Arena

Kings say developments near Sacramento arena will cost $250 million

This new drawing released Thursday shows the office-hotel tower planned on land immediately north of the new Kings arena.
This new drawing released Thursday shows the office-hotel tower planned on land immediately north of the new Kings arena. Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings said Thursday the mixed-use tower and other developments they plan to build next to their new downtown arena will cost roughly $250 million.

The price tag includes new retail space to be built adjacent to the arena. Kings President Chris Granger disclosed the estimated cost shortly before the Kings and their development partner, JMA Ventures of San Francisco, went before the city Planning and Design Commission to discuss their plans. The Kings also released a new drawing of the proposed tower, which will be located immediately north of the $477 million arena.

“We think we’re on a good pace with the (arena) and it’s time to intensify our planning for the broader, surrounding development,” Granger said. The development team is beginning “to lay out our vision for what will be an initial investment of over $250 million for a mixed-use development that will complement and amplify everything we’re doing with the arena itself.”

The ancillary development was seen as key to the City Council’s decision in May to approve a $255 million public subsidy for the arena. Along with the arena itself, the overhaul of struggling Downtown Plaza has helped rejuvenate the real estate market in the central city. A 26-story office tower on J Street was proposed just last week.

“Every day, this transformational project moves closer to reality,” Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive said in a prepared statement. “These are the moments that get the world abuzz about what is happening in Sacramento.”

The Kings went to the Planning Commission on the same day the arena encountered a weather-related hitch. Construction was halted at midday because of the intense rainstorm. Team officials said cranes and other equipment were moved to paved surfaces in case of flooding on the arena site, which is a giant hole where the eastern half of Downtown Plaza used to sit.

At the heart of the ancillary development is a 16-story tower on J Street, first unveiled a month ago, which will include a 250-room hotel and 69 condominium units. The first four floors will include a lobby and 80,000 square feet of retail and office space. The project also calls for several thousand square feet of retailing and restaurants along the plaza, adjacent to the arena and tower. In addition, the Kings and JMA plan to renovate much of the western half of the mall, which is still operating.

JMA, however, has held off on saying whether the western portion of the mall would shut down during the renovation. A few tenants, anticipating a closure, have said they plan to leave soon. The plaza’s anchor tenant, Macy’s, plans to remain open.

“We’re still kind of working through plans,” said Todd Chapman, president of JMA. “We’re staying in very close contact with all of the tenants and making sure they understand exactly what’s going on.”

The initial design has drawn criticism from one property owner, developer Richard Rich, who purchased the nearby California Fruit Building office tower last year. Rich said in a letter to city staff that the new Kings tower would appear to be “walled off” from J Street.

Kings officials indicated that they think the project will ease such concerns.

JMA and the Kings expect to break ground on the tower and the rest of the development sometime next spring and have the project done by October 2016, in time for the scheduled arena opening.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

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