SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New renderings of a Sacramento Kings arena were the talk of the annual State of Downtown speech.
Keynote speaker and developer Tim Romani says to be successful, the proposed arena must truly represent Sacramento.
“This is a building that Rob [Rothblatt] and the AECOM team designed to showcase worldwide, but this has to work for Sacramento- this has to be a building that all of you can embrace.”
Rothblatt says the inspiration for the arena’s design comes from California’s natural beauty, and he believes this building will showcase the very best the region has to offer.
“I think everybody who grew up here like I did—you just think of nature.” he said. “It’s the delta, it’s the foothills, it is just the physical power of the Sierras. And that’s in our building.”
Lisa Musilli-Johnson is opening a new business, and she wants it to be downtown, next to the Kings’ new arena.
“I’m so excited,” she said.
The city is hoping the excitement of transforming stale streets into something sparkling will create a financial windfall.
Critics of the arena plan see a different kind of financial outlook.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Treasurer Russel Fehr said the city is currently carrying $2 billion in debt, and that’s before borrowing around $200 million more to give to the Kings. With interest, that $200 million would ultimately cost the city $700 million to pay off.
But looks won’t do it alone. Romani believes it’s what happens around the iconic building that will help transform Sacramento’s core.
“It has to be sustainable collaboration. It can’t just be everybody rallies around one arena project. Everyone has to come together to redo downtown,” he said. “The arena is the catalyst for it, but every building built has to have the same level of support.”
Romani says the development downtown must include housing, but he says people won’t move in if they don’t feel safe.
“The idea is when the arena opens, there should be some other development that should be ready to go as well,” he said.