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Railyards Developer Responds to Questions Over Finances

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 12, 2010

Thomas Enterprises has faced a lot of tough questions lately. On Friday, Sacramento city officials said the developer hadn’t paid its tax bill from December – or a new bill due this week. Thomas paid up that afternoon. The company is in arbitration with the city over an $80 million difference over a piece of the Railyards land. And Thomas has reportedly filed for bankruptcy protection on three large projects. But in an interview Monday in his office overlooking the Railyards, Thomas VP Suheil Totah says the project’s finances are quite healthy – thanks in large part to the millions it’s received in state and federal funding.
Totah: “We’ve done quite a bit of work within the central shop buildings; we’ve begun some of the initial grading work at site; that all began last year. And we’re getting ready to go vertical with the bridges, with the track relocation. So we’re really looking forward to a huge year this year at the Railyards.”
But at least one city council member is nervous about the project. Kevin McCarty had called for the city to withhold some of the public funds from the Railyards until the tax bills were paid in full. He’s pleased that Thomas has paid up, but says the company still has some more financial issues to work out.
McCarty:We hope that they’re able to put it together and get their financial footing in order to make it work. It is a concern to the city because it’s such an important project.”
The Railyards is the largest infill project west of the Mississippi; it includes a mix of housing, office and retail space – and potentially a new Sacramento Kings arena. The next phase of infrastructure work is expected to start next month.
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