A drawing shows the planned hotel and residential tower at right, next to the site of a sports arena, left, being built at Downtown Plaza in Sacramento. The development will include retail shops, restaurants and a possible rooftop garden. Sacramento
A drawing shows the planned hotel and residential tower at right, next to the site of a sports arena, left, being built at Downtown Plaza in Sacramento. The development will include retail shops, restaurants and a possible rooftop garden. Sacramento

Arena

Upscale Kimpton chain will operate Sacramento Kings’ downtown hotel

By Dale Kasler

dkasler@sacbee.com

April 13, 2015 11:37 AM

The Sacramento Kings always said they wanted to go upscale with the hotel they’re building next to their new downtown arena.

And so they have.

Ending months of speculation, the Kings and development partner JMA Ventures said Monday that the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants chain will operate the 250-room hotel being developed at Downtown Plaza.

Kimpton, based in San Francisco, is a boutique hotel operator whose properties are known for luxury accommodations and stylish decor. The company was recently sold to Britain’s InterContinental Hotels Group for $430 million.

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“Securing a world-renowned brand like Kimpton builds momentum for the project and the entire Sacramento region,” said Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive in a prepared statement. “Many hotel brands submitted proposals, but we ultimately felt that Kimpton was best suited to help us deliver stellar hospitality.”

Kimpton runs more than 60 hotels. Its nine hotels in San Francisco include the landmark Sir Francis Drake and the chic Hotel Palomar, south of Market Street. This will be Kimpton’s first Sacramento hotel.

The Kings made it clear from the beginning that they wanted their hotel development to be an upscale project. “Sacramento is in need of four-star hotels,” team president Chris Granger told The Sacramento Bee in February.

Kimpton is at the forefront of the boutique movement, which stresses relatively small hotels stocked with posh amenities and located in fashionable areas.

Tom Callahan of PKF Consulting USA, a hospitality company that is consulting with JMA Ventures on the project, said the proximity to the arena and a soon-to-be revitalized Downtown Plaza retail scene will help make the hotel a success.

“It’s part of a mixed-use project and all of the parts help each other,” Callahan said. He compared the area surrounding the Kings arena to L.A. Live, the downtown Los Angeles entertainment district which includes a Ritz-Carlton and other hotels.

The Kings and JMA plan to spend about $250 million on the hotel and surrounding retail development. The 16-story hotel will include office space and 69 condominium units. It is scheduled to open in October 2016, the same time as the $477 million arena.

“We’re truly excited to be part of the tremendous growth and urban revitalization currently happening in Sacramento,” Kimpton Chief Executive Mike DeFrino said in a prepared statement.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.