nonrelocation agreement. Littlefield said the city would not support a music venue with a seating capacity of more than 15,000.

The 39-year lease with the city includes two eight-year extension options.

The MOU also includes a $40 million transportation fund and $20 million community fund, with $10 million dedicated to YouthCare, which serves homeless youth.

While KeyArena will be closed for construction, Seattle Center will remain open, and Oak View Group is putting $500,000 into a “Seattle Center Open for Business” branding campaign, Littlefield said.

“We’ve seen what’s happened on Capitol Hill,” said Uptown Alliance member Debi Frausto about construction impacts. “We’ve seen some of those businesses shut down. “

The eight-month demolition and excavation work will cause the biggest and most immediate impacts. Skanska-Hunt will retain the roofline, propping it up and working under it, Littlefield said.

Oak View Group will take control of the facility on Oct. 16, and KeyArena is slated to reopen in fall 2020.

Trees will be replaced at a two-to-one ratio, she said, and Woodland Park Zoo is in talks to take a number of existing trees.

Frausto, who heads the Uptown Alliance’s Seattle Center committee, covered a number of community benefits attached to the project, including a $75,000 annual commitment over three years to the Alliance — this funding is separate from the community fund.

The funding will allow for the hiring of a consultant to help with outreach planning to boost organizational capacity and business retention and support, she said. A request for proposals will be published on Monday, Oct. 1. Uptown Alliance has been all-volunteer since 1999. It will also support the Uptown Arts and Culture Coalition’s development of a neighborhood arts district.

“That’s a big deal, how much we can get accomplished,” Frausto said of the investment.

The Alliance and Coalition will also be provided with meeting space in KeyArena under the agreement reached between OVG and the city. Frausto said Uptown Alliance has not had a permanent meeting space since St. Paul’s Episcopal Church converted its basement into a 24/7 women’s shelter.

Oak View Group will also make a $2.5 million affordable housing mitigation payment, which will be split in two parts. The first will be the required Mandatory Housing Affordability fee, and then an additional payment within two years of the KeyArena’s reopening.

The new front entrance to KeyArena will be Thomas Street, which will remain open during construction, however, the parking lane and sidewalk will be closed, Littlefield said.

Skanska-Hunt will mine a new tunnel for an underground loading dock at KeyArena, Littlefield said, which should move a number of construction vehicles off streets once completed.

The Seattle Center skatepark, which opened 10 years ago, will be removed for the renovation project and later replaced. OVG will pay the city $1.5 million to mitigate the impact of its relocation, as well as the Seattle Center maintenance facility, restrooms and other public amenities.

Littlefield said Grindline Skateparks has been hired as a consultant for the replacement skatepark, which could be covered. The current skatepark will close on Oct. 8.

The Seattle/King County Clinic took place Sept. 20-23 at KeyArena, and it’s uncertain whether another public facility will be available in 2019 to serve the 4,000 uninsured and underinsured patients that come through each year. Under the agreement between the city and OVG, KeyArena will be available for public events for 14 days rent-free each year.