When—and if—this land deal involving Cal Expo comes together, the benefit to the Parkway is wondrous, as there will be an entirely new residential and business area bordering an area of the Parkway that is now home to more illegal homeless campers than strolling families, and that will be a tremendous improvement and a very good thing.
An excerpt from today’s Sacramento Bee article updating the deal.
“Remember that complicated proposal from earlier this year, where developers would build a downtown arena, the State Fair would move to North Natomas and Cal Expo would become a cash-generating commercial development site?
“The plan to secure a new home for the Sacramento Kings is still alive. Representatives from the city, Cal Expo and private developers say they are making progress in first-stage discussions.
“But work is moving slowly, and despite weeks of negotiations, the sides have not agreed on language for a bill authorizing a potential sale of Cal Expo, even though a legislative deadline looms today.
“Nor, said Cal Expo officials, are they ready to make a decision on whether to sell their current site and move to the Arco Arena site in Natomas where the Kings now play.
“Representatives of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento said the senator is willing to consider sponsoring a bill to advance the project should there be an agreement. Bills can be amended after today, legislative officials said, but that would require a two-thirds vote and rule waiver.
“The man behind the complex land-swap plan, Sacramento developer Gerry Kamilos, has said legislation is needed to keep the project on schedule for a 2014 arena opening. He declined Thursday to discuss the status of the talks but said he believed 2014 remains achievable.
“Cal Expo officials also declined to comment.
“Kamilos said the arena effort is at a “roll up the sleeves” stage: “We are taking a very pragmatic and detailed approach to problem solving.”
“That included postponing a critical step this week.
“At Kamilos’ request, Cal Expo officials decided not to finalize and make public a consultant’s report on the pros and cons of moving the fair to Natomas or keeping it at Cal Expo.
“Kamilos said he wanted the consultant to view new information from a consultant he has hired, Visionmaker Worldwide, a company headed by former executives with Disney and Universal Studios. That information includes details on how a State Fair would fit on the smaller Arco site and how traffic would flow, Kamilos said.”