Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Greyhound Moving Deal Announcement

Deal in the works for Greyhound station move
By Terri Hardy - thardy@sacbee.com
Published 2:16 pm PST Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A much-anticipated deal to move the Greyhound Bus station out of downtown is expected to be signed by Thursday, Mayor Heather Fargo said in an interview Tuesday.

A letter of intent between Sacramento and Danny Benvenuti, the owner of the Greyhound site at Seventh and L streets, would have the city buy out Benvenuti's lease with the bus company and build an interim depot at 300 Richards Blvd., Fargo said.

More discussions would be needed to hammer out further details, Fargo said. If the deal goes through, it would end more than 10 years of serious discussion, she said.
"This is the closest we've ever gotten, but it's not done yet," Fargo said.

It's unclear at this point how long it would take to build a new Greyhound station, which will be an interim location until permanent bus service can be located in the planned transportation hub at the downtown railyard, Fargo said.

The city owns the office building and adjoining acreage at 300 Richards Blvd. The renovated structure that's to house the temporary bus station will also soon be occupied by as many as 390 Police Department employees, including bicycle officers and the Crime Scene Investigations Unit.

Also, more than 300 Department of Development Services will relocate to the building.
Police and business leaders point to the current Greyhound station as a crime magnet, attracting drug activity and the homeless. It also is the spot where the state's Department of Corrections drops off parolees just released from prison, Fargo said.

Fargo said the location receives more calls for police service than any other single spot in the city. However, she said that a number of factors, not just Greyhound, contribute to the perception that the area is unsafe.

Some people have criticized plans to move Greyhound, saying a more isolated location will be inconvenient for travelers. However, Fargo said there will be increased bus service near the Richards Boulevard site, as well as a shuttle to City Hall. A light rail station also is planned for the area.

Restaurants and hotels also are close by, she said.

"Moving Greyhound is a big deal," Fargo said. "People have been hopeful about this for some time."