Sacramento Zoo considering a move to Elk Grove's underdeveloped SEPA employment center

The proposed relocation of the Sacramento Zoo would put the new facility near
the soon to open Sky River Casino. | 

In an announcement made today, the Sacramento Zoo is considering moving its operation to Elk Grove.

According to information released by the City of Elk Grove, over the next six months, Elk Grove and the Zoological Society will explore relocating and expanding the facility to Elk Grove. The zoo is currently located on a 14.7-acre parcel in Sacramento's Land Park neighborhood. 

If an agreement is reached, the new zoo will be located in south Elk Grove in the Kammerer Urban Design Study Area, part of the city’s Southeast Policy Area (SEPA). The site is an approximately 60-acre northern portion of a 98-acre parcel located at the northwest intersection of Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway. 

To facilitate the possible relocation, Elk Grove recently secured an option to purchase the property from developer Kamilos Companies, which it would exercise if discussions with the Zoological Society result in an agreement. That purchase option was discussed at last night's City Council meeting and approved by a 5 - 0 vote. 

The 1,200-acre SEPA planning area in Elk Grove is the largest undeveloped area in the city's current boundaries. The area is designated as an employment center, but there has been little interest from developers, particularly in the post-COVD-19 era, where more employees have become home-based. 

During last night's city council meeting, Elk Grove Economic Development Director Darrell Doan, without disclosing who was interested in the 60-acre parcel, said local developer Kamilos Company beat the city and purchased the property. As a result, the city will need to purchase the property from Kamilos after they close escrow in about 30 days. 

"Mr. Kamilos beat us to the punch," Doan admitted during his presentation. 

If the city exercises the option and purchases the parcel, it would cost about $6.6 million, according to Doan, who said the prolific developer has been gracious in his dealing with the city on the parcel. Kamilos has also been a frequent contributor to current and past Elk Grove mayors and council members. 

"He, I think, very graciously, entertained our desire to buy a piece of property from him," Doan said. "He's going a "flip" to us; he's not going to make a ton of money."

The current zoo has been located in Land Park for 94 years, and there are no options to expand operations. Relocation to a larger parcel in Elk Grove would allow the construction of updated and expanded facilities.  

“Our first priority is always doing what is best for the animals,” Zoological Society Board President Elizabeth Stallard said. “That commitment is driving this opportunity to provide the zoo’s animals with exceptional care in a larger, more modern facility that can better meet their needs and, in turn, inspire and connect more people with the natural world."  

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

There's gonna be so many people falling all over themsleves to take credit for this, we might see Twitter and Facebook crash!

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