Excavator tears through walls as demolition of Downtown Plaza begins
08/13/2014 7:08 AM
08/13/2014 7:59 AM
There's probably no turning back now.
The demolition of Downtown Plaza began in earnest early today, as the struggling shopping mall began giving way to the site of the new Sacramento Kings arena.
About a week after prep work started, a giant excavator tore out the walls of the southernmost building of Downtown Plaza, at Fifth and L streets. The building used to house, among other tenants, the Pre-Flite Lounge.
In contrast to last week's "demolition ceremony," attended by Mayor Kevin Johnson and other dignitaries, only a small crowd was on hand this morning. Commuter traffic passed by on L Street, with some motorists barely pausing to watch the spectacle.
A few Kings employees were present. Kings President Chris Granger stopped by briefly, pronounced the start of demolition "exciting," and moved on to a meeting.
The $477 million arena is scheduled to open in October 2016. It still faces a handful of legal obstacles, including a pair of lawsuits challenging the project under the California Environmental Quality Act.
But officials with the team and the city have said they believe the project will continue without interruption.
Join the Discussion
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.