A new addition is coming to the downtown Sacramento skyline. Plans are in place for a 28-story hotel tower adjacent to the newly renovated Sacramento Convention Center, Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced Thursday at Visit Sacramento’s State of the Hospitality Industry event. The new hotel will be constructed on a parking lot at the corner of 15th and K streets and will rival the nearby Sheraton Grand as the tallest hotel in the city. It would connect to the Convention Center with a fourth-floor pedestrian bridge, providing much-needed hotel rooms to accommodate the city’s growing convention and tourism industry.
Despite a recent increase in conventions, sporting events and large concerts, Sacramento has long been passed over for some other major events such as the NBA All-Star game because of its lack of hotel rooms. The new hotel, with 330 rooms, will “be vital in growing our ability to expand Sacramento’s tourism-related economic impact,” said Mike Testa, president and CEO of Visit Sacramento, the region’s tourism and convention organization. The hotel will also add a feature largely missing in downtown: a rooftop bar and restaurant that will provide sweeping views of the state Capitol and downtown skyline. Along with the hotel rooms, the building will have four floors with 28 residential units, a 6,000-square-foot ballroom and meeting rooms.
The convention center reopened two years ago following a $245 million expansion and renovation funded by a 12% tax on hotel room stays. Another $100 million was spent on renovating the neighboring SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center – formerly the Community Center Theater – and nearby Memorial Auditorium.
“When we made the decision to invest hundreds of millions to expand the convention center and rebuild the Community Center Theater, there was one big piece missing and that was a convention center hotel connected to our new convention center,” Steinberg said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. “Today we begin filling in the missing piece.” The COVID-19 pandemic and negotiations over the land where the hotel will stand played a role in the project’s delay. The land is owned by AKT Development, founded by longtime powerful developer Angelo Tsakopoulos. Future hotel tax revenue generated by stays in the new hotel will help fund the project. The Sacramento City Council is expected to vote on that contribution, but it’s not clear yet how much hotel tax revenue will be requested.
“I hope it sends a very strong message that the trajectory of Sacramento is up, up, up,” Steinberg said, “and that major industries, including the NBA, see this as our future.” Gafcon, an international construction and development firm, will be the project sponsor. The company is also driving the $4 billion Seaport San Diego redevelopment in that city’s downtown. Gafcon will partner with long-time Sacramento developer Tony Giannoni, whose company led the construction of the Sutter Health corporate headquarters, the Meridian Plaza mid-rise tower on L Street and the Residence Inn downtown.
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