Wednesday, November 26, 2008

McKinley Village Project

A notice of preparation for an EIR has been filed for the McKinley Village Project in east Sacramento. The proposed project includes the development of up to 405 residential units with an intimate urban parks and common greens; a village green with a community clubhouse, pool and formal gardens; and a mixed use residential and commercial building. Also, plans for a church and a community hall fronting the westerly neighborhood park. As currently proposed, the residential component consists of approximately 369 single-family detached homes and approximately 28 live/work residential units located above ground-floor commercial space. The number of units may be increased by up to 8 units for a total of 405.

The project site currently has access via a two-lane overpass across Business 80 from the west that connects to the downtown grid system at 28th and A Streets. Additional access is also planned from the east at Lanatt Way by connecting to Elvas Avenue and C Street through the future construction of a railroad undercrossing.

The development history of this projects site goes back over twenty years. Back in the late 80's early 90's the proposed Centrage project caused a big stir with over 1200 housing units in two 16 story towers, 1 million sf of office space in two 20 story towers, 230,000 sf of retail space and anchored by a 16 story tower 450 room hotel.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pollution clean up grants given to railyards, other projects

Sacramento Business Journal
November 19, 2008

The California Pollution Control Financing Authority approved $53.8 million in grants and loans to clean up polluted sites in 11 counties, including a $9.8 million in grants for redevelopment projects in Sacramento.

S. Thomas Enterprises of Sacramento LLC plans a 12,000-unit residential and commercial complex at the 240-yard railyards site, formerly home to Southern Pacific Railroad. Thomas Enterprises received $5 million of the $14.75 million it requested from the financing authority.

Petrovich Development LLC received a $4 million grant to clean up the railyards site near Sacramento City College and build the Curtis Park Village residential and commercial development.

Capital Station 65 LLC wants to build a mixed-use development with 752 housing units and 42,000 square foot of retail space at Township 9 on Richards Boulevard. The company received $550,000 for the project.

The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency received a $218,150 grant for La Valentina, a 64-unit project planned in the Alkali Flats neighborhood.The money came from Proposition 1C, the $2.85 billion housing bond measure approved by voters in 2006.

Monday, November 17, 2008

K Street Pedestrian Mall Transit

K Street (between 9th & 12th Street) has got to be the saddest street in downtown from what it once was fifty years ago. What was once a street lined with entertainment, bustling stores, movie theaters and restaurants has since been turned into one effort after another tiring to revive that stretch of run down road.

Currently, the Design Commissions reviewing several options to permit vehicle traffic back onto K Street between 9th & 12th streets along with on-street parallel parking and drop-off facilities. Pedestrian-only retail streets, such as State Street in Chicago and Chestnut Streetin Philadelphia have now been widely recognized as a failure and many cities have now brought vehicular traffic back as away of revitalizing their downtown retail neighborhoods.

It's recommended that vehicular traffic be permitted to return to this portion of K Street so as to not impede the flow of light-rail transit and allow vehicular traffic to share the light-rail track lanes. Create short-term metered parallel parking on both sides.There are two options on the table as to how this would be done best, is this worth redoing again?

K Street: “Portland Option”
PRINCIPLE: Coupled with L Street, create a one-way traffic and transit pattern, similar to that found in Portland, Oregon, that permits auto traffic to share the transit travel lane & allows on-street parking on both sides of the street. The Portland model would allow auto traffic back ontoK Street and reduces potential conflict with light rail and streetcar vehicles by introducing a one-way street couplet with L Street between 9th and 12th Streets. As in Portland, auto traffic would be allowed to share the travel lane with the streetcar and light rail tracks, providing access to on street parking on both sides of the street.

K Street: “San Jose Option”
PRINCIPLE: Coupled with L Street, create a one-way traffic and transit pattern, similar to that found in San Jose, California, that creates a dedicated transit lane and allows on-street parking on one side of the street only. The San Jose model proposes a one-way couplet with L Street between 9th and 12th Streets and provides a dedicated one-way transit lane adjacent to the sidewalk, while allowing one-way auto traffic to use a parallel travel lane alongside. On-street parking would be limited to one side of the street only.

Newest K Street Bump in the Road..Calling Mike Heller!

That bump in the K Streets plans mine as well be a 20-foot tall concrete wall.

If Zieden does pull out...I would love to see Mike Heller jump in and try to work his magic. I read someone on another website mention his name for this project and it all made sense.

While I really understand Zieden's frustration with the whole process, which I think all of us with an interest in the central city have as well, I believe there needs to be a local angle on this if things go sour with Zieden.

We've seen Heller turn out some great projects, particularly in the re-use area, from the Blue Cue Building and East End Lofts to the MARRS building that have become staples of our urban fabric. I can't think of another person at this point I would have more faith in that Heller.

Heller has commented many times in the past how we wants to help bring new life to the central city, which he has, but here is his chance to really pull off something really special if he can put the pieces together for K Street like he has in areas of Midtown.

If you think Heller could be the man for this job. Feel free to tell him yourself and let him know.

Sacramento's K Street redevelopment faces new hurdle
By Mary Lynne Vellinga
Published: Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 | Page 4B

Joe Zeiden: Savior of K Street. Maybe, maybe not.

The path is finally clear for the Southern California furniture retailer to transform the bedraggled 700 block of downtown Sacramento's K Street into a spiffy row of upscale stores. It's not clear, though, that Zeiden still intends to do so – at least not without more money from the city's treasury.

Zeiden had been blocked for at least four years by the property's longtime owner Moe Mohanna, who had refused to sell. Last month, the city and Mohanna reached a settlement, avoiding an eminent domain trial. The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency took ownership of Mohanna's nine properties on the 700 and 800 blocks, the bleakest stretch of K Street.

But Zeiden was noticeably absent from a celebratory meeting in which Sacramento's City Council approved the deal with Mohanna.

Since then, Zeiden has not responded to The Bee's attempts to contact him at the Gardena headquarters of his family's Z Gallerie furniture chain.

City officials say the severe downturn in the retail economy has prompted Zeiden to rethink his K Street proposal. He likely will ask the city to kick in more money before he moves forward, said Leslie Fritzsche, Sacramento's downtown development manager.

Fritzsche said her office has been "in somewhat regular communication with Zeiden."

"I think it's important to note that he's still interested in moving forward," Fritzsche said. "We expect to get a proposal from him in pretty short order. We're actually expecting it in the next week or so.

"To be candid," she added, "I anticipate the (subsidy) request he might have would be a little bit larger than before."

Fritzsche said city officials have begun exploring other options for the property, just in case. This could include putting tenants back in the mostly vacant buildings in the 700 block, so the block wouldn't be completely dead while the city waits for the market to improve.

"It is our desire to have a couple of different options working at any given time," Fritzsche said. "We don't know what Zeiden will come back with, so we definitely want to think about what other interim uses we can put the property to, and what other options exist. We need to make sure we can redevelop the properties the way people expect us to."

If Zeiden pulls out, SHRA could find itself holding vacant buildings and empty lots along K Street for years. That's what happened with the former Woolworth's store at 10th and K streets, bought by the city in 2000.

The site reopened in September as a new cabaret theater, restaurant and nightclub complex. But other buildings acquired by the city nearby remain empty.

Fritzsche said she doubts it would take that long to rebuild the 700 and 800 blocks of K. She noted that an arts cinema proposal for 10th and K was far along before it was shelved because of opposition from people worried about it competing with Tower Theater.

Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, said the city's extensive holdings on K Street now give it an opportunity to contemplate a grander redevelopment project encompassing both blocks.

"The priority at this point is clearly waiting to hear from Zeiden, but I think we need to look at that entire stretch of K Street," Ault said.

Zeiden has been working since 2004 on his plan to revamp the historic buildings on the south side of K Street's 700 block. He intends to move his Z Gallerie store out of Downtown Plaza and use it as an anchor for a row of retail tenants.

He's done similar developments in cities such as San Diego and Pasadena.

In 2005, Zeiden's team said it had letters of intent from such retailers as Urban Outfitters and Sur La Table – firsts for Sacramento. But as the years passed, Urban Outfitters opened a store near Arden Fair mall and Sur La Table went into the new Fountains at Roseville, which also includes a Z Gallerie.

The city already has spent more than $40 million in redevelopment funds gaining control of K Street, with more than half to directly benefit Zeiden's effort.

Among the expenditures: about $20 million to acquire properties that the city originally planned to swap with Mohanna for parcels Zeiden needed.

That swap fell through, and the city eventually reached agreement with Mohanna to buy his nine properties on the 700 and 800 blocks of K Street for another $18.6 million.

The transactions leave the city in control of the entire south side of the 700 block and much of the 800 block. Zeiden's project doesn't include the properties in the 800 block. The city is negotiating with another partnership that includes Mohanna, which eventually may buy them back for a hotel and housing project.

Zeiden also bought three properties in the 700 block but eventually complained that they had become too expensive for him to hold while waiting for a resolution with Mohanna.

The city bought those three properties in August and also reimbursed Zeiden for his carrying costs. Total price tag: $2.1 million.

In addition to all of these expenditures to acquire pieces of K Street, the city previously agreed to subsidize Zeiden's project with another $4 million in redevelopment funds.

Fritzsche said Zeiden no longer thinks that sum will be enough.

In a June 2008 letter to the city, Zeiden complained about the long wait. He said his company would pull out of the K Street project if the city didn't take the properties off his hands.

"During the past six years we have spent significant money as well as countless hours for which we have seen little or no progress toward reaching our common goal," he wrote.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Midtown Holiday Celebration Saturday Dec 6th


What: By-pass the malls and make a beeline for Midtown this Holiday Season!
Shop local and celebrate the season as the Midtown business community, in association with the Midtown Business Association (MBA), hosts the Midtown Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 6th.

Do some holiday shopping around town, enjoy the first ever Midtown tree-lighting ceremony, the lighting of J Street, and visit IndieSacramento:

Sacramento's largest trunk show & craft bazaar with FREE swag bags for the 1st 200 patrons, FREE horse-drawn carriage rides, local fashion show, activities for the kids & more!

This event day is free to attend, with a small admission charge at IndieSacramento-- $1 with a canned food item or $2 without, and kids 12 and under are free. More info, featured vendors and sponsorship opportunities?

Visit or

When: Saturday, December 6th; 10am to late

Where: Midtown Sacramento; J, K, and L Streets from 22nd to 29th Streets.

Contact MBA for updates: 916-442-1500, or

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Railyards

Below are a few snippets of information from the "Friends of the Railyard" November Newsletter.

Plans for infrastructure at the site are underway and construction workers will soon be hired to build new streets, sidewalks, bridges, overpasses, underground utilities and bike paths. After voter passage of Propositions IB and 1C in 2006, bond money is now flowing into public projects like The Railyards and beginning in 2009 downtown commuters and office workers will begin to notice increased activity at the site.

The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued by S. Thomas Enterprises of Sacramento, LLC, on October 31, 2008 for engineering services for the 5TH Street, 6TH Street, 7th Street Tunnel & Railyards Boulevard Project. With the exception of the schedule extension indicated in this amendment, all other aspects of the RFQ remain unchanged

Amended Schedule
Release RFQ 10/31/2008
SOQ Due Date 11/14/2008
Interviews of Top 3 Consultants Completed 11/21/2008
Selection of Successful Consultants 11/21/2008
Negotiation of Scope and Fees Completed 11/26/2008
Award Contract and Notice to Proceed 12/02/2008

^^^ Click to enlarge

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Tribute Building

Developer Mike Heller is currently proposing a 4-story commercial mixed-use building at 20th and Capitol Ave. for a total of 47,000 gsf and consists of approximately 32,100 square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of retail space.

The project will also have a roof top garden, 28 parking spaces and use smart growth principles. The proposed building materials will have a glass curtain wall with 3 shades of blue/green tinted vision glazing, clear glass with white laminate, and colored metal panels. Integrated art wall accents the stair tower and entry with astorefront window system and vertical metal panels at the pedestrian level for a strong architectural statement.

Until ealier this year, an auto shop and warehouse building were once on the site and have since been demolished.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Five more months...

Five hundred Capitol Mall (Bank of the West Tower) is now in it's final few months of construction. In the next few weeks the man lift elevator will be coming down and then the tower crane in December. The high-rise is shooting to open it's doors for occupants in April and will also be lighting up the front facing Capitol Mall like the Wells Fargo building next to it.


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.

Monday, November 03, 2008

East End Gateway (Round Two)

The Capitol Area Development Authority received three new development proposals for a redevelopment site at the southeast corner of 16th and P Streets also known as East End Gateway Site 4. Last year a proposal was agreed upon to build a mixed use structure on the site by a San Diego developer, but that agreement expired this summer. On Oct. 31st three new proposals were submitted by D & S Development Inc., SKK Developments and MNA Management Inc. The proposals are mixed-use consisting of apartment and condominium and retail. Detailed proposals will be made available to the public for review at the CADA Board meeting 9 a.m. Jan. 23 at 1522 14th St. A selection is anticipated to be made by spring after a thorough public review.