There haven’t been any sales or other enticing promotions for months there, but the old Macy’s Men’s store in Downtown Plaza remains the hottest arena for debate in what remains of Sacramento’s arena debate.
In its push to build the Kings a new throne in the footprint of the current mall did Sacramento properly ask to take this store by eminent domain?
“They say quite clearly they are not taking the building. My client owns the building,” trustee lawyer George Speir said Wednesday.
That’s what Speir had to say about it all as he used the city’s own resolution of necessity to try and persuade Judge Raymond Cadei to reverse the tentative ruling he issued in the city’s favor Tuesday.
For his part, Judge Cadei seemed unmoved.
“Sounds like a new argument this morning,” Judge Cadei said from the bench in Department 54.
The Macy’s Men’s store is the last parcel needed for the planned $448 million arena – one that’s escaped the city’s grasp thus far.
After failing to agree on a $4.35 million dollar price for the property and up against a tight construction schedule to meet NBA deadlines, the city filed it’s eminent domain suit in January.
CalPERS owns part of the parcel and doesn’t contest the city takeover.
The rest is owned by investors with a trust held at U.S. Bank, represented by C-III Assest Management.
Speir speaks for them.
“The burden is on the city and not on the client,” he said.
“The resolution says we’re acquiring fee simple title. What does that mean? That means everything,” argued David Skinner, another lawyer for the city.
When it comes to Speir’s notion that the city’s request for the building itself wasn’t made plain, Sacramento’s lawyers were adamant.
“There’s no doubt about that. It was extremely clear,” said Matthew Ruyak, assistant city attorney.
If Sacramento is granted eminent domain, a jury will decide the value of the old Macy’s men’s store.
Wednesday morning when he decided to review this case further, Judge Cadei said only that he’ll issue a ruling as soon as he can.