Tuesday, February 19, 2008

14th and R Ready to Go

I love old brick buildings like this, so I am very happy to see it getting renovated.

With R15, Cafe Bernardo, Space 007 and Empire anchoring one end, with Fox & Goose and The Art Foundry the other end between 10th and 15th, this will help connect the street between those two. Hopefully Capitol Lofts (another cool brick building) does get off the ground this year as planned to put another piece in place. I really think this part of R Street can become a really fun and interesting section of town. Food, Art, Music, Drink and Theatre...

I had a quick conversation with who I think was the owner about a year ago as I was walking by, they originally were looking at a wine bar, but it didn't work out. Now though..

Art Gallery? Yay!

Hof Brau? Double Yay!!

More Sushi? Not so yay. If they stay away from "Rock and Roll Sushi" it could be a Yay with me though. If you are reading, please go more traditional. Ease up on the mayo covered stuff.

R Street can be a special different place in Sacramento. There is a lot of work to do, and a lot of roadblocks (Buzz Boxes, Infrastructure, ect), but here hoping this is another step in the right direction.

Now if someone would take that corner spot in the brick building at R and 11th....

14th and R Street





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New rising: Former midtown bakery building to become loft housing
By Bob Shallit - bshallit@sacbee.com
Published 3:41 pm PST Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The housing downturn isn't slowing D&S Development Inc., a Folsom company that's marching ahead with new residential projects.

The latest: Loft dwellings, eateries and possibly an art gallery in what was once a Wonder Bread bakery warehouse at 14th and R streets in downtown Sacramento.

D&S is in escrow to buy the vacant, 95-year-old brick building and plans to start construction next month on what will be 12 residential units sitting above restaurants and retail shops - just down the block from Randy Paragary's R15 nightclub.

"These will be true lofts," Steve Lebastchi, a D&S partner, says of the 600- to 900-square-foot housing units. "We're keeping all the brick....the 15-foot ceilings with exposed ducts and beams." And, he notes, the lofts will be in former industrial space, "just like in New York."

The developers - who last year completed a similar-sized condo project in Old Sac - haven't decided on pricing or whether the R Street housing will be for sale or lease. But they say the units, which come with a parking space, will be built to "condo standards," with energy-saving elements that will qualify for LEED certification.

Among the potential tenants being considered for the 12,000 square feet of retail space are a Japanese restaurant, a "hof brau" and an art gallery.

Click for the rest of the article

Taylor, CIM hope to buy Sheraton Grand

When I first saw this article in the Sac Bee, I was in shock. I didn't understand how this was a good deal for the city.

There were so many missing details as to what was part of the deal you couldn't make much out of it. It said the city would net 45-47M, but it wasn't really clear if the city would still have the debt from the 91M, or Taylor/CIM would be paying those off. Net usually mean profit, but they should have been more clear.

It made no sense that the city would spend 91M to build the hotel, then turn around and sell it for 45M a few years later. So there had to be more details out there.

The Business Journal then came out with its article with many more details than the Sac Bee article (are any of you really surprised??)

So the deal looks like it would be a 45-47M profit for the city, yearly taxes from the hotel would go up a bit, and the deal would have the buyer pay off the bonds issues.

Now I think how the bonds have been paid to date is from the profits of the hotel (someone correct me if I am wrong), so if that is the case the city makes out pretty good. Plus, they have been able to draw from $$ into the local economy from bigger conventions.

I have no problem with taking the profit and using it in the downtown area, but I'm not sold on 50% of the money going back to Taylor/CIM for projects within downtown. If I have to guess, I would bet the money will go toward projects around 10th and K.

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Taylor, CIM hope to buy Sheraton Grand
Sacramento Business Journal - by Mark Anderson Staff writer

Sacramento developer David Taylor and the CIM Group Inc. have jointly proposed to buy the 503-room Sheraton Grand Hotel in a deal that would provide money to the city for downtown redevelopment.

The city and Taylor built the hotel by selling $91 million in 30-year revenue bonds in 1999. The city also contributed a 700-space parking garage and $8 million in cash. Taylor and his partners contributed the historic Sacramento Public Market building at 13th and J streets. That structure, designed by architect Julia Morgan, houses the public spaces and meeting rooms of the hotel.

A sale would have to be approved by the Sacramento Hotel Corp., which owns the hotel and administers the bonds, and also the Sacramento City Council. The council will consider the proposal in a closed hearing Tuesday, said Mayor Heather Fargo. She said she is urging the sale.

If the hotel is sold, it would provide the city with net proceeds of $47 million.

The hotel now every year spins off $3.4 million in taxes to the city. With a sale, the taxes will rise and the city would collect $4 million annually.

"It shows what a great investment we made with the Sheraton," Fargo said. "The Sheraton has been a real success story,"

Half of the $47 million profit would be used to go back to David Taylor and Los Angeles-based CIM group in developing priority projects on J, K or L streets downtown.

If approved, the CIM Group would make a cash payment for the hotel, retiring all the bonds. The first opportunity for early payment of the bonds is July 2009, and the money would be held in an account until that time.

Click for rest of article

Scaled Down Plans



It looks like the city council is putting their foot down on the proposed Metropolitan residential tower at 10th and J Street. They have asked the developer to go back to the drawing board because it’s too big at 400 feet tall and too sleek according to the Mayor. The biggest reason it’s going back to be redesigned is because it will block the council member’s views of the Capitol and the Cathedral from their chambers of City Hall. The Mayor is now requesting that the Metropolitan also be designed to look like the Citizen or Elks Lodge buildings that are near by.

It seems crazy to me that at this final approval stage the city council has brought up all these objections and ask for a complete redesign. It almost appears like their tiring to kill the proposal. For the last year this proposal gained approval from needed committees and gaining all the needed entitlements to build, but then the city council at this late stage has now asked the developer to go back to square one and start over. If I were a developer and thinking about building something, I would have second thoughts after seeing how the city council waited till this final stage of approval to bring up their objections.

I wonder if John Saca will just withdraw his proposal altogether? Saca will have to pay all his people who worked on the original proposal again in order to redesign the tower and then shuffle it back through the committees.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Old Sacramento hotels rise again (as offices)

Scurfield to pull permits in a month or two on re-creation of former Ebner and Empire hotels

Friday, February 15, 2008
Sacramento Business Journal - by Mark Anderson

The Scurfield Co. and Carson Development are putting plans through the city for their new building, a re-creation of the historic Ebner and Empire hotels.

Old Sacramento's newest hotel could begin construction in a matter of months.

The $6 million project could begin construction in the spring. The building, along with the ongoing construction of the Orleans Hotel site on 2nd Street, will fill two of the four large vacant lots in Old Sacramento, the historic district that is the region's top tourism draw.

Fifty-three of the buildings in Old Sacramento are on the National Register of Historic Places. Any new building has to blend in with the neighborhood, which dates back to the 1850s. The

Ebner/Empire building will be a single structure made to look like the two neighboring historic hotels. Both buildings have been gone for years. The Empire Hotel collapsed many decades ago. The city tried to save the Ebner, but with its crumbling walls and unsafe foundation, the city eventually had to tear down its hulking shell five years ago to keep it from collapsing onto neighboring buildings.

The new building will be at 116 and 118 K St. in the center of the historic district.

New building, same look
The Ebner/Empire will have street-level retail and professional offices on its two upper floors, said Dave Scurfield, owner of the Scurfield Co., a property management company.

The new building will look like the originals, with balconies over K Street, and all the flourishes of the old structures. The 24,000-square-foot building will likely be home to a large restaurant and another smaller retail space, Scurfield said. The two upper floors will be Class A office space.

Read more here… Sacramento Business Journal

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Old Sacramento has really started to see some progress as of late; so far $20 million is being spent in an effort to re-create the past. I don't go into old Sac very often but I think I'll have to take a stroll to see what's going on.

I sure wish the city had not rushed to put in parking meters in old Sac a few years ago... the new meter technology that’s going in downtown have them placed every 10 to 15 spaces and are much better visually to see than the clutter they decided to put in which cause such a controversy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Restaurant for the Elks Building?

I haven't been posting very much recently (for those who didn't know, there are actually two people who post on this site. Me and Zwahlen Images)

Life has been really busy...but in a really good way.

Anyways..Here are some renderings from the K Street Walk thingamabob of a planned restaurant at the Elks Building on the 11st Street side. The plan is to have it on three levels and go down to where the pool once was. The proposed d├ęcor will have the old charm the 20's and 30's.

No word on if it's a chain (hopefully not, even though I think M&S did a great job)





Monday, February 11, 2008

High-rise proves to be a tall order

By Lisa Heyamoto of the Sacramento Bee
Saturday, February 9, 2008

Developer John Saca is nothing if not a paragon for the "if at first you don't succeed" mantra.When his ambitious Towers project fell spectacularly concave, he vowed to push ahead with a scaled-back, 39-story project called the Metropolitan, a 320-unit piece of high-rise heaven on 10th and J.

But if he wants to get that bad boy past the City Council, he'd better start seeing things from their point of view.

For real

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/699588.html

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Basically, the story is that two city councilmember’s and the mayor want the proposed Metropolitan project to be scaled back because it will block their view of the Capitol Dome from their City Hall offices. For the last year this project has gained all the cities needed entitlements to build and doe's not sit on any blocks that are within the Capitol View Corridor, but now a few councilmember’s (Hammond, Cohn) and the Mayor are causing a stink at this last approval stage because it will block "their view" of the Capitol from their office.

It's hard to believe that our City Council wants housing downtown when at the same time they are changing the rules for developers after a project has gathered needed entitlements to build



The Metropolitan is planned for where the red box sits on the corner or J Street and 10th across from Caesar Chavez Park. It's clearly planned where no height restriction are in place for a building.

C.C. Myers wins contract to rebuild I-5 downtown

Sacramento Business Journal
Friday, February 8, 2008

Builder C.C. Myers Inc. has been awarded a $27 million contract by the state Department of Transportation to repair a worn-out section of Interstate 5 that passes through downtown Sacramento.

C.C. Myers, of Rancho Cordova, was the low bidder among six contractors vying for the project. Its bid came in well below a Caltrans engineering estimate of $44.3 million.

The company, which has made a name in the industry for fast turnarounds on high-profile road projects, said in its bid that it could fix the freeway in 114 days. Caltrans officials had estimated it would take 305 days. C.C. Myers hit or beat tight deadlines in the past such as the Labor Day 2007 replacement of a deck on the Bay Bridge and reconstruction of a collapsed freeway connector in Oakland, but is perhaps best known for replacing a fallen portion of the Santa Monica Freeway in 66 days after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, two months ahead of schedule.

The contract has not been signed. That could occur before the end of the month, said Mark Dinger, chief of Caltrans District 3 public information office. Construction could begin as early as mid-April, he said.

The around-the-clock construction activity to rehabilitate the section of I-5 between L and S streets is also expected to affect traffic flow on Highway 50, Interstate 80, Highway 99 and the Capital City Freeway.

I-5 is an important north-south economic link between the Canadian and Mexican borders. The section of road in need of repair serves more than 190,000 daily commuters, according to Caltrans.

It's known as the "boat section" because it was constructed below the groundwater level and would become buoyant without the anchorage system that's underneath the road.

The drainage system that historically has kept water from seeping up to the pavement has become clogged, causing water to rise and crack the surface. At times, especially during the rainy season as water leaks through the cracks, Caltrans is forced to temporarily shut down lanes that become flooded.

The contractor would pull off the old pavement and lay down new drainage channels and a new layer of concrete.

The work zone spans three to five lanes in each direction, between Richards Boulevard on the north to Sutterville Road on the south. Caltrans would close one or two lanes in each direction, leaving three lanes open in each direction during construction.

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This will be a huge project. C.C. Myers has a great record of getting projects done ahead of schedule, so getting this stretch of levee/freeway repaired in three months or less will be impressive.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You're Invited! 9onF and 2nd Saturday Show - Feb. 9 from 2-9pm

Sacramento’s 1st Green-certified Townhomes will be on display along with Short Center & Tangent Gallery Artists this Saturday between 2pm and 9pm.

With the green movement in full force, this could be a great way to get educated on green living... if you’re interested.



LEED-certified homes will attain “Silver” and “Gold” level

Solar Power and Geothermal for Energy Savings up to 75%

Non-Toxic Finishes throughout for a Healthy Home

“The best-designed, and most ‘green’ units in downtown Sacramento
For more information: http://www.9onf.com/