Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Saca bought out of The Towers Project

I was really rooting for Saca to pull a rabbit out his hat on this, but that will no longer be the case. I admire his entrepreneurial guts to try something like that, and really was pretty close to pulling it off.

The housing market, the change at CalPERS, construction costs, and inexperience was too much to overcome for this project. I just hope he got a decent deal from CalPERS on his way out.

I've always said make the first floor the best floor, but I really would have loved to see those buildings in the skyline.

CIM and CalPERS have been working together for a while now, so I assume this partnership will be a little smoother. Looks like the time frame is around 18 months to put something new together for the site.

We all know the new plan will not be nearly as grandiose as what Saca planned. An article a short time ago mentioned how office space would be in the mix, but I hope that housing the hotel and quality retail space will be in the plans as well.

CalPERS and CIM will build for max profit, and not the so much the impact, but with the site at the foot of Capitol Mall and The Tower Bridge, let's hope they come up with something good.


CalPERS buys Saca out of Towers
Sacramento Business Journal - 10:45 AM PDT Tuesday, June 12, 2007
by Michael Shaw

The California Public Employees' Retirement System has acquired the Towers on Capitol Mall project, the pension fund announced Tuesday. It has reached an agreement with its former partner, developer John Saca, to buy his interest in the project.

Saca notified the pension fund that he did not intend to exercise an option to purchase CalPERS interest in the stalled Towers project.

Just what will be built at the site isn't clear.

CalPERS is partnering with its national development partner, CIM Group of Los Angeles, to develop the site and a plan will be developed over the next 18 months.

CIM will first work to resolve outstanding debt, CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco said.

Press Release from CalPERS


SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today announced it has reached agreement with local developer John Saca to acquire his interest in the Towers on Capitol Mall, LLC (Towers LLC). This action follows Saca’s notification that he will not exercise his option to acquire CalPERS interest in Towers LLC. “After careful analysis, we decided that our beneficiaries’ best interest is served by acquiring the site and designating our national development partner CIM Group of Los Angeles to serve as lead developer,” said Ted Eliopoulos, CalPERS Senior Investment Officer for Real Estate. “This is a particularly well-located site that can be transformed into a successful development. We are pleased that our long standing partner, CIM Group has agreed to lead our future effort.”

“As the first order of business, CIM will resolve issues with outstanding creditors and complete the first phase of site preparation and then, over the next 18 months, focus on creating a viable development program for this important site.”

“I want to take this opportunity to recognize John Saca’s great entrepreneurial spirit and complete dedication to this project on behalf of CalPERS. While the project experienced unfavorable economic and market conditions, John was a committed partner who explored every avenue to get this project built,” Eliopoulos added.
CIM is one of CalPERS largest urban investment partners, with a long and successful track record nationally in delivering quality real estate projects. Under the new arrangement, CalPERS will continue to be a passive investor in the project. CIM will serve as lead developer and managing member. “Through his vision, Mr. Saca brought focus to the terrific potential of this important site,” said John Given, a Principal at CIM. “We believe that, by taking a step back and working closely with the City and all stakeholders involved, we can develop a program that will serve all of those in the community who want to see this site achieve its potential.” CalPERS has notified the city of Sacramento of its plans and received a favorable response. “ We are grateful to John Saca for his wonderful vision for this site, for his tenacity to try to make this project a reality against a changing economic climate. At all times, he had the interests of the city and its citizens at heart,” said Ray Kerridge City Manager.

“We are also lucky to have an institution such as CalPERS in our community,” Kerridge added. “We appreciate the leadership that CalPERS has demonstrated. Given its strategic location, this site can become another crown jewel for the development of downtown Sacramento. Rather than walking away from the project and the commitments made by Towers on Capitol Mall, LLC, CalPERS took decisive action in taking control of the site and involving CIM, a development group that we at the City have worked with successfully in the past.”


Central City said...

Oh well it was worth a try ...

Im not happy that CIM is involved . The main reason for my displeasure is the absolute lack of imagination (IMO) used at 800 J , a CIM project.

800 J is to plain and not tall enough for the site it is on . I always felt that 800 J was a better project for midtown - Alhambra or R st (in Midtown).

That being said , I hope that the same lack of real vision ( and height) doesnt plague this project as well .

Zwahlen Images said...

I agree Central City 100%. I expect to see a tower or two at the height of 20 floors each as well as a bland use of architecture.

What I also did not like about 800J is how the renderings of the building looked much more exciting than what was actually built. There is still a rendering of 800J on K Street on the 900 block that looks way different than what we ended up with.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

800J is a dense project at 180 DUA. That's nothing to sneeze at. Height is cool, but I want density.

If they put two buildings of 20-30 stories with dense housing, hotel, office and retail..with good architecture, I will be very happy. I would think details could start trickling in the next few months.

Given that the piles have been driven for two buildings, I would think they would go with two as well. One for the hotel and one with office and condos? Who knows...

The good news is though, I does sound like they want to get moving right away.

Anonymous said...

This location is too sweet for just another 30 floor tower. I don't put any faith in CIM and CalPERS (a state agency) to build anything interesting. CIM already has a messed up track record building in Sacramento (800J), what an absolute lack of imagination.

walkable said...

This is a really sad day for Sacramento. I feel like we're missing out on our signature moment. Even if the development gets built, it likely won't be anything as grandiose as what Saca had planned. Call me crazy, but a city just doesn't feel like a big city until it has huge skyscrapers. Sacramento has an incredibly weak skyline for a city its size. These towers were the opportunity to start the transformation of Sacto into a "big city." I think this is going to have a massive effect on the future of this city unless we get at least one major skyscraper out of this.

I am very distraught by this news. Perhaps its because I grew up in Illinois and have always been semi-obsessed with the beautiful skyscrapers of Chicago.

I am not a fan of the exterior architectural design of the 800 J building either. The inside is nice, but too much $$ for what you get.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

I get the thing about skyscrapers and a feel of a city. I love the look of skyscrapers, but the feel from the street level is more important for me. I'd sacrifice a little in the air as long its there on the ground.

Too bad this one couldn't happen, it had all the factors, in the air and on the ground.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

also, this probably won't be the last time we hear from Saca. He still owns the 10th and J corner that that he and his father bought.

Hopefully, he got out of this with his skin, can shake it off and give it another go.