Friday, November 02, 2007

Aura Could Still Be Built?

Just when we thought the door had been closed on any chances of Aura being built... developer David Taylor has said that he's interested in possibly building the Aura tower. I heard about this several months ago... so now will have to wait and see.

$400K to design a high rise? Would you believe $300K? $200K?
Sacramento Business Journal

Friday, November 2, 2007

The break between Craig Nassi and the architects on his proposed Epic condo tower in downtown Sacramento didn't come out of the clear blue sky.

Nassi had twice bargained down the fee owed to Studio Daniel Libeskind and Stantec Consulting Inc. for the tower he hoped to build at 12th and J streets before the designers ended their agreement for non-payment, the design team said.

Nassi, of BCN Development in Denver, last paid $187,000 in 2005 for the design and owed about $400,000 for later work, according to a letter from a lawyer representing the designers. He got a reduction to $300,000, then to $200,000 paid in installments over eight weeks, but failed to deliver, the letter said. That led the designers to pull the plug last month, which in turn led to yanking the application.

Nassi said Epic isn't dead, just on hold. "We don't feel comfortable spending a lot of money on architecture and design when we don't know if we'll ever be able or when we'll be able to do this project," he said. He said he's an expert in financing such projects and "the financing's not there ... right now."

Libeskind was also the architect on the proposed Aura condo tower.

And speaking of Aura ...

Developer David Taylor shared a closely held secret with about 650 people a few weeks ago -- he is considering whether to take on the long-delayed Aura condos project on Capitol Mall downtown.

Taylor, a guest speaker at the Business Journal's economic forecast conference on Oct. 24, said he could decide by the end of the year if he'll develop the property he owns at 6th and Capitol that once was slated for the $175 million residential high-rise. Nassi and BCN have not secured financing for Aura.

Nassi had an option on the land owned by Taylor, who is finishing the 25-story U.S. Bank Tower next door. But with Aura stalled -- the city withdrew a $10 million loan offer and deep-pocketed lenders are passing in the project -- plans for the high-profile site are uncertain. "It got a lot of interest from buyers," Taylor said. Downtown's "first high-rise condo tower will be very well done."

Promise or speculation? Taylor said he would not decide, or comment, until the end of the year.

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