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A look at move-in day for new, massive state worker complex in Sacramento

Massive new state worker complex in Sacramento has move-in day
Massive new state worker complex in Sacramento has move-in day 03:02

SACRAMENTO — Monday was move-in day at Sacramento's newest billion-dollar state office complex.

In a city struggling with empty office space—60,000 state workers have left downtown to work remotely—this move-in day at the May Lee State Office Complex on Richards Boulevard was filled with a sense of satisfaction for River District CEO Devin Strecker.

Strecker is not a state employee. His nonprofit is leasing state office space on the bottom floor of this new building that will also house eight state agencies.

This all comes as the governor and state workers continue haggling over how many days state employees will be forced to work in person.

The state has included new bonus features in the space meant to lure state workers to the new site. Those features include a gym, restaurants, and a childcare center.

"Especially if you have kids that you don't want in the background of your Zoom call, you can take them to the childcare center here and you don't have to worry about them," Strecker said.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is pushing for residential re-use of empty state buildings. Of the 500,000 people who live in Sacramento, about 100,000 work for the state—a full 20% of the population.

"When 1 in 5 Sacramentans are state workers, you also represent these state workers that may not want to go downtown. So where do you draw the line on what to promote?" I asked Steinberg.

"Well, that's the challenge of being mayor of Sacramento, in a challenging time," Steinberg said.

The state's largest union, SEIU 1000, is pushing back against the governor's two-day-a-week return to work mandate he issued last month.

"Where there is an opportunity for those to have the ability to work 100% from home, they should be able to work 100% from home," said Irene Green, the SEIU vice president for bargaining.

This is sparking new state office space that is open for business. How many state workers will actually see it?

According to the Green, 75% of state workers primarily work from home right now.

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