Project Elevate omitted from Elk Grove City Council's priority projects report, update presented during public meeting

Aishwarya Kumar of the City of Elk Grove Innovation Department reports to Elk Grove City Council. |

Project Elevate, a high-profile proposed city-initiated project in Elk Grove, should have been included in a presentation on priority projects to the Elk Grove City Council. That advice was extended to Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her city councilmen during their January 24 meeting.

During public comment on the presentation, Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat noted the absence of the project. Additionally, Ms. Wheat chided the city for only reporting success stories and ignoring setbacks.

"In evaluations or progress reports, when we've had a priority on our list, and that particular project doesn't pan out as we anticipated, I think that should be included in the update too," Wheat suggested to instructed Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and the city council. "And I'm speaking of Project Elevate."

Wheat suggested that city staff, the mayor, or her councilmen could use their creative forces and explore alternatives to the languishing development. Elk Grove's economic development director, Darrell Doan, has been working on the project since at least 2017 with little progress.

The last glimmer of hope for the 20-acre project on Elk Grove Boulevard was extinguished last year after the Houston-based, internationally renowned developer Hines Interest ended the development negotiations agreement with the city. Since that agreement's collapse, Elk Grove has de-prioritized the project. 

In 2017, Mr. Doan contracted with Retail Strategies to help develop plans. Beyond email exchanges and vague ideas, the $50,000 contract with the Birmingham, Ala.-based consultant generated no tangible work product. 

Ms Wheat's entire comment can be seen in the video. The second video below is queued to the priority project presentation offered by the innovations department's Aishwarya Kumar. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

When one of the world's largest land development firms and the local Greek Brigade take a pass on the property, that should tell us something. When the private sector does not see a pathway to profitable success, enter the City of Elk Grove and its bottomless stack of blank checks, waving them at developers like shiny fishing lures.

As a taxpayer, I'm afraid that if they throw enough dollars and sales tax incentives at Project Elevate, one of the big fish will eventually bite. Who wins? The developers of course. But also publicity points given to the City Council and their great PR machine.

Stay tuned. Project Elevate is not dead--it's just on winter recess!

Sid Vicious said...

Don't forget about all the critters at the zoo!

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