Natomas Eyesores Could Soon Be Razed

ABANDONED TGI FRIDAY’S & SONIC DRIVE-IN CONSTRUCTION MARKS “GATEWAY” TO NATOMAS.
Two abandoned construction sites that have marred the Natomas landscape for years could be razed soon if city officials have their way.

At issue: Commercial properties where unfinished buildings have deteriorated over time and created a community eyesore.

The most visible of these two sites is located at Gateway Park Boulevard and Truxel Road, just off Interstate 80, was being developed by Kobra Properties. Work first stalled on the Gateway project in 2008 when the Roseville-based firm ran into money troubles; the company later declared bankruptcy and the property went into foreclosure.

The site is where a TGI Friday’s and Sonic Drive-In were planned now sits behind a cyclone fence dotted with signs. The two abandoned and weathered wooden structures are surrounded by construction debris and even a toppled portable toilet left behind by builders.
CYCLONE FENCE SURROUNDING “STONEHENGE.”
The second site was also being developed by Kobra Properties to house medical offices tucked on Benefit Way, just off East Commerce, is referred to by city officials as “Stonehenge” and visible from Interstate 5. This site is considered unsafe as the rebar has separated from the cement and the multi-story walls are still being held up by supports meant for temporary use.

Natomas-area residents have long complained about the appearance of both locations and cleaning them up has been a priority for District One Councilwoman Angelique Ashby since taking office in November. (Roseville city officials also seek cleanup of abandoned Kobra projects.)

“The commitment of the District One office is to remove those structures because they represent blight and a dangerous condition to the community,” Ashby told the Natomas Buzz.

The Sacramento city attorney’s office is working with Exchange Bank, which reclaimed ownership of the Gateway property in September 2010, and Trigild, a San Diego-based company specializing in distressed property managing the Natomas Pointe Plaza receivership. Both sites have racked up thousands of dollars in code enforcement fees for weed and litter abatement.

Jeff Owen, special assets manager for Exchange Bank, confirmed Thursday one of his representatives was in Sacramento this week meeting with city officials to clarify next steps. He said the city is asking Exchange Bank clear the Gateway site of all vertical structures, including foundations.

“We are in the process of getting demolition bids,” said Owen.

Trigild’s director of real estate projects Eric Karnes, however, would not confirm any plans to follow suit with the Natomas Pointe Plaza property.

Said Karnes, “We are waiting for the city to get back to us on how to resolve the issue in a way that works best for both parties.”
IN A JULY 2010 READER SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE NATOMAS BUZZ, 92 PERCENT SAID THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO SHOULD TAKE ACTION TO CLEANUP THE GATEWAY EYESORE.


Related Stories: 

What’s Going On With TGI Fridays and Sonic? (10/25/2008)

It’s Not Gonna Happen… (12/8/2008)

Truxel Eyesore Topic Of New Natomas Buzz Survey (7/19/2010)