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Business Journal: ThinCI Secures $65 Million In Venture Capital, Future Of CalPERS 40-Story Tower In Doubt, New High Rise At 9th And O

Dennis McCoy / Sacramento Business Journal

Construction has started on a 20-story office building in downtown Sacramento. It will replace the Resources Building near 9th and O streets.

Dennis McCoy / Sacramento Business Journal

El Dorado Hills Based ThinCI Gets $65 Million Boost 

An artificial intelligence company in El Dorado Hills has raised $65 million in venture capital funding to expand and hire more engineers. The company is called ThinCI. Scott Rodd from the Sacramento Business Journal says it develops hardware and software for machine learning applications. "Its first customers are in the auto industry, but the CEO says their chips have application in video surveillance, security, data centers, robotics and agriculture as well," says Rodd.

ThinCI's been around since 2010 but has kept a relatively low profile. Analysts say with the announcement of the $65 million investment, and the anticipated announcement about partnerships and details on the company’s business plans, ThinCI is poised to remain a prominent player in the Sacramento region's tech industry.

CalPERS Board Not Fully In Agreement On 301 Capitol Mall Project 

Some internal disagreement at CalPERS about a high-rise the agency is proposing to build along downtown Sacramento's Capitol Mall may be stalling the project. The Wall Street Journal is reporting three CalPERS board members voted against the proposed 40-story tower in a board meeting, citing a study that the return on investment would be too low. CalPERS owns the property. Rodd says the project's future is still unclear.

"CalPERS has not offered any updates on their plans, and the project’s developer, CIM Group, said they are focusing on developing updated drawings and securing lease agreements," says Rodd. "Official plans for the tower have not been filed with the city, and the project does not appear to have secured a major tenant, which would likely be required for financing."

The proposed building would be the region’s tallest, with apartments and office space. CalPERS is the state agency that handles pension and health benefits for more than 1.5 million public employees.

New Resources Building High-Rise Under Construction

Construction is underway on a 20-story high-rise in downtown Sacramento. It’s replacing an existing structure known as the Resources Building near 9th and O streets and is being built on the site of a former parking lot.

"The new high-rise will be bordered by 7th, 8th, O and P streets," says Rodd. "The Resources Building houses about 3,400 state employees. Those employees will move to the new building following its completion, which is set for 2021." 

Site preparation on the $600 million building has already started, and vertical construction is expected to begin this month.

Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren Appealing Decision In Wells Fargo Case

Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren owes more than half-a-million dollars to a law firm for legal representation in a drawn-out court battle against Wells Fargo. According to recent court filings, Warren appears to owe over $650,000 to a Rancho Cordova-based law firm, Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans, for its representation of Warren in a lawsuit with Wells Fargo.

"Warren has a long history with Wells Fargo," says Rodd. "In the mid-2000s, Warren built several area residential subdivisions with financing from the bank, and in 2005 secured $9.5 million in loans from Wells to purchase two area apartment complexes."

"But the relationship between Warren and the bank soured following the housing market crash, when Warren was reportedly unable to repay some of his loans, the bank alleges," says Rodd. "Wells has filed numerous legal actions against the councilman in recent years." 

In January, a county superior court judge issued a judgment in favor of Wells Fargo for more than $2 million in the case, but Warren says he is in the process of appealing that decision.

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

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