Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Cal Western Life building into a boutique hotel?
This is a really cool idea. For those that do not know this building it's the rustic colored building on the south west corner of 10th and J. It's Sacramento oldest or 2nd oldest high-rise (other one would be the Elks). Sacramento-based Rubicon Partners bought the building about a year or so ago and was planning on turning it into condo offices (for-sale office units)
I like this idea MUUUUUUUUCH better. Sacramento really needs a hotel in a historic building. Former hotels like The Senator Hotel and Travelers Building have amazing lobbies, but sadly were turned into office space. I hope one day they can be turned back into a hotel or housing.
Most major cities in the US have hotels like these, sadly Sacramento does not. I stayed at the Benson in Portland last year, which was a boutique hotel in one of there historic buildings. Great, great place. Absolutely beautiful. We need something like that here.
I'm always for turning office space into housing and hotels that puts people on the street after 5. Even better is that they can move ASAP and be open next year
The project would require about 15M is subsidy. Sounds like support is definitely there for the project, but the money always make people take a step back and think.
I say go for it...
Bob Shallit: Plans for boutique hotel downtown pique interest
By Bob Shallit -- Bee ColumnistPublished 2:15 am PST Wednesday, February 8, 2006
A San Francisco operator of deluxe boutique hotels is proposing converting a historic downtown office tower into a destination inn with 200 rooms, meeting space and fine dining.
The proposal from Joie de Vivre Hospitality has just surfaced and will be considered - on an expedited basis - at next Tuesday's Sacramento City Council meeting. If there's support - and a willingness to provide a substantial subsidy - conversion of the classically styled 14-story Cal Western Life A San Francisco company has plans to turn the Cal Western Life building at 926 J St. into a hotel.
"They've brought the concept to us and need feedback quickly on whether to pursue this option," said city senior project manager Traci Michel, referring to the building's owner, Sacramento-based Rubicon Partners.
Without city support, the owners probably will pursue plans to put office condos in the 82-old building, she says.
Initial reactions from city officials were positive Tuesday. The project could become what the Hotel Del Coronado is for San Diego or The Benson for Portland - a destination hotel that brings people to the city, generating occupancy taxes and customers for downtown shops and restaurants.
"You couldn't pick a better location for a boutique hotel," said Councilman Ray Tretheway, whose district includes downtown.Mayor Heather Fargo said she's long wanted the "charm" of a boutique hotel in Sacramento. "To take one of our most treasured historic buildings and (allow) people to go in the lobby and see the marble and a piece of history, that's intriguing to me," she said.
But should the city spend as much as $15 million in public funds to make that happen? "The money part is a little intimidating," Fargo said.
The proposed project is not on a blighted corner. Funding it would mean not funding something else. Still, the mayor said, it would establish the kind of venue Sacramento doesn't yet have "and it's something this city should have."
Rubicon acquired the building last year and looked at several use options. Then the offer came in from Joie de Vivre.
Rubicon principal Kipp Blewett declined to discuss the specifics of the proposal. But he confirmed Rubicon has received a proposal "and we are considering it."
Joie de Vivre was founded in the late 1980s by Chip Conley and now operates 28 hotels, all but one in Northern California. The exception is the newly opened Hotel Angelino in Brentwood. Its newest San Francisco property is the Hotel Vitali, a 200-room hotel near the Embarcadero. Building at 926 J could begin immediately and be open for business by the end of next year.