Saturday, August 08, 2009
8th & K Hotel $34M Subsidy
On Tuesday the 11th the city council will hear a pitch from developer Bob Leach to build a 409-room hotel on K Street. The proposal also includes a six story parking garage on the corner of 8th & L Street with future expansion of three stories of residential to be built on top of it later. This $136 million hotel project asking for $34 million in city subsidies, $14 million land donation plus $20 million in future tax forgiveness. This current proposal sounds similar to nearly every other proposal in downtown that can't be built unless millions are given to a developer in handouts from the government. Bob Leach has also teamed up with downtown businessman Mohammed “Moe” Mohanna on this proposal where last year he lost a law suite against the city for this same 8th & K St. property. This happen when Moe’s balked at an agreed apon property swap after a fire and then subsequent demolition of one of his properties.
The list is long in how may developments in downtown Sacramento have needed subsidies before they can even lift a shovel. It’s now become the status quo for nearly all projects in downtown to be built this way and I think it's absurd to pay no taxes when everyone else has to pay them. I also personally hate the idea of this parking garage even if a couple retail stores are to be included in the structure. The eight story parking garage at 8th & J St. has two retail shops on the ground floor but is a far cry from actually improving a dead zone created from the parking structure. There are numerus ways to tuck needed parking into the structure like has been done with many other towers in Sacramento. I think this proposal will look about the same as the 8th & J St. garage and will also cheapen a unique corner in the central city.
Here’s a Google street view photo of the garage at 8th & J Street that was built twenty years ago. It has two retail shops on J Street but you can hardly tell being that all you see is a lifeless structure.
Our city deserve something better, I hope our city council and Mayor also feel the same.