Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hotel Berry Overhaul

Today the Hotel Berry will have a ceremonial kick-off for long-overdue upgrades that actually began last December. According to Bob Shallit, next month workers begin updating 105 single-occupancy rooms, with a target completion date of next February. Initial work includes seismic retrofits, asbestos removal and some interior demolition.

The remodel will cost $24.8 million and will be paid for by local redevelopment financing, federal grants and a loan from U.S. Bank. Jamboree Housing Corp. acquired the 82-year-old building last year and intends to preserve the building's original exterior. That includes touching up a huge mural – promoting a one-time eatery called "Original Mac's – on the building's north side. Rents will run from $382 to $573 per month, depending on income level.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Track Relocation & Depot Retrofit

Today the City Council will approve additional funding for several sub-projects that are part of the Sacramento Intermodal Transportation Facility (SITF or Intermodal) family of projects. These projects include Track Relocation (Intermodal Phase 1), Improvements to the Sacramento Valley Station (Intermodal Phase 2), and the Depot Retrofit Project. These additional funds will be for design and construction to the historic Depot and Intermodal site that provide upgrades and new development to enhance this area as a transportation center and retail, commercial, cultural and civic destination.

Track Relocation (Intermodal Phase 1) - is the top priority transportation project in the region. In 2010, bids came in above available funds. Since then the project has been redesigned and reissued for bid. In March 2011, the City will award the construction contract in order to maintain funding.

Intermodal Phase 2 - After Track Relocation, improvements to the existing station are planned to enable the station to function better. Phase 2 will incorporate components such as a transitway and circulation, site and parking improvements, passenger amenities and refurbishing of the Depot to foster greater use of the building. Built in the 1920’s, the existing Depot station requires seismic strengthening and structural upgrades to meet current building standards. This project will provide these structural improvements and will also provide accessibility and fire-life safety improvements. This project is currently in design and is planned to be under construction in spring 2011.

Track Relocation (Phase 1 estimated cost $56,169,000), improvements to the existing Sacramento Valley Station, which includes the current Southern Pacific Railroad Depot (Phase 2 estimated cost $21.9 million), and eventual transformation of the Station into a multimodal transportation center (future Phase 3 estimated cost $261.9 million).

SRO Project Breaking Ground Soon

This $47 million projects planned for the northwest corner of 7th & H Street has now received all needed entitlements and necessary financing to move forward with construction this March. The project will be funded with $25 million in 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $8,200,000 loan funded by Home Investment Partnership Program, a $6,859,695 capitol grant and $3,750,000 operating grant funded by Downtown Low Moderate Tax Increment Funds, and a land grant for the acquisition, construction and permanent financing of the 7th & H Project.

Developer and owner Mercy Housing California is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing quality affordable housing with supportive programs to low-income persons in California. Together, Mercy Housing California and Rural California Housing Corporation have been responsible for the construction of more than 2,900 affordable single-family self-help homeownership units and 124 multifamily rental properties with a total of more than 7000 units. Their portfolio includes 18 properties in Sacramento County alone.

This 7th & H Street project will include 122 studios (325sf) and 28 one bed room (500sf) units as well as sixteen parking spaces, retail and health clinic on the ground floor. This eight story 102 foot tall building’s designed to replace other single room occupancy (SRO) units in downtown that are going to be replaced with other developments in the future.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

J-K-L Corridor Gets Expert Opinion

This week urban design experts will work with the Sacramento Mayor, city staff and the public to explore design options for a revamped J-K-L corridor as reported by Sacramento Business Journal. The team is in Sacramento as part of a partnership with the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD). The institute works to help transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be “chief urban designers” of their cities. MICD experts are on a three-day visit to Sacramento starting Monday. They will evaluate current plans for the J-K-L corridor, hear from stakeholders, tour the area and prepare recommendations for the future of the downtown corridor.

The recommendations are expected to be unveiled at a public presentation between noon and 1 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

Monday, February 14, 2011

River District Specific Plan

This Tuesday the Sacramento City Council will pass several resolutions to move the River District plan forward. The resolutions will include 1) certifying the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and adopting the Mitigation Monitoring Program for the River District Specific Plan, 2) a Resolution amending the General Plan land use diagram for various parcels in accordance with the River District Specific Plan; 3) a Resolution rescinding the Richards Boulevard Area Plan (RBAP) and Facility Element; 4) a Resolution amending the 2030 General Plan Circulation Element in accordance with the River District Specific Plan; 5) a Resolution adopting the River District Specific Plan, Design Guidelines, and Infrastructure Financing Plan; 6) a Resolution amending the Railyards Specific Plan relating to the future operation of 5th and 7th Streets; 7) a Resolution amending the Bikeway Master Plan in accordance with the River District Specific Plan; 8) a Resolution approving a Water Supply Assessment Report for the River District Specific Plan Project; 9) a Resolution rescinding the Discovery Centre PUD; 10) a Resolution adopting the River District Design Guidelines for the River District Design Review District; 11) an Ordinance establishing the River District Design Review District; 12) an Ordinance adopting the River District Special Planning District; 13) an Ordinance nominating properties in the River District Specific Plan Area as Landmarks and nominating the North 16th Street Historic District and its’ Contributing Resources for listing in the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources; and 14) an Ordinance rezoning various parcels in the River District.

The 773-acre River District area project proposes policies to support a transit-oriented mixed use urban environment that would include 8,144 dwelling units, 3.956 million square feet of office, 854,000 square feet of retail/wholesale, 1.463 million square feet light industrial, and 3,044 hotel units. The District is currently home to 386 residential units, approximately 5.07 million square feet of industrial uses, 384,000 square feet of retail/wholesalers and 1.312 million square feet of office. No timeline has been given as to when construction will begin.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Streetcar Planning Study

On Tuesday the 8th, the Sacramento City Council will adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a professional service agreement with Fehr & Peers to perform a Streetcar Planning Study for an amount not to exceed $310,000. The study 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.

Since May 2006, the City of Sacramento has worked in partnership with the City of West Sacramento, Regional Transit (RT) and the Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD) to develop a streetcar project that will connect Downtown West Sacramento with Downtown Sacramento (Downtown Riverfront Streetcar line). Over the past several years, guided by a Policy Steering Committee (PSC) and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the initial phase of this streetcar project was designed. The first phase of this project will begin at the West Sacramento City Hall and end at the Tower Bridge. As part of this Streetcar Planning Study and working with these partners, theCity of Sacramento will complete the planning work and determine the alignment for the Sacramento phase of this project.