Wednesday, January 24, 2007

“Approved” Capitol Mall High-rise Ready to Go

If you’ve driven down Capitol Mall in the last few months, you probably noticed lots going on. The latest high-rise to gain approval to be built on the mall is 500 Capitol Mall. It’s a sleek 24-story building that has a façade of granite and blue glass. This design is more main stream than the original proposal which was a 29-story tower that was capped by a semblance of the Athenian Parthenon. The “Parthenon” design was greeted with little praise. Its black glass and white columns that replicated the Parthenon in Greece looked as if it belonged in Las Vegas.

The new tower is designed by Sacramento architect Ed Kado, and the construction costs are expected to be $115 million and take 22 months to complete. This building is unique in that it will be built on speculation. This means that whether tenants are signed up to move in or not, the tower will be built. The developer Angelo G. Tsakopoulos will be paying a majority of the money out of his own pocket and won’t be relying on a banks terms to pre-lease a certain percentage of the office space before the money to build is released.

Site work is scheduled to begin in February and the steel structure is expected to rise this November. Capitol Mall will be quite impressive in a couple years if all five of the towers slated to be built actually rise… this one will be a nice addition.

The tower at 396 feet tall will also feature Sacramento's first elevated restaurant over looking the city from its top two floors and crowned by a skylight.


wburg said...

I can dig that. The design isn't earth-shattering, but it's not as cheesy as the Parthenon idea, yet better-looking than the traditional glass rectangle. A high-altitude restaurant is definitely a neat idea: personally, I think part of Sacramento's small-town angst is due to the fact that you can't see much of the town from ground level (unlike San Francisco or Portland, where you can see a lot of town on the hillsides or other vantage points.) As my Uncle Vito is fond of saying about Chicago's skyscrapers, "These are our mountains!" and they can provide a vantage point where we can realize, hey, there was a city here all along.

To me this became obvious to me in the early 1990s when I used to sneak into the Cal-Western Building or the Renaissance Tower and found vantage points on the upper stories that allowed a bird's-eye view of the valley and the vast amount of real estate that is taken up by our "little river town." For those timid souls who don't wish to sneak into tall buildings, a restaurant on the top (in addition to one on the bottom) of a tall building can provide the necessary perspective to puncture some illusions.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

I'm not crazy about this one either, but it's not BAD either. The blue glass could look really cool.

I do like that fact that the retail space sits on Captiol Mall with little setback. The setback at 621 is HUGE, but maybe that has something to do with it being closer to the capitol.

I think CM should have setbacks, but someone of them are just way too big. A step back of the tower is fine for view corridors, but I would like to at least see the retail front CM like it does with at Il Fornio in the the WF Center. The huge setbacks like Emerald Building are street scene killers.

I also like how it seems the parking garage on N Street doesn't stick out like sore thumb as they do at the WF Center, 621, Capitol Square, ect. It looks like the tower itself covers most of the backside, and there is a retail space at the corner of N and 4th as well. I always though N Street was the sacrificial lamb to highrises on CM.

The resturant on top will def be cool. I forget what the name of the resturant or bar that was on top of the Elks, but something like that would be a nice addition again.

I'm sure a lot of companies like to kick the perverbal tires on office space before committing, so Tsakopoulos might hit a homerun by going spec on this.

All the brokerage house reports say 2008/2009 will be a very competive office market, so he might have the upper hand with a completed brand new building.

TD said...

it certainly doesn't meet the new urban design goals of the general plan that were posted here. it's a nice looking building in general - but it's sure is chubby. that tower fills as much horizontal space as possible and only rises 396'. would've been nicer, in my opinion, to see a more slender tower at +500'.

Zwahlen Images said...

Good point wburg illustrating that these are our mountains. I hope future Sacramento high-rises have viewing decks so the public can enjoy more views of our city... and it doe's give you perspective. I do love my view from the 14th floor of my office downtown :)