Conceptual drawing of Downtown Plaza arena exterior (AECOM)

In the effort to build a new downtown arena, the Sacramento Kings are receiving some assistance from the city to acquire a critical piece of land needed for the project.  Last night, the Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 in favor of agreeing to help the team in its negotiations to purchase the Macy’s Men Store at the Downtown Plaza.

Councilmembers Jay Schenirer, Angelique Ashby, Bonnie Pannell, Steve Hansen, Steve Cohn, Allen Warren and mayor Kevin Johnson voted to pass the agreement.  Councilmen Darrell Fong and Kevin McCarty voted against.

The agreement ensures the city fiscal protections that may come with acquiring the land.  The Kings have agreed to repay the city any costs associated with purchasing the property.  If the city comes to an agreement with the store’s owners to buy the land, a future vote will be made by the council to decide such action.

The city of Sacramento could also aid the Kings in their negotiations by threatening legal action against the owners of the property, Island Capital and its subsidiary, C-III.  The Sacramento Bee reported this weekend that the city might use its threat of eminent domain, a power to seize private property without an owner’s consent for public purposes, in the talks.

Despite the hangup in negotiations, the arena project is still on schedule according to city manager John Shirey.  An appraisal to determine the market value of the L St. property is also underway.

“The Kings anticipated being able to close on that property some months ago, making offers to the owners but not being able to make that deal work,” Shirey told council at last night’s meeting.  ”And so then, they’ve stepped in to ask us to help out.”

The Macy’s Mens Store, located on 600 L. St in Downtown Sacramento, is in the process of closing down.  Its lease expires on October 1st and the company is currently relocating the shop’s inventory over to the Macy’s Women’s Store on the other side of the mall.