Dan Kennedy: Sacramento Faces Three Big Decisions in '06

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The entire housing market has been in a regional slump for several months. The big home builders say spring will be the moment of truth, when home sales traditionally rise. If sales disappoint, and prices fall, it will affect jobs, retail sales, and the boomtown mentality.
In February, some 800 buyers will be asked to plunk down 10% non-refundable deposits for their hoped-for units in Capitol Towers. That’s the 53-story luxury condo project near the Sacramento River downtown. Financing must then fall in place for this half-billion dollar dreamchild of young developer John Saca.  Average unit: $600,000. His marketing captured Sacramento’s imagination, far more than any other condo proposal. The site is ready. But it could stall … and if it does, Sacramento’s cache will take a body blow.
And then there’s the Sacramento Kings … still lacking a new arena. Efforts to build one have flopped like the team itself this year. If the Maloofs announce after the season that they’re leaving, will Sacramento be viewed as a small town because it doesn’t measure up in professional sports. Or will the city shrug?
Three decision points that will leave their mark on 2006 … a year when the trendlines are otherwise looking okay.