Perfect, a local developer gets the lead role in developing one of the most important projects in recent Sacramento history, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
“Mark Friedman is a home-grown developer with a famous family name, a Harvard-trained intellect and a reputation for panache.
“Son of one of Sacramento’s premier power couples of the last half-century – the late Mort Friedman and his wife Marcy Friedman, philanthropists and owners of Arden Fair mall – the younger Friedman has made a name for himself the last 20 years building housing, offices and retail sites around the region with the stated lofty aim of creating community.
“Suddenly, that all seems like prelude.
“Friedman, 56, has been chosen by the incoming Sacramento Kings owners group for the biggest task of his career: creating one of Sacramento’s most important civic structures. A team investor himself, he will oversee design and construction of a $448 million sports and entertainment arena at the Downtown Plaza site. His group also will have a heavy say on what gets built around the arena.
“Friedman says he envisions the faded shopping mall being rebuilt into a vibrant regional town square, “the kind of place where, when something big happens in the community, people say, ‘Let’s go there.’ ”
“In his mind, it would be Sacramento’s version of Times Square, San Francisco’s Union Square, or Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
“But time is short. In its frantic effort to win NBA approval to buy the Kings and keep them in town, Friedman’s ownership group, led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive, promised it would have the arena open for the 2016 basketball season.
“First, the project must undergo lengthy environmental review and win final City Council approval, while facing opposition from some in the community who contend the city is investing much more than the officially stated subsidy of $258 million.
“And then there is the construction, which is expected to take two years. The city will own the arena, and the Kings’ owners will build it and absorb any cost overruns.
“Standing at Seventh and K streets last week, Friedman said he feels overwhelmed, but excited.
“It’s like being at the base camp of Mount Everest, looking up at the summit,” he said. “I know that we’re going to get there. I don’t know how.”
“He laughed. “We’ll take it one step at a time.”