The Sacramento City Council has already shown its willingness to open its bank account for the development of a new downtown sports arena. It’s now showing a willingness to go to court for the project as well.

By a 7-2 vote, the Sacramento City Council agreed Tuesday night to join the Sacramento Kings in negotiating with the owner of the Macy’s furniture and men’s clothing store at the Downtown Plaza over the purchase of the soon-to-be vacant property.

That building, situated near the eastern end of the mall at 600 K St., is needed by the Kings and the city to build a proposed $448 million arena at the mall.

The city’s involvement in the talks carries with it a key negotiating tool: the threat of seizing control of the property through eminent domain. While describing that tactic as a last resort, city officials said they could seek to condemn the property if attempts to purchase the store fall apart.

Reported by Ryan Lillis of theĀ Sacramento Bee