Attorneys appeal eminent domain ruling on Kings arena site

The financial firms that controlled the former Macy’s men’s clothing store have appealed a Sacramento judge’s ruling to grant control of the property to the city of Sacramento and the Kings through eminent domain.

That property, awarded to the city on March 20, takes up much of the footprint for a planned $448 million arena at Downtown Plaza.

An attorney representing the holders of mortgage certificates of the vacant building said in a filing with the 3rd District Court of Appeal on Thursday that the city did not make a proper offer for the building and undervalued the property.

The city assessed the building at roughly $4.35 million, but the mortgage representatives placed the value at $10 million. The Kings will ultimately pay for the building, not the city.

City attorneys have disputed that they mishandled the eminent domain suit.

The attorneys also asked the appellate court to immediately halt the transfer of control of the building to the city, which is scheduled for Tuesday. They said demolition of the building could occur as early as Tuesday.

In a response letter, Assistant City Manager John Dangberg described the request for a delay in the property transfer as “utterly baseless.” He said the city will not demolish the building on Tuesday, given that the City Council must still certify an environmental report and development plan for the arena.

Dangberg said the city “will suffer significant harm” if the eminent domain ruling is delayed.

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