SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The City of Sacramento officially filed a suit for eminent domain against property owners it says are in the way of a new downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

The City Council gave the go-ahead on this next step during its Tuesday meeting, during which a representative of one of the current property owners echoed their dissent to the action from a Jan. 2 letter.

The city says the fair market value has been established by an independent appraiser and that this step was necessary as they haven’t received a counteroffer for the vacant property at 6oo K Street.

That property used to house a Macy’s Menswear store that has since moved. It’s currently owned by CalPERS and another investment entity.

The city says the suit will not add to its $258 million share of constructing the Entertainment and Sports Complex in Downtown Plaza.

The construction of a new arena in was a key linchpin in keeping the team in Sacramento. Outgoing NBA Commissioner David Stern said if an arena isn’t constructed by 2017, the league could revisit its decision to keep the team in Sacramento.

A referendum promoted by Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed To Pork is in the works to put the proposed arena and the city’s $258 million subsidy to a vote on the November ballot.

A significant portion of the gathered signatures for the initiative had been counted, but recent concerns about the phrasing of the initiative used by different gatherers may mean the process will have to restart.

The group has been criticized for its ties to Seattle investor Chris Hansen, who was a major proponent of moving the Kings to Seattle in the offseason. Hansen was revealed as a mystery donor who contributed $100,000 to STOP, drawing complaints from the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He was ordered to pay $50,000 for his involvement. 

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