SBD/August 9, 2013/Facilities

NBA Kings Want Eminent Domain Used To Secure Remaining Land Needed For New Arena

The NBA Kings ownership group after months of negotiations has been "unable to close the deal on buying the remaining parcel at Downtown Plaza seen as vital to the development of a new arena," and now the team wants the city to "provide its threat of eminent domain as a potential negotiating tactic," according to a front-page piece by Lillis & Kasler of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The team wants to "remain on track to open the facility" by '16, and thus is "asking City Hall to assist in the talks." Kings officials on Thursday said that they "anticipated seeking the city's help in negotiating a purchase of the building that houses a Macy's men's clothing and furniture store from a New York-based real estate firm that took control of the property in foreclosure last year." Under an agreement "scheduled for a vote before the City Council on Tuesday, the Kings would reimburse the city for all costs incurred in the process." The eminent domain option is a "rare -- but not unprecedented -- method," and if it were used, it would "require City Council approval." Sacramento Assistant City Manager John Dangberg said that the Kings had "hoped to close a deal to buy the store in May or June and that an agreement between the sides had been tentatively reached." However, that deal "eventually fell apart" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/9).
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