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30Q: What's new at the Golden 1 Center?

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Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger joins us to chat about the Golden 1 Center and the Downtown Commons.

courtesy of Rios Clementi Hale Studios

The new home of the Sacramento Kings is coming along nicely. We reached out to Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger to get an update on the construction and the surrounding area of the arena, now known as the Downtown Commons (DOCO).

The Downtown Commons concept was recently released, can you paint a picture of what fans are going to see in this area as they walk up to the arena for a game?

We hope DOCO becomes Sacramento's gathering place. On event days and non-event days, from morning coffee to after-dinner drinks, think of DOCO as our town square, our communal fireplace. We look forward to hosting a wide range of community-oriented events and activities: everything from outdoor concerts and movies to ice-skating and farmers markets … and maybe a few other surprises.

When do you expect all of the aspects of the Downtown Commons to be complete? Is this something that will continue into 2017-18?

DOCO will be a big part of our opening night at Golden 1 Center. Restaurants and retail will begin to open late summer and fall of 2016. We expect to open the hotel in the winter of 2017 in advance of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. But DOCO will always be evolving, and we will continue to look for ways to add to the fun.

This will be the first Sacramento location for Punch Bowl Social, Pour Society and Sauced BBQ and Spirits. Why were these establishments chosen and what will make them unique in this new core area of downtown?

Driven by enormous input from our fans, we've dedicated countless hours to find a unique balance of fun, food, entertainment and energy. By bringing the best of culture, dining, entertainment, drinks, gaming and of course, the best basketball for the best fans in basketball, Sacramento will have a new place to celebrate the city and have fun as a community.

It was also announced that Paragary, Selland's, LowBrau and Star Ginger will be providing concessions at the arena. Will their food be available at every concession stand or is it more for the suites, etc. and will there be other concessions announced in the near future?

Their food will be found throughout the arena at multiple concession stands, as well as various clubs and in the suites. But we aren't done yet. We'll have more announcements from additional local partners in the near future.

Why was it important to have these local companies involved?

We've always said that this project must be "Uniquely Sacramento" ... something to showcase the best of the region. We'll have some Sacramento food favorites right next to classic arena cuisine. To not include farm-to-fork cuisine and fail to embrace local, sustainable farmers, would have been a massive miss in our eyes.

What about the building itself? The exterior panels are going up now. Will there be a final finish put on them or is how they look now be how they will look when the arena is done?

As each day passes, the arena continues to take shape. The exterior façade of the Golden 1 Center is a combination of metal and glass panels. The white panels that are currently being installed are not the finished product and will be covered over by a finished metal panel with intricate leaf patterns, saluting of our "City of Trees" nickname in Sacramento. I have seen the test panels and they are beautiful.

Will these panels be part of the solar effort of the entire arena?

The panels that make up the exterior of the arena are much different from the solar on the roof. Our legacy partners at SPI produced an innovative solution to a complex problem. They've figured out how to maximize solar production on an unnatural surface - a curved roof. The array on the roof will generate more than 1.2 million kilowatt hours of energy per year.

Can you talk about the solar aspects and aspirations of this facility?

Sustainability is another one of our uniquely Sacramento elements. When we began planning Golden 1 Center, we held countless focus groups throughout the community. Not surprisingly, sustainability and renewable energy was at or near the top of the list of what matters to this region. Now, we have a chance to take advantage of all the resources Sacramento's climate gives us like the Delta Breeze and over 300 days of sunshine. In addition, we are trying to be smart about water and its usage throughout DOCO and Golden 1 Center.

When will the arena's roof be complete?

The high roof assembly started with the massive box trusses. Crews are continuing to place steel decking to form the structure. Solar crews will begin installing the array in early spring 2016 and throughout next summer.

What will be the next exterior change we will notice in terms of the construction?

The exterior façade will continue to be installed and wrap around the building. This fall, construction crews will install the iconic glass hangar doors that will give us our indoor/outdoor feel.

When will we begin to see the hotel going vertical?

Test piles have been completed and the production pile phase has begun. Expect to see vertical columns starting on the garage levels of the mixed-use tower in late November.