Design Firms the World Over Considered for New Downtown Arena

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The folks behind that big red rabbit at Sacramento International Airport are about to pull an even bigger trick out of their hard hat.

Turner Construction is set to turn years of a region’s dreams about a new arena for the Kings into brick and mortar reality downtown.

The company is in the middle of building the 49ers new home in Santa Clara – a project where a sub-contractor had a fatal elevator accident in June.

Now 104 years after completing its first sports project, Turner has bested four other companies by winning the bid to build the Kings new throne.

“We in fact over the last seven years have been the largest builder in Sacramento. We’ve built 15 projects within about a ten-block radius of the arena site,” said Dale Koger, vice-president of Turner.

That fact, combined with Turner’s dominance in national sports building, made the decision easy for the selection committee.

“So we think it’s just a perfect partnership for us,” said Chris Granger, president of the Sacramento Kings.

For tenants close to the Downtown Plaza arena site, Turner’s familiarity with the area may make tedious construction timelines as perfect as they can be.

“I think our understanding and awareness of downtown … of the sensitivities of building around the residential facilities there … the retail. We will put together a noise-abatement plan,so we don’t stir up the community,” said Koger.

Some in the community may already be stirred up by word that artist renderings, which helped sell the idea of the almost $450 million proposal in April, might not be what an arena eventually looks like.

The Kings president says design firms from all over the world are being considered.

“Perhaps the arena becomes a piece of public art here,” said Granger.

Turner reps suggest five firms are in the running and that an architect for the Kings could be announced in the next few weeks.

A groundbreaking at the Downtown Plaza site is expected in August of 2014.

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