Saturday, September 29, 2007

Marshall Hotel Rehab and Expansion

Now this is interesting...The new owners of the Marshall have been talking about how the want to redevelop the Marshall into something else. I found this info on the Preservation Commission agenda for next week. Its the plans for the site.

Looks like they want to rehab the Marshall into a hotel run by Grand Heritage Hotel Group. There is even a "Coming Soon" for Sacramento on the website. It also looks like from their other properties that they have a lot experience with old buildings in other cites.

It looks like the building next to it would be demolished for a 14 story building, which the staff report says:

"has been surveyed by Historic Environment Consultants as part of the City’s Expanded Downtown Survey and the consultant’s recommendation is that the structure is not eligible for listing in the Sacramento or California Registers"



I've always loved the look of the Marshall (as well as The Berry and Capitol Park Hotel for that matter) and glad to see it will be preserved, but the other one doesn't hold the same value for me, even though I always thought we would see someone try and rehab the building at some point. The back looked cool, but I guess the front has gone through a ton of changes.

From the renderings below, the new building def looks like it would blend in nicely with the look of the Marshall, even though you can still tell they are two different buildings.

Pretty darn cool to see these old cool looking building become unique to Sacramento hotels, like The Citizen. We had quite a few of them back in the days, but alas not many are left.

Here's the staff report and some renderings from it.
M07-073 The Marshall Hotel (Noticed on 09/21/07)
Location: 1128 - 7th Street, District 1
Recommendation: Receive and Provide Direction- Item A: Pre-application review and comment on The Marshall Hotel proposal involving a City Landmark exterior rehabilitation and major expansion, including demolition of adjoining property to north of Landmark structure
Contact: Roberta Deering, Senior Planner for Historic Preservation, 916 808-8259

Staff Report
Jade Hotel Survey
Marshall Hotel Survey
Cool Stuff

Friday, September 21, 2007

Community Center Theater Renovation/Expansion

Looks like the city is looking at FINALLY revamping the Community Center Theater. The plan is a scaled down renovation though, since funding the entire 75M is unlikely.

No time line mentioned, but since they want to start a ticket surcharge next year, hopefully it sooner rather than later.

I like how the expansion on the L Street side would bring the building out to meets the street, and gets rid of Brutalist architecture look.

I'm sure getting the 7-10M for the naming rights will be pretty darn important in this process. The name "Community Center Theater" has always sounded so lame to me, so any change to "Insert 10M Name" Performing Art Center or "Insert 10M Name" Theatre would be great.

Report Back- Findings of the Community Center Theater Renovation Financial Feasibility Study

Location: 1301 L Street (District 1)
Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution, directing staff to 1) complete a thorough analysis of Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) projections of the next ten (10) years; 2) secure architectural services to complete design concept, formalize cost estimate, and assess phasing options for partial renovation of the Community Center Theater; 3) seek naming rights proposals; and 4) develop a formal facility fee ticket surcharge beginning with the Fall 2008 season.

Black and white rendering.

Old color rendering of full makeover.

CADA Project Updates

I wasn't able to attend the CADA meeting yesterday for EEG 2 and 3, but I picked up this info off posted by "snfenoc"

They def have a nice Spanish style of architecture that you would see in Santa Barbara, minus the cheaper materials that will be used on this project. Overall, I like it. Plus, there is a large retail footprint as well...and a early to mid 2008 groundbreaking.

He also asked some very good questions to the architect regarding the stucco, which the architect seemed to assure that it would be built with much better materials than other stucco projects like the Fremont.

I think he maybe confusing EEG 4 with site 1 though, that is the one that is 15 stories, unless the plans have changed for site 4 to be that tall as well.

Also, I had all but written off Capitol Lofts at R between 11th and 12th, but from his post, it sounds like its back on again..and maybe break ground in the next couple of months. This is great reuse project. Like he says though, I'll believe it when I see it.



The info:
East End Gateway Site 2:
NW Corner of 16th and O Streets
4 Stories tall. About 60' to the top of the tower feature
12 1br/1ba and 12 2br/2ba -- 24 units total
5,816 square feet of retail/commercial/office space on the ground floor
36 parking spaces

East End Gateway 3
SW Corner of 16th and O Streets
5 stories tall. About 77' to the top of the tower feature
48 1br/1ba and 12 2br/2ba -- 60 units total
8,087 sqaure feet of retail/commercial/office space on the ground floor

The CADA Board (if everything is OK) should approve the schematic design and financing strategies for East End Gateway Sites 2 & 3 in November (at the November 1 meeting???). From there, CADA must enter into an agreement with the developer (Ravel Rasmussen Properties & Separovich/Domich Real Estate) - some time in December (again, if everything is OK). Construction would start in the Spring or Summer of 2008.

As you can see, the architecture has a Spanish/Mexican theme to it. The walls will be clad in stucco with wood and metal trim/features. The roof of each building will be tile. The interior finishes will be very nice (10' ceilings, granite counter tops, etc.). These will be higher-end market rate apartments.

I asked the architect (Christopher Wilson of Stantec Architecture (formerly Chong Partners Architecture)) about the Spanish theme and stucco walls:

1) Will these buildings look as cheap as the La Quinta Inn, I mean, The Fremont Building? His answer was a definite NO.

2) I'm a little worried about the stucco walls, I noticed some of the stucco buildings here in Sac have not held up well (lots of cracking, chips, paint coming off, etc.). What can you say about the quality of the stucco walls you propose? He noted that some buildings are cheaply done, having only a single coat of cementitious material over a styrofoam-like substrate. He said the stucco walls for East End Gateway Sites 2 & 3 will be higher quality than that (more layers and a higher quality substrate). A fine grain sand, which will give the walls a smoother surface than the overly grainy texture of some of the cheaper buildings, will be used. In addition, he mentioned the stucco may have integrated color, so no gray spots when the inevitable chips occur. However, the stucco will crack; cracking can be minimized, but it will still probably happen.

What about the other projects???
I cornered Tom Kigar of CADA and asked him about the CADA Warehouse and the East End Gateway 4 Project (possibly a 14 or 15 story tower).

He said CADA is excited to sign an agreement with the developer for the CADA Warehouse this month (or was it next month? I forget) and construction should begin within the next few months or so. (Where have we heard that before? However, he seemed pretty sure about it, so )

He seemed a bit more skeptical about East End Gateway 4. He expects CADA to sign an agreement with Lambert (the developer) in January. Construction could begin 6 months later. Although he would not assure me it will happen, he did say Lambert has a lot of experience and "if anyone can do it, it's them." CADA thinks Lambert will have to get about $600 a square foot. (A bit pricey. Can the market handle it?)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Food Food Food!

I love food, and Mike Dunne's "Appetizers" section in the Bee is a good place to see what is coming down road in Sacramento culinary future in midtown and downtown. Here are few recent tidbits.

An Agave Blooms Along 20th Street
Enough with all the wine bars in midtown Sacramento. Let's talk tequila bar. The Ulloa brothers - Jose and Carlos - hope to do that on or about Dec. 1. That's when they aim to open their Azul Mexican Food and Tequila Bar in the MARRS building (for Midtown Arts, Retail, Restaurant Scene) along 20th Street between J and K. Construction is to start next week, says family spokeswoman Raquel Gomez.

The Ulloa brothers come from a dairy-farming family in the Mexican state of Jalisco, home to the best tequilas. Azul will be their first restaurant and bar. The restaurant, to seat about 45, will be designed as a taqueria, says Gomez. Several of the dishes will be based on traditional family recipes.

Azul could mean that Sacramentans will have one more place to savor the paloma, which in Jalisco is the tequila-based cocktail of choice, not the margarita. A paloma generally is made by filling a tall tumbler with ice, adding 2 ounces of silver tequila (also called blanco), putting in a pinch of salt, squeezing in an ounce of lime juice, tossing in a wedge of lime, and filling the glass with around 6 ounces of a citrus soda, usually Fresca or Squirt, though sometimes grapefruit juice is used. In contrast to the typically sweet and slushy margarita, with a paloma you actually can taste the tequila. The only other Mexican restaurant in Sacramento where I've been able to find a paloma is Centro Cocina Mexicana.


I checked this out during the first couple of days, love the original Luigi's, but this one missed the mark. Still amazing Portuguese Linguica, but sauce and cheese was off. I don't have any doubts they will get back to the goodness they have on Stockton Blvd they are open late.

A New Site with History

I went for the pizza, stayed for the cookie. Luigi's Slice, a branch of the landmark Luigi's Pizza Parlor along Stockton Boulevard, has opened in the MARRS building (for Midtown Arts, Retail, Restaurant Scene) along 20th Street between J and K in midtown Sacramento.

To judge by a wide slice of the pepperoni and sausage ($3.50), the pizza has traveled well from the original location to the new, but that shouldn't surprise anyone who has ordered takeout from Luigi's Pizza Parlor. (The midtown pizzas are baked at the new site, but it will take 53 years for the ovens to get as seasoned as the ovens along Stockton Boulevard.)

The midtown quarters are sleek and chic, but the standout design feature is a wall of handsomely displayed photos that trace the history of the Brida family from Italy to Sacramento. The only drawback to the display is the lack of information to identify the principals, a shortcoming the family is looking into correcting, says Linda Brida, the wife of Greg Brida, the son of Sergio Brida, who with his brother Celso has owned Luigi's since 1965.

A more subtle Sacramento connection to Sacramento's culinary history is on the counter near the cash register - jars of fresh cookies, including a delightfully spicy, complex and moist gingersnap ($1.25). They're from Joe Bickie's Baked Goods, but there is no Joe Bickie. That's the nom de plume of baker Amy Alfaro, the sister of Greta Garverick, who for years ran the popular Greta's Cafe in midtown. Garverick does catering these days, and Alfaro helps her out with desserts, for which Greta's Cafe was celebrated.

Luigi's Slice is the only outlet so far for Alfaro's cookies, which also include snickerdoodles, buttermilk and a flaxseed wheatgerm, as well as brownies. Alfaro's dream is to open a cookies-and-milk shop, and the way the midtown culinary scene is developing that would seem a distinct possibility. As for the name Joe Bickie, she says she came up with Joe for coffee and Bickie's for cookies. "I just like the mystery of it all," Alfaro says.

Luigi's Slice, 1050 20th St., is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday; (916) 447-1255.


If you love chocolate (guilty), you will love the creations she creates.

Midtown Chocolaterie On Tap
On a cold and foggy winter day in Sacramento nothing is quite as fortifying and soothing as a cup of hot chocolate. This winter, chocolate master Ginger Elizabeth Powers will come to our rescue with no fewer than four kinds of hot chocolate.

She hopes to start serving the hot chocolates, along with assorted hand-crafted chocolates, a couple of chocolate cakes, and the best chocolate-chip cookie she can whip up, around Dec. 1 in tiny quarters she just leased in the 1800 block of L Street in midtown Sacramento. Her chocolaterie, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, will be next to L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen.

The four hot chocolates that Powers is to make include a traditional European, a classic American, and a Oaxacan, the latter infused with chile-pepper flakes, fresh ginger, vanilla bean and cinnamon.

Her specialty chocolates are to include such flavors as salty caramel dark chocolate, fresh peppermint, hazelnut praline, orange jasmine and creme brulee.

Until about three weeks ago, Powers was pastry chef at Masque Ristorante in El Dorado Hills. She also owns Courture Chocolates by Ginger Elizabth, which wholesales artisan chocolates to the restaurant Mulvaney's Building & Loan and the wine bar 59 Degrees & Holding Co. She also has been doing favors for weddings. (Her own wedding is Oct. 14, when she marries Tom Hahn, her partner in the new business. Hahn also is a cook, having studied at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School in northern Thailand and worked at the celebrated restaurants French Laundry in Napa Valley and Manresa in Los Gatos.)

Whether the shop will have seating is uncertain. It's small, but Powers plans to have it built so customers will be able to see the chocolate makers in action in the kitchen.


Downtown To Get Some Soul
Before the end of the month, Ray Smith hopes to start building out a restaurant to bring his busy and broad style of Southern cooking to downtown Sacramento.

Smith is co-owner and chef of Table 260 in Elk Grove. The restaurant's name was inspired by his suite number at the shopping complex Harbour Point. He will keep basically the same name - Table 260 Downtown - when he comes to Sacramento, though he'll be at 800 J St., on the ground floor of a loft high-rise.

"It will be a little more upscale," says Smith of the Sacramento restaurant. The restaurant is to include an urban lounge with blues and jazz, a more extensive wine list, a higher-end menu, and a private VIP room capable of seating 15 to 20 guests.

Ideally, Smith would like to open the new place by the year-end holidays. He will continue to run the Elk Grove restaurant after the Sacramento site opens.


I just had dinner at The Kitchen a couple weeks ago, if Ella's is anything like The Kitchen (with lower $$$$), we are in for a treat.

Ella Nears Debut
The patio isn't likely to be ready, but that isn't stopping the Randall Selland family from opening Ella on Sept. 22. Everything else is expected to be in place by then, says family member Josh Nelson.

One of Sacramento's more eagerly anticipated restaurants this fall, Ella will be at 12th and K, bringing to downtown an upscale hybrid offshoot of the family's two successful operations, the restaurant The Kitchen and the deli and wine shop Selland's Market Cafe.

Nelson says Ella is about set to start accepting reservations, (916) 443-3772.