Kings launch plans to build at old arena site

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - — Tony Bizjak, The Sacra­mento Bee

Three years af­ter they moved down­town, the Sacra­mento Kings are ex­pected to take a key step Thurs­day to­ward fi­nally ful­fill­ing their prom­ise to re­de­velop the largely un­used Sleep Train Arena site.

The team said it is fil­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion with the city to re­zone the mas­sive 183-acre site for a va­ri­ety of po­ten­tial uses — one of which could be a zoo, which is an idea Sacra­mento Zoo of­fi­cials re­cently floated for the site.

The Kings’ ap­pli­ca­tion does not of­fer de­tails about what may go on the site, but in­cludes zon­ing for the pos­si­bil­ity of 1.2 mil­lion square feet of com­mer­cial and re­tail, as well as em­ploy­ment or of­fice sites, and no­tably, up to 2,000 hous­ing units.

The team hopes to con­duct what likely will be a year­long en­vi­ron­men­tal re­view process, and have the land ready for de­vel­op­ment this time next year. That will make the site eas­ier to pitch as “shovel ready” to ten­ants or buy­ers, they said.

“This flex­i­ble mas­ter en­ti­tle­ment plan rep­re­sents an im­por­tant step in the process to­wards en­ti­tling the Natomas site to at­tract an end user that sup­ports our re­gion,” the team’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Matina Kolokotro­nis said in a press state­ment.

“We have col­lected feed­back from city lead­ers, stake­hold­ers and in­ter­ested par­ties to de­velop a dy­namic plan that is ca­pa­ble of adapt­ing to a broad range of op­por­tu­ni­ties. We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to de­velop this plan in co­or­di­na­tion with the com­mu­nity and city lead­ers.”

Natomas Coun­cil­woman An­gelique Ashby, who has pushed the team to do some­thing big at the site, with a fo­cus on high-pay­ing jobs, said this week she has been briefed, but has not seen the Kings’ plans, and will ex­pect the com­mu­nity to have ques­tions.

“It’s a con­cern to me that it does in­clude so much (po­ten­tial for) hous­ing,” Ashby said. “That is not what I be­lieve their in­ter­est was for that space.”

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