Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Developers buy 730 I Street building for $7.8M

The Sacramento Business Journal's reporting that Sacramento Counties selling the Bank of America Building at 730 I St. for $7.8 million. The new owners will either refurbish it into a “first-class commercial project” or raze the building and put up a new one. If the group elects to refurbish the building, it must revamp the exterior with glass, concrete or other contemporary materials and may add a fourth floor.

The developers Ravel Rasmussen Properties and Separovich/Domich Real Estate Development are buying at a great time and I hope they have big plans to replace this building when the market improves. In 2006 D.R. Horton had big plans to build high-rise condos before the housing market went south. In this case I hope the new owners do something that’s a mixed use of both office and housing because downtown really needs more people living and working in the area.

Friday, March 20, 2009

EEG Site One Developer Selected

EM Johnson Interest and Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund Holdings (NCRFH), a member of the Nehemiah family of companies, has been selected as the developer for East End Gateway Site 1. Located on the northwest corner of 16th and N Streets, the site is currently occupied by a parking lot and a small apartment building.

The selected proposal identifies sources of equity and construction financing and emphasizes the development of mid-rise entry-level “workforce” housing. The structure was designed by Devrouax + Purnell Architects and will be 8 floors (7 floors over a concrete podium). The structure will contain 98 condominiums, 6,000 s.f. of retail and 120 parking spaces. Construction is scheduled to begin in October 2010 and be completed by January 2012. The total project development cost is estimated at $37 million.

Projects completed by Em Johnson Interest include the Fillmore Heritage Center and North Beach Place in San Francisco (in partnership with Bridge Housing), Richmond Village, and Palm Villas in Oakland. NCRFH was the joint venture partner in developing over 1,900 units of housing in California, is the developer of the Township 9 project in Sacramento's River District, and provides community lending throughout the United States to help revitalize economically stressed neighborhoods.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

K Street compromise

Friday, March 13, 2009
Sacramento Business Journal


The issue: The city approved a $5.7 million subsidy for a nightclub/restaurant on K Street despite protests / Our position: The subsidy’s new restrictions should be enough to quell the controversy without killing the project

Sometimes, a compromise is a victory.

And a controversial development on K Street is proof.

A complicated accord, reached during last-minute negotiations, will allow developer David Taylor and the CIM Group to contract with an out-of-town nightclub and restaurant owner to open a bar, gourmet pizza eatery and nightclub. Construction is scheduled to start by the end of April, and the so-called dive bar — featuring mermaids and mermen — and other entertainment-oriented spots could open by the end of the year.

It’s a long-overdue and much-appreciated development for K Street, which has battled eminent domain lawsuits, failed shops and a look-over-your-shoulder feeling. Sure, an arts center, museum or major retailer is a better use of the building, but an entertainment outlet is a huge step forward.

Any development is better than a block of decaying and neglected structures.

The late-in-the-game agreement turned controversy into compromise and is evidence of a let’s-get-it-done attitude under Mayor Kevin Johnson and a revived City Council.

There was anger, debate and, in the end, a resolution. Truly, a great example of the process at work.

Certainly, closed-door meetings created the deal, but it was a public dispute from the beginning, culminating with full-page newspaper ads and media coverage during the final week.

The Sacramento City Council approved the $5.7 million “altered” subsidy for the development, ending a few hours of public comment and dozens of speakers about the project.

Under the agreement, San Francisco nightclub owner George Karpaty cannot combine the business spaces to create a huge nightclub without Council approval, and $2.1 million in funding will be delayed until a tenant is found for the fourth space. A more-than-acceptable agreement, for both sides.

The controversial funding comes from $25.6 million generated from the sale of the Sheraton Grand, another high-profile and much-needed project Taylor powered. Those dollars could be used only for downtown redevelopment, and the bar-pizzeria-nightclub fits the bill. Karpaty and Taylor will combine to invest $5 million in the project.

However, many midtown business owners challenged the city subsidy, saying the entertainment venues would hurt their own struggling operations. It’s an acceptable argument, especially with the dismal economy and fast-declining consumer spending.

But K Street needs development. Now, with the agreement, the on-again-off-again renovation of the often-overlooked street can resume and get “off its knees and back on its feet,” in the words of City Councilman Ray Tretheway. The agreement between the city, the developers and midtown business owners will also help the city stand a bit straighter in the eyes of the community.