Hole in the ground

We’re not the only ones who experienced a kind of concluding relief—whew!—when we learned that the 53-story Towers project on Capitol Mall finally was getting put out of its misery—over, finished, kaput.

It was a mere three years ago when John Saca first proposed his giant luxury condo and hotel scheme; his vision was tough to oppose. Like other “smart growth” advocates, SN&R has been banging the drum for “infill” development and mixed residential use in the downtown since forever.

But we did ask a crucial question at that time: When is a vision too grandiose for its own good?

Oh well. Despite support and financial backing from many, including an $11 million subsidy from the city of Sacramento, Saca’s best plans went soft when the local housing market did. Now CalPERS—a major financial backer of the Towers—will take over responsibility for the giant hole in the ground that remains. Attention CalPERS: The grandest, most expensive land cavity in Sacramento is yours! Please take stock and consider The Big Lessons Learned before launching ahead with some new developer’s vision for this vital downtown spot.