The city of Sacramento is taking another step to acquire the final piece of land needed to build a new downtown arena.  It announced today that council will vote next Tuesday on whether to file an eminent domain lawsuit over the property formerly home to the Macy’s Men’s store at the Downtown Plaza.  The land is a critical piece in the development of a new entertainment and sports center, which plans to open by fall of 2016.

  From the city’s official press release:

Today, the City of Sacramento announced that it has advised the owners of 600 K Street (former Macy’s Men’s store) that the City Council will consider a Resolution of Necessity (RON) for eminent domain at their January 7 regular meeting. This action is necessary for the City’s acquisition of the 600 K Street building, which currently sits vacant, and is critical for the planned development of a city-owned Entertainment and Sports Center and adjacent civic space at the Downtown Plaza.

The fair market value of the property has been established by an independent commercial appraiser. An offer was presented to the property owners based on that appraisal. After several months the parties have not been able to reach agreement.

“Our hope was to reach mutually acceptable terms for the acquisition of the property using fair market value as a starting point,” said John Dangberg, Assistant City Manager. “Given the importance of this project to the City and the need for this site, we are seeking assistance from the Court to gain control of the property and provide fair compensation to the property owners.”

If the City Council approves the use of eminent domain, a court action will be filed. Under eminent domain, both parties present their arguments for value and a jury determines the fair compensation. The City’s financial participation in the project will not be affected by this action and will remain fixed at $258 million. Under the predevelopment agreements between the City and Sacramento Basketball Holdings, the latter is responsible for reimbursing City predevelopment expenses including land acquisition costs. The staff report for the January 7 meeting is available on the Council agenda website.