A commercial property owner in Johnston Business Park, Sacramento, took its own initiative to deal with the neighboring encampments that were unhoused earlier this year. He bought the land underneath them.
Kristie Kuechler is vice president of asset-management at Campbell's Dan Caputo Co. She said that three months ago, the company bought a strip of land on the bottom of the Levee, south of Lathrop Way.
She said that, for them, the issue was safety. She described how, before purchasing the RV, one had exploded in the camp. Women didn't like to walk home at night.
It is a relatively narrow plot of land that is only.75 acres in size. This makes it unusable. The American River Flood Control District declared it surplus and sold it to a Dan Caputo Co. entity in February, for $800.
Dan Caputo Co. asked the city for four years to do something regarding camps in this area. Kuechler stated that after receiving little response, his company decided to take the issue directly.
A spokesperson for the City of Sacramento did not immediately respond to a request for comments on the acquisition.
The company, with the help of the Sacramento Police Department, carried out the cleanup on 3 March.
She said that since the clean-up, "it is a night and day difference."
Kuechler admitted that moving residents to another location was probably the result of clearing out camps along Lathrop Way. She said, "It is a sad situation everywhere."
She said that in purely financial terms the $800 investment was worthwhile. She said that after the cleaning, the company spends less on security and trash cleanups.