Let’s start with the good. CIM Group Inc. in partner with David Taylor plan to submit a development proposal for the empty 700 - 800 blocks of K Street which are city-owned, according to Taylor Interests and the city. With Sacramento CIM investments in the hundreds of millions of dollars, they could also be the only company with any desire to buy Westfield’s Downtown Plaza and transforming it into a more urban-orientated shopping center. Currently CIM’s Sacramento investments include 800 J Street, the 26-story “Park Plaza” office building across from Cesar Chavez Park, a partnerships in Sheraton Grand Hotel, Cosmopolitan Theater, and new nightclubs and restaurants on K Street. Currently both CIM and Taylor have partnered up with Gerry Kamilos in an arena proposal for the Railyards which seems to have strong interest by both the NBA and the City. CIM has also been chosen to lead development for the former “Towers” site on Capitol Mall and has committed $165 million to the project but is currently waiting for market conditions to improve before moving forward.
The bad news is the Hard Rock Café in Downtown Plaza that opened in 1997 is going to close at the end of March when its lease expires. It’s being reported that this is happening as a cost cutting measure but it was just last week a new Hard Rock Cafe opened up in Seattle.
As much as I am not a fan of how the 800 J Street building looks from the street, it has become a great success with its ground floor retail occupied and nearly all the apartment units above rented out. If you look at CIM history of “urban renaissance” development, it looks as though they have both the experience and deep pockets that Sacramento needs to develop downtowns retail and housing.