Wednesday, November 05, 2008


From the Heller Pacific website...

“I had so much fun with MARRS. It was incredibly rewarding. So why not develop a second phase? One that talks to MARRS at the street level with pedestrian focus? So we purchased approximately 1/2 of the city block directly across the street from MARRS and are really excited about another project in this neighborhood. We are trying to determine what uses are missing from the Midtown experience and then target them. Perhaps an urban grocery store or destination entertainment complex? It is very early but you never know. It is going to be another enjoyable journey to find out.”


I'm assuming they are referring to the News and Review building, as well as the parking lot next to it. The current building would I assume be reused, and the parking lot built on.....Can't wait to see what he has planned.


Todd said...

i love Heller and his projects!!! I live in hollywood but own property in Sacramento and visit every month or so. i'm SO excited whenever mike or loftworks gets their hands on a project! With KJ as your mayor and a focus on revitalization the core, Sac could be awesome. You still need a nice grocer in midtown.. Trader Joes, Wholefoods. What about small independent film theatre, is there a market for that? I remember having to go to Arden or the ghetto downtown mall to see a movie. That has to change quickly. More arts and more entertainment is the answer! Walkability. I can't wait until midtown is a self-contained dining/entertainment corridor where the sidewalks don't roll up at 8:30pm. Keep pushin guys! Man, it's got incredible potential. I'm dying to see it done right some I can leave LA behind and head back!! Nice work on the site, love it.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

When it comes to a nice grocer..I should get your wish in the near future from what I have heard.

As for small independent film theaters, there is the The Crest, The Tower, and Movies on a Big Screen that should take care of what you are looking for.

I personally would love to see a 2nd run theater like Living Room Theaters in Portland.

Even though I'm very interested to see what KJ brings, the last few years with Fargo as mayor have brought quite a few great new additions to downtown and midtown.

She may have lacked the fire in her belly that a lot of people (including myself) would have liked to see, but she always pushed for revitalizing the city center, which I think we have made big strides in over the last 8 years, esp in Midtown, and I think part of that is due to her.

Not all of it, but I think she helped.

There is still a lot to do, so let's hope KJ keeps the momentum going.

wburg said...

We already have an independent film theater at the Crest. It just seems like there's so much more room for improvement downtown, and so much good stuff that certainly doesn't need to be messed with in midtown.

Part of why K Street looks the way it is is because they never stop working on the place and it ends up looking like Frankenstein's Monster, with scars from this and that and another vacant lot from whatever project that got started but couldn't get finished. It takes away from the strength of the handful of success stories on the mall.

We already have two indie movie theaters in the central city, the Crest and the Tower. The Tower is struggling because it is basically a write-off for a New York theater chain, but the Crest is pretty successful and pretty amazing. The neighborhood around the Crest (and the new theater across the street, and the handful of late-night spots within a block) could certainly use a MARRS type project.

Heck, 20th and K used to be fairly "ghetto" not so many years ago. Downtown needs a fix--and it would create synergy with other projects, from the Elks Building to the Citizen Hotel.

Todd said...

Thanks for the feedback! I guess at the end of the day a few of the desired projects (theatre etc) do exist, but are not located near other amenities and therefore lack the synergy that block planning gives birth to. a MARRS type project (or blocks of them) would be awesome around the Crest to help get rid of the blight. San Diego's downtown was terrible as we all remember, and they leveled entire portions of the city and rebuilt the whole thing. now it booms. sac should implement that strategy because as long as you have blight next door to brand new retail, the right tenants won't come or last long. i hope the curtis park railyard comes together properly. thats a dynamite piece of real estate with awesome views of downtown from the overpass! speaking of grocers i think that would be an unreal site for a trader joes. hopefully petrovich develops it with some style and stays away from the stucco elk grove look. i think the next type the real estate market firms up and expands in Sac, it will fill in properly and really come into its own.

wburg said...

todd: Sacramento already tried leveling blocks of its downtown and rebuilding the whole thing, and in the long run it was a really dumb solution because all it did was turn the people who were sleeping in the cheap hotels in the neighborhood into the people sleeping in the alleys and streets in the neighborhood. Redevelopment by bulldozer can sometimes be profitable for the developer, but generally it's a bad investment for the city in the long run.

MARRS itself is a great example: it's not a new building, in fact it's old enough to be a landmark structure, that was adaptively reused, instead of simply being knocked down and replaced by new construction. Look at 926 J, the Cosmo, the Roos-Atkins, and so many of the recent projects: rather than blindly bulldozing, they make use of the existing buildings, and thus celebrate our heritage as well as our future.

Using old buildings is also a great way to avoid the "stucco elk grove" look.

Brandon Weber said...

wburg has some great points about the re-use of current buildings in sac. But as a neighbor near this corner, my wife and I are dying for a grocer that we can walk to. If we can't have something local, then something like a WholeFoods would be interesting (there are enough Trader Joe's in sac, I think).

Thanks for updating us on the project.