By Lemor Abrams

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — J Street—Home of the fancy citizen hotel, the Golden 1 Credit Union, and some say, the most blighted block in Downtown.

“We’re at the gateway to Sacramento, and you don’t see something that paints Sacramento in a good light,” said Louis Mirante.

Instead, the housing advocate says the 1000 block of J Street between 10th and 11th streets is an eyesore. Vacant buildings. Vandalism. And a vision that’s being neglected.

“You really just come away with a feeling that the person who owns them is not fulfilling any public responsibility he might have to the community,” he said.

The building owner received approval to build a high rise development complete with condos and a hotel. But that was 10 years ago.

Now the city gave him a new timeline. He has until June to break ground on the project or lose his entitlements, his permits to build.

So what’s the holdup? The developer’s spokesman spoke to us on the phone.

“We’d like to demolish much of that blight,” said Eric Rasmusson, speaking for Developer John Saca.

But the spokesman claims the city won’t let the developer demolish until the plan is fully funded.

It’s a $220 million project. The developer wants a $30 million subsidy from the city.

“Most projects downtown require a subsidy,” he said.

The city councilman who represents this part of downtown says he’s been advised not to comment.

As for Mirante, he’s holding out hope that the city’s six-month deadline will put the pressure on the developer to do something.

“We could turn this neighborhood back into a good neighborhood and frankly not building housing on this particular lot is a big barrier to that,” he said.

The developer has 10 days to appeal. If he loses, a new developer would have to start all over – to obtain all new permits.


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