Tuesday, August 22, 2006

City Redevelopement Subsidy Choices

I think Teri Hardy read my blog and got an idea for this story.

Last week, I wrote about wanting to see what else is out there vying for redevelopment money, well here it is.

Taken from SacBee.com

Dude, that 114M went by FAST. Where did the other 40M go?
- 28M 700 and 800 K Street
- 9.9M 926 J Street
- 475K Imax

That's only 38M.....They say 35M is left over..differance of 40M from the 114M. SOmething is missing. I know the Crocker is getting money, but I can't imagine it's 40M

Unfortunately, K Street is taking A LOT of the money, but that should come as no surprise and is WELL worth it. It needs to stay the #1 choice.

If I had to spend the money, I would have to lean toward anything with housing and K Street. So that puts me at #3, #7, #10, and the remaining amout to whatever 10th and K needs and maybe a little toward Downtown Plaza. I haven't even heard of the 900 J and K Street block project, but I'd have to rank that one pretty high since it's housing and on J and K Street

I have to imagine that The Towers will get it done without the 10M. I don't think K Street "beautification" is needed. If they just get 700, 800 and 1000 redeveloped, that'll do wonders for now.

Mainstream theaters do bring a lot of people, but I still want to see live theater at 10th and K. Maybe there a way to incorporate both into 10th and K? I could do without the Paragary "flagship" restaurant

The UPN studios could be cool and would "only" cost 1M. If it's the building I am think of accross from the old Marilyn's building, I have always thought that building would a great Sacramento MOMA down the road.

The Docks area waterfont park sounds awesome and would LOVE to see it, but I think it's one of those projects that is quite a few years off and can be included in the 2009 funds. Plus, spending all 35M on it probably wouldn't be the best idea.


Tough subsidy choices for city
Requests for help on projects dwarf the $35 million available.
By Terri Hardy -- Bee Staff Writer

From hotels to condos to rehabbing Sacramento's Downtown Plaza, a flood of proposed development projects are pouring into the city.

These major projects also come with requests for city subsidies totaling more than $116 million, and more proposals are expected. The problem: The city's downtown redevelopment fund has only about $35 million remaining.

"We don't have enough money to cover projects on our wish list, at least right now," said Mayor Heather Fargo.

Last week, the owner of the Downtown Plaza unveiled its plans to renovate the mall, but said it will need some $20 million in city help. With that request and others coming, the city will do what it can to help, but some serious analysis is necessary, said Assistant City Manager John Dangberg. "Tough choices will be made," he said.

The shrinking redevelopment pot may mean projects are delayed, pared down, or canceled altogether, Dangberg said. Over the next few months, the city's Economic Development Department will evaluate the proposals, looking at their proposed use and benefits to the city before making recommendations to the City Council.

"What cannot be funded can't be funded," Dangberg said. "Either they'll find other ways to move forward, or they might drop off."

In 2005, the city approved a $114 million bond to fund projects in the 104-block downtown redevelopment area. The bond is to be repaid through anticipated growth in property taxes, or "tax increment" within the redevelopment area.

The council already has approved money for a host of projects, including $28 million to assemble land and allow the development of the struggling 700 and 800 blocks of K Street and nearly $9.9 million to transform a historic office building at 926 J St. into a Joie de Vivre boutique hotel/restaurant.

The city hopes in 2009 it will be able to issue another bond and collect an additional $20 million to $60 million.

Meanwhile, Dangberg and his staff are trying to think creatively about the most cost-effective use of the funds. One idea involves re-evaluating a controversial idea to bring a movie theater complex to the old Woolworth's building at 10th and K streets, Dangberg said.

Developer David Taylor's team has proposed turning that building into a small live theater and restaurant with a $6.7 million city subsidy. That project was expected to bring in 200,000 visitors a year -- a low number in comparison with other uses such as movie theaters.
In the past, however, a proposal to place an art movie house at that location was rejected as too politically sensitive after community members complained it would put the Tower and Crest theaters out of business.

The new idea might hinge on the theaters staying away from art films and focusing instead on first-run movies.

Taylor said Monday he's agreed to a city request to take a quick look at the feasibility of the movie theater project. However, he doesn't want to imperil his current idea, which could be completed in 16 to 18 months.

"For me, the really important thing is to do something positive at that location and bring in an extra 200,000 people who aren't there now," Taylor said.

The deal might make more sense now that Downtown Plaza owner Westfield Corp. Inc., has submitted its $20 million subsidy request to the city. Much of that money was needed, Westfield officials said, because the city wanted them to put its proposed expanded theater complex atop the Hard Rock Cafe at Seventh and K streets and bring more foot traffic to the struggling K Street mall.

If theaters were on 10th and K streets, it's possible that the costly move wouldn't be necessary.

The city's goal is to create such a thriving downtown that subsidies will no longer be necessary. Dangberg said the downtown is already seeing more of that as it flourishes.

Michael Ault, executive director for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, agrees.

"The city used to have to seed everything, now restaurants are doing it on their own, and office buildings no longer get subsidies," Ault said.

Projects on a larger scale, and projects with housing are now likeliest to get help, Ault said.

Last week, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership board voted on a priority list of downtown redevelopment spending. The board agreed that Downtown Plaza was a top-ranking request, because downtown's success hinges on the mall. And though no firm plan has been proposed to move the Greyhound bus station and costs are unknown, the partnership board agreed that, too, must be at the top of the city's list.

Fargo said she knows that city assistance can often make or break a development. She said all the 2005 bond projects approved to this point couldn't have been done without the additional dollars.

Developer Lloyd Harvego said his plans to build ground floor retail and upstairs apartments at the site of the former Orleans Hotel in Old Sacramento won't materialize without city assistance.

The $6 million is crucial, Harvego said, since the return on the rentals will be lower than the downtown market.

"Rental rates are lower, but construction costs are not lower," Harvego said. "Without city tax increment, this project simply wouldn't get done."'


thejakkit said...

I am obviously somewhat biased on the issue, but I agree with you in regards to the Good Day Sacramento studio downtown (UPN is dead, long live the CW). The plan for this studio definitely goes beyond just putting a studio downtown. It would be integrated into K Street and would certainly attract people interested in seeing a live taping of the morning show. People patronizing the proposed "Good Day Cafe" nearby would even be able to interact with talent and actually be involved in the show if everything worked out according to the plans I've heard.

Were CBS asking for a lot more money (respectively), I might just be keeping my mouth shut on the issue. But in the scheme of what's out there, that seems like a pretty big bang for the buck. Especially considering "Old Sacramento Trash Enclosures" is at the same subsidy level.

[Ok, 15 minute break over, if you're watching, Bruno. ;)]

LivingInUrbanSac said...

If they can incorporate a cafe well that would be great. Do you know if it's the building that is under construction right now at 12th and K? or the older one accross the street?

Given the momentum and interest in developing downtown at this time, it's important city that the city use this money in the absolute best way possible.

I'm still all for as much housing as possible. Lots of things will figure themselves out of there are more people living and spending money downtown

thejakkit said...

I'm pretty certain that no ground has been broken on the studio as of yet. Whether or not they're working on other parts of the structure I'm not sure.