Sunday, February 04, 2007
R Street Projects
The R Street corridor is on the verge of the next housing boom in downtown/midtown Sacramento. There are currently 22 projects planned or under construction for R Street between the river and 28th Street. One project I really like is the R Street Station Towers which as reported by the Sacramento Business Journal, would have towers rise on either side of the light rail tracks and have as many as 250 units. The two towers would have a mezzanine walkway connecting the towers together that allows trains to pass beneath. Height limits for the area would have to increase from 75 to 90 feet and are currently under consideration for the reworking of the corridor’s special plan. Also being considered are new streetscapes that emphasizes the areas industrial feel and preservation on historic buildings. I’d really like to see what they have in mind… it could be really cool.
Regis Homes has plans to submit an application next month for a 305 unit mid-rise replacing a parking lot the size of a full city block with a five story building. Parking would be in the middle of the building with housing and retail along the outside. I really hope we can see more of this in the future.
Regis Homes has several projects planned for R Street, another is 125 units, eight story mid-rise that has lofts, condominiums, and penthouses. According Rodger Hume who is one of the partners working on the project, the project needs to be eight stories to work. The proposed building site is in a part of town where it goes beyond current height limits. That law could change if a proposal to allow high density housing near light rail lines is approved by the city council. This project has not submitted an application to the city.
The R Street district runs from 2nd Street to 29th Street for a total of 54 blocks. Rules for development along R Street were established 10 years ago and now need to be updated to include taller buildings, according to a city planner. Long shadows worry some residents and proposed changes to accommodate their concerns would be set-backs for taller building as well as eight story building would need to be narrower at their higher floors to allow more sun light down to the street below. These suggested changes will be considered in April.
I get puzzled when I hear worries of shadows from an eight story building… in my opinion, the canopy of trees that covers the downtown grid blocks out more sun light than what a few mid-rise buildings will ever do.