In today’s Sacramento Bee, the lack of a developer able to shepherd the project, is noted, and one hopes that the new ownership considers approaching some of the local developers who have the financing and experience needed to handle this massive project.
“A half year of uncertainty over who's in charge of the downtown Sacramento railyard ended Friday. The question now: What's next for the massive redevelopment site that has bedeviled more than one would-be developer?
“Inland American Real Estate, a deep-pocketed Illinois-based investment company, took control of the property at a foreclosure auction Friday….
“The company indicated it understands the importance of keeping the project moving forward.
"We look forward to working with the community to redevelop this important part of the city," the Inland statement read.
"Work continued at the railyard Friday on two bridges that will carry Fifth and Sixth streets into the site, opening it up for an internal road system, offices, housing and retail buildings.
“In comments Thursday, Mayor Johnson said he is looking forward to sitting down soon with the head of Inland to talk about the new owner's vision for development of the site, and to see if Inland might be interested in helping get a sports and entertainment center built in the railyard.
"We have a new partner we have to cultivate," Johnson said.
“City officials, meanwhile said they will spend the coming weeks drawing up documents that transfer entitlements and legal responsibilities from Thomas to Inland.
“Among those, they said, is the obligation for Inland to pay the city of Sacramento $2.7 million Thomas had owed the city for the city's overpayment on 33 acres of land the city is purchasing at the lower end of the railyard around the depot.
“Assistant City Manager John Dangberg said the city needs agreements signed soon so it can resuscitate its stalled plan to move the train tracks a few hundred feet north, making room for a new transit center and potentially an arena….
“Inland's arrival on scene creates a number of questions. Inland is an investment company and property owner, but not a developer, observers say.
“The company likely will have to hire a developer to manage the railyard project. Inland has declined to say whether it plans to hire a local developer or bring someone in from outside Sacramento.”