Friday, October 22, 2010

Railyards Update 349

The difficulty with getting large public/private projects done in downtown Sacramento continues, as the railyards saga re-enters bizarro land, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

An excerpt.

“An Illinois investment company is poised to take control of Sacramento's downtown railyard today in an auction that would make the newcomer an instant major player in Sacramento real estate and politics.

“Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he's eager to quiz Inland American Real Estate executives about plans they may have for the site, as well as the company's potential willingness to help get a downtown arena built.

“And state officials say they want to hear what Inland has in mind for the site before they decide to release tens of millions of dollars in redevelopment grant funds now on hold for the massive downtown railyard property.

“Inland could take ownership of most of the 240-acre railyard at a foreclosure auction on the county courthouse steps this afternoon.

“The current owner, Thomas Enterprises, failed this year to make a balloon payment on $185 million in loans from Inland.

“Atlanta-based Thomas Enterprises bought the site from the Union Pacific Railroad in 2006, and has been slowly preparing the land for development. Company representatives did not respond to Bee requests for comment Thursday.

“Inland can, however, postpone or call off the auction, if it wants more time to negotiate with Thomas, county officials said.”