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Sacramento Wins Eminent Domain Case, Gets Last Piece of Land Needed for Arena

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It’s officially game-on for the City of Sacramento and its plan to build a new arena for its beloved NBA team now that a judge has given it the rights to the old Macy’s Men’s store in Downtown Plaza.

“This was a step that if we had not gotten possession. Could have caused some significant problems moving forward so this step is a significant win for the city,” Sacramento City Attorney James Sanchez said.

His office had eight of its 26 lawyers dedicated to all the specialized parts of this case.

With the rest of the plaza secured, the store was the last parcel needed by the city to make the site into a new $ 448 million, 24/7 attraction – all on a tight NBA timetable.

After a tentative eminent domain ruling signaled a win for the city Tuesday, hinting at a resolution of its dispute with the store’s owners, Judge Raymond Cadei hit pause Wednesday.

He said he needed more time to consider an issue raised by the lawyer for the investors who own the store.

Attorney George Speir tried to attack wording in the ‘resolution of necessity’ the city filed with its eminent domain suit.

“They say quite clearly they are not taking the building. My client owns the building,” Speir said Wednesday.

“Kind of arguing out of both sides of your mouth, to a certain extent,” Judge Cadei said, in part of his reaction to the new arguments presented Wednesday.

With his final ruling Thursday Judge Cadei agreed that the record showed Sacramento was clear in what it needed to build the King’s future.

But, he also asked for the word ‘building’ to be added to the final paperwork before he signs off on it.

There is an avenue for the investors to appeal through a writ casting it this case as an urgent matter.

“My sense is that it would be difficult for a court of appeal to decide that at this stage,” said Sanchez since the store’s closed and the value was the real sticking point for the owners, not the right to take possession.

The city filed its eminent domain suit in January after its $4.35 million offer for the property at 600 ‘K’ street was turned down.

Now a jury trial will determine the parcel’s value.

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