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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the Innovation Park Project, which will transform the Sleep Train Arena site. 

The development will bring a mix of residential, commercial, retail, restaurants, parks, bike trails and even a school. 

Eleven community members gave public comment during the council meeting held virtually. They were overwhelmingly in favor of the project, touting the jobs, community benefits and an economic engine that will be created. 

The vote comes a few days after news that a Costco will soon arrive to a plot of land very close to the arena site. There were some apprehensions about increased traffic, but it’s believed the benefits could outweigh the concerns of more cars on the road. 

“I mean, I’m more excited to have the Costco and the hospital. I think it’s definitely a great addition to Natomas,” said Natomas resident Sherry Ochoa. 

The project approval is a huge victory in the eyes of Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby, who represents Natomas on the city council. She has been working on the plan for nearly a decade. 

She said the people of her district were patient because they wanted something that was right for the property. 

“And so I need to thank my community for trusting me and giving me 10 years to get to this solution. I am the luckiest council member in the world,” Ashby said. 

“Let’s walk out of the haze and the pall of COVID and start celebrating some of the great things that are happening here, and not let this go as another council meeting and another night. It’s a big deal,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. 

The funding plan for the project is still a work in progress. Some council members also expressed concerns about the unanswered questions about how to pay for it, but getting approval is a significant step forward in ironing out a financial plan and timeline.