Natomas group pushing for Sleep Train Arena to become new site of Sacramento Zoo

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NATOMAS, Calif. (KTXL) -- The director of the Sacramento Zoo has said they plan on moving and one group believes the old Sacramento Kings arena site is the perfect location.

"The Natomas community was promised by the city and the Kings that there would be a shovel-ready project for that location by the time Golden 1 (Center) opened its doors,” said Brandy Tuzon Boyd, the co-founder of We Want a Zoo. “The Kings are now in their third season and we're no closer to having something defined going forward for that location."

The lack of a firm plan for the Sleep Train Arena has taken some of the sheen off the Kings' new arena for the people of Natomas.

”That's kind of been sitting empty for a while now,” said Natomas resident Briana Ransom. “I feel like it should be created into something. It's kind of just there."

Ransom would support the mixed-use plan just updated by the Kings last month.

"We could use a lot more shopping centers," she said.

Many of Ransom’s nearby neighbors disagree and have been organizing for a year to help the Sacramento Zoo move to the Sleep Train site.

"We cannot support the current proposal," Boyd said. "It has everything from landscape and lighting to housing and retail."

The We Want a Zoo group said there is no need for more retail with too many empty storefronts already in their area.

They’re also against the current housing concept.

"So, the high-density housing would be multi-stories, up to seven stories tall,” Boyd said. “That's not really fitting with what North Natomas master plan community guidelines currently state."

In the past, representatives from the Kings have said they have not ruled out the idea of a zoo. But they did not respond to FOX40’s request for comment Friday as the We Want a Zoo group prepared for a Monday community meeting with team lawyers. Zoo directors were also not commenting Friday.

In May, the city approved a $150,000 economic feasibility study, which is now underway on three possible new sites for the zoo, with Sleep Train included.

The grassroots We Want a Zoo movement is eager for the public to understand and weigh-in on the latest ideas from the team. They're determined the Kings will be king of a manmade jungle on the North Natomas site.

"It's time for the city and the Kings to keep their promise to Natomas," Boyd told FOX40.



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