Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Farmers’ Market on the Capitol Mall "Greens"

Starting Thursday, July 29, the first Capitol Mall Farmer’s Market will kick-off the “farm-to-table” movement and the popularity of Sacramento’s Certified Farmers’ Markets.

The Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market will be open every Thursday through September 30 on the “greens” of Capitol Mall between 6th and 7th Streets from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. To optimize access, Capitol Mall will be closed to traffic during the Farmers’ Markets from 5th to 7th Street East bound, 6th to 7th Streets West bound, and Sixth Street will be closed North bound from Capitol Mall to L Street. Ample parking is available in adjacent office towers, nearby pubic garages To and metered street parking on L and N Streets.

The Capitol Mall District was formed by five (5) property owners located on Capitol Mall including: One Capitol Mall, 300 Capitol Mall, 400 Capitol Mall, Bank of the West Tower, Plaza Five-Fifty-Five and U.S. Bank Tower. The District’s purpose is to sponsor and promote events that will energize and utilize the common areas (the “Greens”) of Capitol Mall for the enjoyment of the entire region.

For more about information about the Capitol Mall Farmer’s Market call 916-498-6215. To learn more about Sacramento’s Certified Farmers’ Markets visit: or Marika Rose, 916-601-9737,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Streetcar Planning Study

As part of the 2010 federal and state programming, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) awarded a grant in the amount of $310,000 in federal funds to the City of Sacramento for a Streetcar Planning Study. The City of Sacramento applied for these funds in order to perform a planning study that would evaluate the feasibility of alternative streetcar routes throughout strategic locations in the City, compare alignments for maximum economic, environmental and mobility benefits, and develop a priority list for funding and implementation.

This Tuesday the City Council will accept and appropriate funds necessary to begin the planning work. This funding may only be used for the proposed Streetcar Planning Study. The Sacramento Streetcar Planning Study Project  (T15115800) is funded with $310,000 of federal funds (Fund 3703) and $90,000 in local funds (Fund 2001) to be transferred from the Major Streets Improvement project (T15108000) into the Sacramento Streetcar Planning Study Project (T15115800). No general funds are planned or allocated for this project.

The Streetcar Planning Study will evaluate a wide range of potential streetcar options. The City of Sacramento 2030 General Plan focuses on higher density land uses in commercial corridors near job centers. Having a variety of transportation choices which include streetcars promotes accessible alternatives to the automobile and supports the City's economic, land use and transportation goals.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sacramento Urban Pleasures

Back in early spring I was inspired, so I went out and got some new city photos. Please see more by clicking the link below.

Leland Stanford Mansion - 800 N Street, built between 1856 and 1872, Lightrail stop at 8th & Capitol Mall

Sacramento Urban Pleasures

I'll have them up on my website soon

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tower Cranes for Sutter Expansion

It's quite a site to see a couple of tower cranes rise in Sacramento these days, but it's even more impressive is to see them at the east end of midtown. With the four story Sutter Capitol Pavilion medical offices almost finished up, the nine story Ose Adams Medical Pavilion tower has now become the focus of the project. It's expected that foundation work continuing till the end of the year with the tower rising early next year.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sacramento Zoo Feasibility Study

This Tuesday the City Council will look over a two year study by the Community Development Department Zoo feasibility study. The Sacramento Zoological Society Long Range Planning Committee had identified Sutter's Landing Regional Park as their preferred site for a modest expansion of the zoo, but alternative sites have also been located for a future zoo.

Cost Premium of Construction on former landfill:
Construction costs will be significantly higher (to account for ground settling and special drainage treatment); thus, it is expected that construction of a zoo on this site would cost $625K/acre ($30 million total for a 50 acre zoo) above the "normal" costs of constructing a zoo on a site without landfill issues.

In addition to Sutter's Landing Regional Park, the consultant conducted preliminary evaluations of other potential sites:
• Natomas Joint Vision: This land area has no land use entitlements or habitat conservation permits.
• Arco Arena area: This site is part of the Convergence proposal
• Job Corps / Delta Shores Regional Park: The southern portion of the Job Corps site has not yet been surplused by the federal government
• North Natomas Regional Park: Already programmed for other uses
• Haggin Oaks Golf Course: This would require reconfiguration of the existing golf course and there may be competition from other potential users
• Cal Expo: This site is part of the Convergence proposal
• Granite Regional Park - east basin: This site is.difficult to evacuate in the event of drainage pump failure
• Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course: This site would require reconfiguration or elimination of the existing golf course.

The study emphasized that:
• The decision and actions to move forward with a zoo of the future are long range planning activities (a 20 year timeframe).
• There are no imminent plans to move or expand the zoo; options are provided for preliminary consideration.
• The community and PRC workshops are an important step in exploring those options for the long term future of the zoo.

The Feasibility Study concluded that:
• The current 14 acre site of the Land Park zoo is not sustainable for the future. The changing exhibit requirements, increasing operating costs, and stagnant revenues, are resulting in a zoo that offers fewer exhibits. Parking is limited and cannot fully accommodate visitors on weekends or during busy seasons.
• Sutter's Landing Regional Park is not well suited for a zoo. The site poses a number of tough challenges (e.g., building new access roads and constructing zoo facilities on a former landfill).
• Initial findings are that other sites are potentially better suited for a future zoo.
• Physically, Land Park could potentially accommodate a modest expansion.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

City Picks D&S and Taylor for K Street Development

treeI truly feel the right choice was made here.
One thing that bothered me listening to the meeting last night was it seemed as though people felt we would be settling for a lesser plan and aren't hitting (or at least trying to) a homerun by choosing this plan.
I feel this plan IS a homerun. There was no safe plan, if that was the case, those two blocks would have been developed a long time ago. These plans give us the best chance to see a remarkable change quickly.
One other point: I thought Jason Boggs from Shady Lady made great points regarding one of the key difference between the Rubicon and D&S proposal (other than finances) that was overlooked by a lot of people, The Kniting Factory.
The place was just too darn big and didn't fit what the cities music scene has needed for a long time. A midsize, and most important, LOCAL run venue in the heart of the city. I have complete confidence what they put togther will be a lynch pin in that section of K Street for a very long time.
Memo to Taylor and D& better get this done now. No excuses.
Sacramento council picks lower-cost plan for K Street Mall
The decades-long effort to revitalize downtown Sacramento's K Street got a second wind Tuesday night.
The City Council voted 5-4 to negotiate with two development teams proposing to build more than 200 housing units, shops and restaurants along two downtrodden blocks of the K Street Mall.
The vote spurned a more elaborate proposal by developer Rubicon Partners to bring a year-round market similar to San Francisco's Ferry Building, a music venue and a 10-story housing complex to K Street. That plan faced at least a $50 million funding gap.
For more:

Monday, July 12, 2010

R Street Market Plaza Project

On Tuesday the Sacramento City Council will consider approval of the preliminary design R Street Market Plaza so as to move forward with the final design of the project. On June 16" 2010 the Design Review Commission reviewed the project and suggested that the project be forwarded for approval to the City Council.

The design of the R Street Market Plaza Project was planned to be completed in two phases. Phase I was to complete preliminary engineering and the approval of environmental documents. Phase II includes the preparation of Final Plans, Specifications and Estimate (PS&E). On July 29, 2008, the City Council approved a Professional Services Agreement with Mark Thomas and Company to proceed with Phase 1 of the design. Capital Area Development Authority (CADA) will provide additional funds to complete Phase II.

Staff will be returning to City Council to approve an Agreement with CADA and to appropriate funds to complete Phase II. Because the construction funding of the project is anticipated to be federally funded, a review of the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was required.

The R Street Market Plaza Project is at 30% design. Adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Reporting Program and approval of the preliminary design is necessary to move forward with the final design of the project.

Friday, July 09, 2010

K Street Ad Hoc

Congratulations K Street Ad Hoc members! You have recommended a proposal with 80M funding gap with zero chance of being filled!

What do we (Sacramento) win? A K Street Mall stretch that will look the same (if not worse) in 10 years!!

Instead of being responsible and actually looking at the financial feasibility of the project given the subsidy levels the city has available (which I think tend to be somewhat important nowadays) you couldn't get your eyes off the pretty pictures.

We should all know pretty pictures are a dime a dozen here in Sacramento. Where the money come from is the key question.

The city does not have the money for this project. Plain and simple. It's not even a matter of whether to spend money the city has, they simply do not have the money for the subsidy level required.

Doesn't matter if the 5000 sf house looks better than the 2000 sf one, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it. The recent housing situation should have taught people this.

My support goes fully toward the D&S project who has provide a financing plan that might just actually work. On top of that, the project just happens to provide what the 700 block exactly needs.

If they can reproduce what they did at 14th and R, but on a larger scale, it will be the greatest transformation K Street has seen in decades.

Please go to the link below and email the city council to use common sense in this matter.


On Saturday, July 10, D&S Development will host an event with information about the "Promenade on K," their proposed project for 700 block of K Street.

The event will take place at the Shady Lady, 1409 R Street, from 6 PM-8 PM.

Complimentary food samplings from local retailers will be provided. The Shady Lady is one of several local businesses interested in joining the K Street project. They propose a mid-sized music venue to fill a much-needed niche in the local live entertainment scene, along with multiple restaurants and bars within the venue. This, along with other local businesses, will provide the retail component, while D&S provides mixed-income housing above and behind the retail stores.

According to Bay Miry of D&S, "The focus of our proposal is for it to be a balance between boldnessand doability. The proposal consists of 136 workforce apartments above unique predominantly locally operated retail. All while historically preserving the existing buildings. Think our 14&R project but albeit on a grander scale.

Evidence of equity and financing has been given to the City. The amount of subsidy our proposal requests per unit is significantly lower when compared apples to apples with the other proposals. All ground floor retail tenants have already been identified!"

On Tuesday July 13, the Sacramento City Council will assign an Exclusive Right to Negotiate for the K Street project. The city's selection committee chose the D&S project and David Taylor's 700/800K, LLC, to share the project.

An ad-hoc committee of City Council members chose the Rubicon Partners project. The City Council meeting will select a proposal for further work by city staff, an important step towards revitalizing K Street.

D&S has also set up a website where the public can show their support for the project to the city council, mayor, and city manager:
Saturday July 10, 6-8 PM
The Shady Lady, 1409 K Street

Ad Hoc Committee Chooses K Street Developer

A city staff report released Thursday afternoon says the ad hoc committee led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is backing the developers of the Citizen Hotel to redevelop the 700 and 800 blocks of K Street Mall with a huge public market as the centerpiece.

According the Sacramento Press, the committee, made up of four City Council members - Steve Cohn, Rob Fong, Ray Tretheway and Johnson recommending that the Sacramento Alliance Team led by Rubicon Partners, St. Anton Partners and Preferred Capital Advisors be given the project to revamp city-owned property on those blocks, according to a city staff report.

The City Council is set to vote on the matter this Tuesday.

Last month, a special committee set up by the city recommended two other teams to handle the redevelopment. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership endorsed those selections. Since then, intense lobbying and social media network tools have been used by teams vying for the work.

This is great news and I hope the City Council also votes in favor of the Alliance team. Please let them know if you haven’t already by clicking here and sending them some words of support, does Sacramento want to settle for reasonable or go for what is achievable?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Monday, July 05, 2010

Northwest Land Park Project

Residential Development
The project would include a variety of residential building types, ranging from apartment units and condominiums to townhouses and single-family residences. The buildings are proposed as 2- 3- and 4-story structures, with many buildings designed to have living space over covered parking and direct access garages, though some may use surface parking areas.

The proposed buildings are all part of an urban medium-density design concept that allows for various products to be placed on the residential lots within each block. This concept allows blocks to be designed with one product type or with multiple product types in each block. This flexibility allows for market-response plotting of the more desirable products. A range of densities in Phases 1 through 4 provides the flexibility to determine the specific building types at the time the final entitlement is provided for each phase.

Mixed-Use Development
Within the Mixed Use Urban Corridor Low area, the proposed project would include a mix of multi-family residential buildings and mixed-use buildings with approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial space on the lower floors with residential uses above. The commercial space is anticipated to be neighborhood-serving retail and commercial operations that foster pedestrian access from the new community, as well as from existing surrounding neighborhoods.

Recreation and Open Space
The project would include a 3.7-acre public park, Setzer Run Park, within the central portion of the project site. Setzer Run Park would include a bike and pedestrian trail that would run through the project site. This new green space would combine a footpath/bike path, stormwater quality management components, and newly planted trees.

A community center is an optional project element that will be analyzed in the EIR. The community center and any required associated parking would be located directly adjacent to the Setzer Run Park.

The project would also include private recreational and open space areas within some of the residential blocks. Landscaping would be an integral element of the project. Street trees would be planted throughout the project consistent with City requirements, and extensive landscaping is proposed to keep the project in character with the surrounding nearby established communities. Common areas would be landscaped to designed provide community recreation space.

Cardno WRG has submitted this info to the Sacramento Community Development Department who will be the Lead Agency for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Northwest Land Park Project.  Notice of Preparation

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”
~ Abraham Lincoln

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Downtown Plaza in the News

It looks as though Westfield's Downtown Plaza has some good news. 24 Hour Fitness is planning to double the size of the gym by expanding from the first-floor location into the second floor where Copeland Sports use to be. Planned is a multimillion-dollar renovation; the addition of a cycling room, basketball and racquetball courts and "refreshments" of the pool, locker rooms and other areas. The project, to be completed in the fall of 2011 and will add 20,000sf to make it a 50,000sf fitness center. Last year, Westfield began work on enhancements including LED lighting, new color scheme and improvements to courtyard and piazza areas.

It’s also being reported that Westfield’s in discussions with two potential buyers for the downtown mall. KCRA’s reporting that Mayor Johnson has identified a highly qualified potential buyer that is now in serious discussions with Westfield and that they have the capacity and capability of doing something at a very large scale. There's also another group that's also having not quite as serious discussions, but discussions with the Westfield group as well.