More Than Three Minutes Podcast: The Zoo and other things in Elk Grove Part I - Remember the ghost mall?

This week Elk Grove News's regular Saturday's feature Elk Grove News Minute will be available tomorrow. We invite you to listen to Lynn Wheat's More Than Three Minutes Podcast. A four part series called The Zoo and other things in Elk Grove kicks off with Part I - Remember the ghost mall?

Mentioned several times during the May 8, 2024 Elk Grove City Council meeting when the relocation of the Sacramento Zoo was approved, Councilmember Kevin Spease several times referenced Elk Grove's so called "ghost mall." In part I, you'll hear more background on the ghost mall.

Ed. note - The mall was approved by the Elk Grove City Council in 2006. 

Listen Time 4 minutes

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

Unfortunately, the five on the Elk Grove City Council were nowhere in sight during the mall era. That is why it is even more important they learn from historians like Lynn Wheat.

Sadly, the mall isn’t the only example. What about the millions spent on the original grandiose civic center plans when the Elk Grove City Council hired famed architect Zaha Hadid? I venture to guess the current Elk Grove City Council doesn’t have a clue what occurred.

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Thanks to Councilmember Spease for revisiting the mall's history, which is now the location of the Sky River Casino. Mr. Spease had a slightly different vantage point than Ms. Wheat.

Understandably, Mr. Spease was concerned about the political ramifications of that ghost mall situation. Ms. Wheat's view was more sublime.

In 2006, General Growth Properties was the largest American mall developer when the city council approved the project. Even though there were no signed leases, the council proceeded. After all, GGP was a reputable, internationally recognized developer.

Ms. Wheat's sublime point was that GGP was reputable, had a track record, and had the money to start building the facility with or without leases. The 2006 city council took them at their word and approved the project. Outside of people like Dr. Michael Burry, M.D., who had any idea of the economic calamity that would happen in just two years, and yet it did.

So now we have the Sacramento Zoological Society with no track record of raising anything near $50,000,000 and only $2,000,000 in hand. While the 2006 city council incorrectly placed faith in the NYSE-traded company with a long history, which blew up in their faces, what does that say about the zoological society with no history or track record of raising such a massive amount of funds?

When pressed about coming up with the money before any dirt gets turned, the zoo representatives were curiously indignant. If this isn't a red flag that the zoological society is flakey about sharing the money it promised to raise, much less their ability to raise that amount, what is?

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