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Sacramento developer joins Kings, arena effort

SACRAMENTO (KTXL) — The day after it was announced that Ron Burkle would no longer be directly involved in Sacramento’s effort to keep the Kings and build a new downtown arena, a local developer has joined.

Developer Mark Friedman is now a part of the investor group, led by Vivek Ranadive and Mark Mastrov.

Friedman’s family, according to The Sacramento Bee, controls the Arden Fair mall.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Friedman expressed excitement about the arena project for both downtown and Natomas, where Sleep Train Arena currently sits.

He echoed sentiments brought up weeks ago that the Natomas site could be used for a technology company campus, hoping tech businesses will take a look at Sacramento as a possible home.

Mayor Johnson told reporters that Friedman’s name was brought up at the NBA committee meeting in New York, and that the league seemed pleased.

Friedman joins the day after Burkle left the group amid concerns of a conflict of interest. Burkle is an owner of a company that manages the careers of pro athletes.

Burkle will now be more indirectly involved, helping develop the area of downtown surrounding the planned area site.

“The timing of Burkle’s announcement honestly had nothing to with my decision,” Friedman said. He reiterated that he’d been independently interested for some time and decided to join after “thoughtfully” considering everything.

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