I have been telling people from all over, "You will not recognize Sacramento by the end of decade" That gives Sacramento 4 more years to make me right.
Since the beginning of my blog, I have said high density mixed use (retail and residential) development is going to be the key in bringing Sacramento's urban core to the next level.
Up until this year, there has been little success is getting housing built for people who want that urban lifestyle. By my accounts over the last two years, since Winter 2003, there have been only 239 units completed through out downtown and midtown. All of them rentals, and 133 of them just recently.
In my last post, I said this next year is going to be a big year for Sacramento. Here is part of the reason I think so.
We are going to see almost 700 housing units hit the market by the end of next year. That more than double what we saw the pervious two years. That's 1000 more potential people walking the streets creating a safe environment, 1000 more people to patronize restaurants, shopping at new retail establishments, and creating a better general economy in downtown and midtown.
Here is the other reason I think next year is going to be a big year. At my company we use the hockey stick analogy for our workloads. You start off increasing at a very slow pace, then all of a sudden BOOM! The same is often said about urban development. You start off painfully slow and once you hit that certain point, it's all upward from there.
Over 3400 units across 20 projects in varies planning stages. I expect 8 or so to breakground next year. The most likely in my mind range in all sizes: The Towers, Aura, Library Lofts, East End Gateway I, II and III, L Street Lofts, Capitol Lofts, 21st and T, The Lofts on R Street, Cooper Union, and St Anton (going on a limb for this one).
I think we are going to see the K Street projects get pushed back until 2007, as well as The Metropolitan, Epic, Capitol Grand Tower and 701L Street. That not really a bad thing since it will spread the projects out over a couple more years and help them be successful.
Best case, that would be 2000 units under construction by the end of next year (40% in 301CM). The biggest difference between these and the ones under construction or completed is that almost all of them would be ownership housing. We must have a good mix of ownership housing for people. The next step is to bring some projects along that are affordable ownership housing opportunities for middle income families.
I really could care less if I see another high-rise office tower go up in the next 5 years (even thought there will be a couple), people, people, people that don't leave at 5pm make a 24 hour city.
Also key to these projects is the fact that all of them have ground floor retail space. Once we get the people living downtown, we want them on the streets eating, shopping and going places. People create the 24-hour city, but they need places to go and enjoy city life that comes with city life prices. We do still need more cultural actives to go with the recent surge of restaurants and nightclubs though. A new live theater or concert space at 10th and K would do nicely
Call me "Sacramento's Biggest Fan" (yes, I have friends that call me that), but I really feel Sacramento is right at that point in the hockey stick where it we are going to see a huge boom. My only hope is that we do not hit the stick too hard on the ice and break it right at the bend. It wouldn't be the first time it happen. I am pretty confident this time around though.
Only time will tell, and this next year will be a good indication of things to come.