Owners share vision of Sacramento's Downtown Plaza without sports arena

Published: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 - 8:09 am

The owners of Downtown Plaza say they want to see a major sports and entertainment arena built on their site – but they also recently drew up a vision of a dramatically revamped mall without an arena.

JMA Ventures, the company that bought the plaza last year, sent brochures to select potential tenants, pitching plans to turn the old mall into a shopping and lifestyle center called Capitol Green.

In the material dated March 6, JMA proposed opening the mall up so that it connects better with surrounding downtown streets, moving the movie theater to another block, and adding a grocery store, a pharmacy and several restaurants.

JMA President Todd Chapman said the brochure represents the concept his company put together before Sacramento's arena plan was hatched. Even though the concept has been circulated, Chapman said the company's focus now is on the arena.

"We are not pushing that plan right now," Chapman said when contacted Wednesday by The Bee. "We are 100 percent committed to working with the mayor, the community and the NBA to keep the Kings in Sacramento and bring them to a state-of-the-art revitalized entertainment and sports facility downtown."

The concept, however, provides an interesting look at what the new owners of the mall may have in mind for their site if there is no arena deal.

It includes keeping both Macy's stores, but it eliminates a building above Fifth Street, turning that site into a venue that can accommodate a farmers market or music acts.

The design, as shown in drawings, appears to maintain most of the existing buildings but proposes new architecture that is sharper-angled and more modern in appearance than the current center.

The design also appears to relocate the escalators that block views down the site's central spine on K Street.

Chapman said his company also would expect to make major changes to the remaining center if an arena is built on part of it.

Under the arena plan, JMA likely would team with other private developers to reconfigure a smaller center adjacent to an arena, which could have retail, restaurants, offices, housing and a hotel.

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.

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