New NBA Kings Ownership Group Set To Buy Downtown Sacramento Site For New Arena
The prospective NBA Kings ownership group is buying "not only the team but also Downtown Plaza," where the group and the city "plan to build a new arena," according to a front-page piece by Bizjak, Kasler & Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Local developer Mark Friedman "declined to disclose the purchase price" between the ownership group and JMA Ventures, which currently owns the land. The sale "doesn't include the independently owned Macy's store at the west end of the plaza, or a few other adjacent buildings that are not part of the arena project site." Friedman said that the transfer of ownership from the Maloof family puts both the arena and "much of the surrounding area into a single entity's hands, making it easier to move forward on building the sports and entertainment facility along with associated development on the plaza site." Officials said that most of the existing Downtown Plaza structures will "be torn down." The arena is expected to be "situated in the center of the plaza site, taking up less than two blocks." Meanwhile, the ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive in conjunction with JMA and the city is "pushing forward with plans to build" the $448M arena at the plaza. The arena plan "faces a tight deadline" to open by fall '16. Downtown Sacramento Partnership Exec Dir Michael Ault said that JMA "stepping aside as property owner makes sense." Ault: "Now you've got the ultimate buck-stops-here opportunity with somebody who controls the team, controls the development opportunity, controls the land" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/22).