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Arena Update: Demolition of Downtown Plaza expected to begin in May

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Turner Construction and AECOM representatives were on hand at a Sacramento Building Industry Forum this week. Demolition of Downtown Plaza and other arena-related topics were discussed.

The environmental impact report and the term sheet between the Sacramento Kings and the city of Sacramento for a new arena needs to be granted final approval by the city council in April, and after that the demolition of Downtown Plaza would begin as soon as May.

This according to Turner Construction, the company tasked with building the new downtown Sacramento arena. Representatives from Turner and AECOM, the lead architect on the building, were among the panelists at the Construction Specifications Institute's Building Industry Forum held Thursday to discuss the future of downtown and the impact of the new arena.

Chuck Baldwin, project executive at Turner Construction, told the crowd that demolition of Downtown Plaza (the future arena site) would begin in May off of L Street and that there would be no pyrotechnics involved. Pyrotechnics will not be involved at any future demolition of Sleep Train Arena either. (So if you thought you were going to be able to push the button, sorry!)

Michael Laviano, senior associate with the AECOM design team, discussed many things, including how the original plans called for the arena to be nearly all glass but that changed after it was discovered how that would cause problems with capturing heat in the facility. Solar exposure also was the reason the entrance to the arena was flipped to face the northwest. In addition, Laviano stressed the importance of using local manufacturers and materials from around the Sacramento region in the construction of the arena to avoid it looking like a spaceship landed in the middle of downtown.

Laviano also seemed to have a genuine fondness of Sacramento, stating that even though he worked on the London Games in 2012, the rally at Cesar Chavez Park last year that celebrated the Kings staying was just as exciting to him as the opening ceremonies at the Olympics. He also referred to Sacramento as one of the best "secrets of the west coast."

In other arena news, a court hearing will take place Wednesday between the city and the owners of the empty Macy's location in Downtown Plaza. The city is seeking to take control of the building using eminent domain in order to make way for the new arena. Last Monday, a judge blocked the Macy's owners' attempt to move the eminent domain hearing to a location outside of Sacramento.