Conceptual drawing of Downtown Plaza arena exterior (AECOM)

The new owners of the Sacramento Kings are taking another major step in the process toward building a brand new arena for the team.  According to the Sacramento Bee, the investor group led by Vivek Ranadivé is purchasing the Downtown Plaza.

Mark Friedman, one of the Kings’ newest owners, told the Bee that the investor team has “a contract to purchase the site”, with the exception of the Macy’s men’s and furniture store at the plaza’s west end,.  JMA will however continue to operate the aging mall.

JMA Ventures will remain a partner in the development project, Friedman said, and will bring retail and lifestyle mall development expertise to the broader project, which sits on six key blocks downtown between 4th and 7th streets, and J and L streets. Most of the existing Downtown Plaza structures will be torn down. The arena is expected to be situated in the center of the site, taking up less than two blocks.

“The nice thing is there is a complete identity of ownership between the arena and all the surrounding uses,” Friedman said. “JMA will be working as our developer/consultant to make these recommendations.”

Friedman said his personal company, Fulcrum Property, will serve as arena developer for the new Kings ownership group, which is led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive.

JMA purchased the Downtown Plaza last August for approximately $21.7 million.  The purchase price of the site by the Ranadivé group remains unknown at this time.

Update: 8:37 pm

The Bee’s Ryan Lillis is reporting that JMA is backing off earlier confirmation that they plan to sell the plaza to the Ranadivé Group.