Thursday, December 29, 2011

Court Rules to Kill Redevelopment Agencies

California's high court ruled today that California's redevelopment agencies can be dissolved by the legislature, but the state cannot force those agencies to make payments to other government funds,  Faced with a continuing budget shortfall, California legislators earlier this year passed a law dissolving local redevelopment agencies in an attempt to save money.

Another law, however, gave the agencies a chance to continue operating, on the condition that they pay $1.7 billion this fiscal year and $400 million each year thereafter to schools, transit and fire districts. The court also found that the dissolution law "is a proper exercise of legislative power." The funding law, however, violates the California constitution, it said in the ruling.

This ruling should stop work on several projects including 800 K Street that needs redevelopment funds to break ground.  and East End Gateway 2 and 3 in which CADA owns the land.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Downtown Sacramento Christmas Lights

It’s that special time of year on Capitol Mall and Old Sacramento, Christmas lights are up inviting people to walk a few blocks and the Capitol Christmas Tree is decked out in all its splendor. Over the last several years, it appears as if more lights have gone up to enrich the overall experience as an inviting destination to visit and enjoy. The Wells Fargo Center has done a fantastic job with a beautiful tree in the lobby and twinkling lights inside and out.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fall 2011 Construction Update

“Seventh & H" SRO - 7th & H Street, $47.4 million project. Expected completion date, Spring 2013

626 I Street Rehabilitation Project - $19.4 million. Expected completion date, Sept. 2012

La Valentina Station - 12th Street between D and E streets, $27 million project. Expected completion date, summer 2012.

Sutter Medical Center - L & 29th Street, $600 million project. Expected completion date, late 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Old Sacramento Theatre of Lights

Back for the third year, event-goers will experience the Old Sacramento Theatre of Lights. Each night a symphony of lights, sounds and visual effects will take the audience back to a time when the beloved poem The Night Before Christmas was first introduced in Sacramento in 1857.

The Old Sacramento Theatre of Lights will run two 20-minute light shows at 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday until December 18. The shows will begin running every night from December 19-23 at the same times. The Christmas Eve show will only be at 6:15 p.m. New Year’s Eve will feature Theatre of Lights as an important piece of the overall fireworks spectacular with shows running later in the evening at 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Downtown Arena Funding

Reality hit the ThinkBIG supporters yesterday after city staffers published a report that discussed the selling of publicly owned parking spaces and garages for the next 50 years for upfront construction cash.  The report did not look good concerning three issues, privatizing parking will force visitors to spend more money to park their cars downtown, there will be $9 million dollar hole in the city’s general fund every year with no plan to replace it, and the original value that was earlier used for leasing away the parking rights was overstated.  

The report also pointed out that the leasing of on-street parking rights to build a new arena is not even legal according to current law and that the city has to pay off $52 million of bond debt before control could be handed over to any private parking company. Apparently, city officials are looking at ways to twist the law so that the leasing of on-street parking could be used to pay off this debt and opening the city up to lawsuits.

To top it off, the estimated cost of building the arena was increased by another $19 million over the past few weeks from $387 million to $406 million so that a VIP parking garage can be constructed on site. This number does not include the costs to build the necessary infrastructure around the site needed to support an arena, such as new water mains, improved roadways, and electrical capacity upgrades.

March is coming fast, I wish Ronald Burkle were an option.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Construction Set for EEG 2 & 3

Good news for 16th Street, after searching for nearly five years to obtain a construction loan, developers Ravel Rasmussen Properties and Separovich/Domich got approved for their Spanish-style residential and retail complex whose land is owned by the Capitol Area Development Authority. Later this month, construction will start on the two buildings that will house 84 apartments and 13,000 square feet of retail. Construction costs for the East End Gateway Sites 2 & 3 will be $17.5 million and should take about 16 months to complete.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Elks Tower Modification

Owners of the Elks Tower are asking the Preservation Commission to approve an exterior modification of the building by removing a 95 square foot enclosure at the 13th floor roof deck and construct a new 480 square foot enclosure.  

The plan involves the remove of an existing, non-original 95 square foot stair enclosure on the 13th floor roof deck that was installed in the 1970s, and construct a new 480 square foot enclosure. The enclosure will provide ADA access to the 14th Floor and slightly expand the footprint of both the 13th and 14th floors off the rear/east elevation of the structure. Though window glazing would be removed to connect the expanded floor space, the original window openings and original exterior materials would remain in place. Original exterior iron work at the window openings would be retained and used in the new space. The new work will be placed inside the north and south exterior walls and inset within the 12th floor roof deck on the east/rear side of the structure.

The Elks Tower was constructed in 1926 and became a designated City Landmark on June 15, 1982. City staff has recommended that the commission approve this request.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

CADA's R Street Warehouse

After 13 years of spearheading the R Street Warehouse project, the Capitol Area Development Authority has not been unable to get it financed. The six-story brick warehouse once had been planned for a $57 million condominium project with 122 units, now they say they are looking at building 100 apartments and a garage for $27 million. The new plans don’t include the warehouse but make plans to construct apartments on the empty lot next door at 12th and R streets.

The project, announced in 1998, are up against a critical deadline. If the project does not break ground by early 2013, they could loose a $5 million grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. Two local downtown developers (Bay Miry & Michael Heller) have said they would be interested in taking on the project if current developer Rick Holliday can’t pull this project together.

CADA has recently spent $6.5 million on infrastructure improvements along R Street, including sidewalks and new street pavement.

Sac Bee article here.