Monday, May 10, 2010

Ad Hoc Committee Created

This Tuesday the City Council will adopt a Redevelopment Agency Resolution to appoint a special advisory committee comprised of the Mayor and three Council Members to review the development team qualifications and project concepts for the 700/800 Blocks of K and L Streets, the Selection Committee recommendations, Staff's recommendation, and provide a recommendation to the Agency Board.

In December 2009, the Economic Development Department issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting qualifications and project concepts from development teams for the development of mixed-use projects for the 700 and 800 blocks of K and L streets (See Attachment 1, Map of Development Sites). Development teams were encouraged to submit team qualifications and project concepts for any of the development areas or any combination of the development areas. In February 2010, four proposals were submitted by the following development teams:

• Team 1: David S. Taylor Interests, Inc. is the Master Developer of this team and is supported by the CIM Group (Developer/Financial Partner), Domus Development (Associates Developer/ Affordable Housing Partner), and Zeiden Properties, LLC (Associate Developer/Retail).

• Team 2: D and S Development Company is the Master Developer and is supported by CFY Development, Inc. (Developer/ Partner/Contractor).

• Team 3: Bridge Housing Corporation is the Master Developer and is supported by Saca Development (Management and Leasing Services), and Bagatelos Development, LLC.

• Team 4: Rubicon Partners is the Master Developer with St. Anton Partners(General Partner) and Preferred Capital Advisors (General Partner).

Details regarding each RFQ response can be found on the Economic Development website here.


Michael said...

I'm actually really impressed with the amount of support and experience team 4 has, and hope the city really takes that into account. It happens to be my favorite because it doesn't compromise on anything, but the density and scope of their proposal is exactly what K street needs and what the city has been wanting for years.

Zwahlen Images said...

Agreed, the Rubicon Partners proposal brings a lot to K Street that none of the others teams can offer. From what I have learned, Rubicon can back up their proposal with money to build it and tenants to fill the office and retail space. I hope the new committee asks lots of questions and picks the AuthentiCity proposal.

wburg said...

Of course, it assumes the city can deliver on two half-city blocks that they don't own and aren't offering--and, it seems, that the housing market comes barreling back in a big way in the next five years. It also assumes that demolishing the historic buildings (except a couple of token facades) on those two-blocks is just fine and dandy with everyone.

Zwahlen Images said...

wburg: it's my understanding that the owners on those two additional blocks are in agreement to sell their property to Rubicon if this proposal gets picked by the city. Also, if you look at the plans wburg, only two facades on the 700 block of K Street would be demolished with the Bel-Vue facade on 8th Street also being preserved as a lobby for a full service restaurant.

late nite said...

The AuthentiCity proposal demolishes all the historic structures. Far from "doesn't compromise on anything". They will keep the facade for the Belvue, but a facade does not a building make. Also, the AuthentiCity won't be too hot if only 1/4 of it gets built and then the project stalls out.

I am very excited with the prospect of a Knitting Factory and permanent farmers market though.

I would ultimately be happy with any of the 4 proposals, which is great as we are so often left to choose between the lesser of evils and not the greater of goods.

I have the most confidence in team 2, as all of the downtown D&S projects and CFY's Globe Mills project have been very successful, and relatively simple in their approach--revitalizing locals and re-using existing buildings (not just facades) that preserve the historic character of our city.

I feel like downtown has enough of Team 1 already and we need variety.

Team 3 looks good, but I'll be surprised if the city goes for them since they're not local (not the best reason to dismiss them, but it will likely happen).

Zwahlen Images said...

late nite: You are wrong about the AuthentiCity proposal demolishing all historic structures. If you look at their RFQ you can clearly see all structures on the 700 block of K Street are saved but two that make way for a path to the interactive alley. And as I said before, the Bel-Vue facade on 8th Street would be preserved as a lobby for a full service restaurant.

wburg said...

zwahlen: Saving the facade isn't preservation, it's demoliton. Many refer to the process as "facadomy." And there are other buildings in the way of the wrecking ball: the Kress Building and the Montgomery Ward Building, both of which are National Register listed as well as city landmarks.

The Knitting Factory idea bothers me the most: Kip claimed it would be competition for Sleep Train Ampitheater, but Sleep Train has a capacity of 18500 and the Knitting Factory venue planned has a capacity of 2000--so it WOULD be competition vs. the Crest, the Community Center Theater, and the Memorial Auditorium.

It seems unlikely that a low-margin businesses like a farmer's market or a live music venue would be economically viable in a brand new building without massive and regular subsidy--businesses like that work better by making use of existing buildings, which means lower rent and lower overhead.

The other "wtf?" part of the "ArtiFiciality" proposal is the 350 room hotel--it sounds an awful lot like the Mohanna/Bob Leach hotel project planned for the same corner--you know, the one whose parking structure would have faced onto 8th and L.

Zwahlen Images said...

Saving the facade is preservation, it's called “façade easement” as described by The "ArtiFiciality" as you like to call is also known as the Agricultural Center and it’s an extreme reach to say it’s Bob Leach’s proposal, actually it's not even close when you look at everything included in the center.

Wburg, I figured you would hate it… the bigger the idea the more you tend to push back. My hope is the committee will ask lots of questions and give the project to the developer who can follow through and really help make K Street a destination instead of anywhere USA.

wburg said...

A "facade easement" isn't what you think it is--a facade easement is an agreement specifically to maintain a building's existing exterior facade, whether or not the interior is maintained, either via internal rehab or in a modified state. It's not the same as demolishing a building except for one wall, which is what they are proposing. Facadism is demolition.

It's not the bigness that's the problem--the Railyards is much bigger than this two square blocks, an I'm a pretty public supporter of that project. It's the disconnection from reality, the collection of buzzwords and shiny things that seem so haphazardly slapped together (Leach's hotel, the Railyards' public market building, Saca's luxury residential towers etc) and the assumption that Sacramento as it is just isn't worth a damn without This One Project.

Trashing more of our heritage doesn't make us more unique, it makes us less unique.

Zwahlen Images said...

WOW, you did not even read what I posted as defined by Like I said, I expected this from you, the same way you pushed back when the Citizen was going to get turned into a hotel with changes at the base of the building. I hope the city is more informed than you on this proposal wburg.

Zwahlen Images said...

One more thing wburg, to say the Railyards (which is an empty swath of land) is a project you support is funny since there is nothing out there to save which is one of your main goals when blocking any proposals that doe's not save what you conceder historic in everyway.

The Railroad museum is separate project from Railyard project, much of which will be preserved as is and something I support.

wburg said...

If you go to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's website and search for "facade easement", you get this link:

Are preservation easements the same as façade easements?
Updated 2/21/2008

The term “façade easement” is sometimes used to describe a type of preservation easement that only protects the exterior façades (the “face”) of a historic structure. Typically, the term refers to easements for properties in urban environments – by comparison, exterior easements in a rural setting often cover not only exterior “façades,” but also the general setting and landscape around a historic structure. Many preservation organizations do not use the phrase “façade easement” because it implies that changes to the historic setting or to other aspects of the property are not covered by the easement even if they may affect its historic character.

Facade easements apply to ALL walls of a building, not just the front facade. It's not the same thing as facadism, where a building is entirely destroyed except for the street-facing facade.

You're also ignoring the two city landmark/national register buildings that WOULD be demolished--the Kress and Montgomery Ward buildings. There's a big tower on their footprint in the renderings.

As to the Railyards--only two of the seven existing Shops buildings (the Boiler Shop and Erecting Shop) are planned to be part of the Railroad Technology Museum. The other five buildings are part of the Railyards project--and all seven are within the geographic boundaries of the Railyards scope, as are the Southern Pacific passenger depot and REA buildings. One of the five Shops buildings, the Paint Shop, is planned to be the home of a farmer's market--the "Atrocity" plan stole their idea for a farmer's market straight from the Railyards plan.

Zwahlen Images said...

Facade easement is preservation, but you and late nite choose to call it demolition while many preservation organizations do consider it preservation… like your link suggested.

Facade easement is preservation, but you and late nite choose to call it demolition while many preservation organizations do consider it preservation… like your link suggested.

Anyway, I’m fine with both the Kress and Montgomery Ward buildings being preserved by facade easement. I have been inside both and don’t see much to get excited about. Wburg, I respect your thoughts and vast knowledge on Sacramento history, but your want to keep nearly every old structure “as is” for reuse is not realistic. Those who actually have to make a living upgrading the structures to attract tenants, it often means building new in addition to preserving the old ,compromises have to be made.

Yeah, the farmer's market idea is a unique idea that ONLY the Railyards have thought about… I can’t believe that concept has never been done before. Hahahahaha :)

wburg said...

You're changing the subject to avoid admitting you don't know what you're talking about. Facade easement is preservation, but the Rubicon group aren't going to do a facade easement--they're going to demolish the building except for the front wall, which is "facadism" or "facadomy," not the same as a facade easement.

And the Kress and Montgomery Ward buildings wouldn't be preserved in any way--there is no hint of them in the renderings, just a big tower where they used to be. That's not "facade easement," it isn't even "facadism," it's just demolition.

I didn't claim the Railyards invented the concept of the farmer's market, but that it was included as an element of their ongoing project, which, despite delays, is actually in the works, whereas the "Ridiculosity" is just a few sketches.

Nor do I think that historic buildings should be left "as is," there are plenty of ways to adapt, adopt and rehabilitate historic buildings in ways other than demolishing everything except one wall--like facade easements, for example, which is quite clearly NOT what this project involves.

Zwahlen Images said...

Give it a rest, it says right there that many preservation organizations do consider it preservation.

Also, have you read the proposal or talked to the developer to confirm the demo of the Kress and Wards building? Let me assure you that the Kress entrance is integrated into the project and the entrance to the California Hall of Fame. I’m surprised at you wburg, your telling me that all you did is look at a few renderings and assume it was to be demoed? Please, before you say any more, read the RFQ for this proposal (I linked it at the bottom of the story) and get back to me then, now who should be admitting they don’t know what they are talking about?

wburg said...

Do consider what preservation? That's the rub.

"Facade easement" is a preservation strategy. Facadism is not.

What we're talking about here (demo except for the front facade) is not a facade easement.

Facadism and facade easements are not the same thing.

late nite said...

I attended the public meeting where the 4 teams showed their proposals. I asked a member of the AuthentiCity team how they were going to fit the buildings they showed at the locations of the historic structures on the 700 block. They said they would be demolished, and that the City would be okay with that because it's consistent with the SACOG Blueprint. They mentioned keeping the street facing wall of the Belvue, but the rest of the structure would be taken down. Personally, I'm more concerned about sustainability than preservation. Putting historic buildings which are part of the character of our downtown into a landfill is not ideally sustainable (whether or not you keep the front wall). Though, sometimes, a new use can outweigh the harm done by demolition, especially if the existing buildings are de-constructed rather than trashed.

There are many great examples of adaptive re-use of historic structures in Sacramento. The whole block of R from 14th -15th, East End Lofts, iLofts, Globe Mills, Zocalo/Dragonfly, Firestone Building, Cosmopolitan, Citizen, etc. It takes a bit more creativity and effort to re-use an old building, but doesn't necessarily cost more to construct.

As for the Knitting Factory--I've been to their venues in other cities. The real competition in Sacramento would be "Venue" (formerly Empire), and maybe Harlow's. The comment about Sleep Train was way off, but I think that just shows a lack of knowledge of Sacramento's entertainment scene. The point is there is not really any venues consistently bringing in noteworthy national touring bands, and in theory Knitting Factory could do that, though there is more to it than a room--as evidenced by the failure of Empire. By the way the west sac Raley's amphitheater would more likely be competition for Sleep Train. I know the City is aware of a potential project at the building housing The Hanger recording studio, which could make for a more authentic music venue+studio+music work space.

Any one know if the Ad Hoc Committee reads blogs from concerned people in Sacramento such as this one?

Zwahlen Images said...

late nite: When I raised objections to the prior proposal by Bob Leach I was invited in to speak with the Mayor's staff and councilmember’s. So I can only assume that a few elected people at City Hall are reading what's being said here. Thanks for your thoughts.