The Sacramento City Council is expected to consider spending up to $340 million on improvements to the Convention Center, its theater and the Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday.
While the plans for the Community Center Theater and Memorial Auditorium remain unchanged from two years ago, the proposal for the Sacramento Convention Center has evolved — and the price tag for the three combined projects has increased by as much as $120 million.
The city says the cost for the Convention Center was previously about $120 million, until the decision was made to demolish the portion of the building that was built in 1974. The contractor, AECOM-Hunt, also identified deficiencies that added to the cost.
City project manager Desmond Parrington listed off some of the to-do list: "The whole fire alarm and smoke control system had to be upgraded, the Wi-Fi system, the cellular, the audio-visual, the carpeting needed to be replaced. It needed to be repainted on the inside.”
That's at least $60 million. Parrington says another $40 million is for a new ballroom, which has been added to the plans at the request of hotel operators.
"The hotels said we believe that this is really important to have the ballroom as part of the Convention Center and you need to build it now and not part of a later phase," Parrington said.
Hotel owners have already started the process to create a special assessment district to pay for the ballroom.
The city would be on the hook for the remainder of the three projects, which could total $300 million.
If the hotel industry negotiates the legal hurdles of creating an assessment district, the city council could be asked to approve the sale of bonds in September.
If approval is granted and bonds are issued, construction on the Community Center Theater would begin in February 2019. The first demolition work would begin on the convention center in December of this year.
City council will also consider the results of an environmental impact report that was required because of the demolition.
Both buildings would be open during construction until July. The theater would reopen in September of 2020. The convention center would reopen in November 2020.
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