Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer 2011 Construction Rundown

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

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

Maydestone Apartments - Corner of J & 15th Street, $7.2 million renovation. Expected completion date, February 1, 2012.

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

DMV Headquarters Upgrade - 2415 1st Avenue
$127 million renovation, 13-years renovation so far. Expected completion date, who knows???

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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Southside Park Picnic Area Improvements

Next Tuesday, the City Council will approve The Southside Park Picnic Area project, which consists of the renovating 0.57-acres including: clearing and grubbing, demolition, grading, a low water efficient landscaping and irrigation system modifications, accessible concrete flatwork, concrete mowstrips, picnic tables, game tables, serving tables, group barbeque grills, drinking fountain, trash receptacles, signage, and security cameras. Construction is expected to begin in September 2011 and be complete by late fall 2011.

The project award will be for the base bid and two additive alternates (security cameras) in an amount not to exceed $196,186.37. The contract for the Southside Park Picnic Area Renovation project is awarded to RSC General & Engineering, Inc.

Funds to rebuild this project come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant for $142,985 and matching funds from the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the Southside Park Picnic Area Renovation project. In order to award the contract as recommended, staff seeks approval to augment the existing project budget by appropriating $24,000of Park Development Impact Fees (PIF), Fund 3204.

RSC General & Engineering, Inc. was the lowest responsive bidder with a total bid price of $175,828.37 for the base bid and with additive alternates 1 & 2, the total amount proposed for the contract award is $196,186.37

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Downtown Sacramento Riverfront Connector

Today there will be an open house on the connecting of downtown Sacramento to the riverfront.

The informational meeting will provide a project overview, schedule and next steps. The public is invited to stop in anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at 828 I St., and city staff and technical specialists will be on-hand to answer questions and provide more details about the project.

When the I-5 Riverfront Reconnection Project was in its initial vision stage, the City Council had considered creating a deck over the freeway to reconnect downtown to the riverfront.

A project review study found the decking idea was too expensive, so it was scrapped in favor of the current bridging project, according to the Department of Transportation website.

The current design – which includes bike and pedestrian improvements to Capitol Mall, a new gateway entrance into Old Sacramento and a new N Street bridge crossing I-5 – is in the environmental review stages now, and the public may review draft environmental impact reports until Aug. 31.

Of the estimated $38 million design and construction cost for the project, about $5 million comes from federal sources, another $1 million comes from local funding, and an additional $300,000 comes from a Caltrans community-planning grant.

Future financing for design and construction will be sought once the planning and environmental phase is completed. That funding is likely to come from a variety of public and private funding sources, according to the Department of Transportation website.

Depending on available funding, construction for the first phase of improvements could begin as early as 2014.

To read more about the project click here or here in the Sacramento Press.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Northwest Land Park Project

This Tuesday the Sacramento City Councils going to consider approval of entitlements for the Northwest Land Park project as recommend by city staff.


The applicant (Northwest Land Park, LLC and The CHY Company, CHY II, and cousins Market) are requesting entitlements to develop 31.7 gross acres in four phases. The request for a Development Agreement and a Bikeway Master Plan covers the entire property. Phase 1 only, which consists of a 201 unit condominium development on 8.1 gross acres. Phases 2, 3 and 4 will be developed in a future time; the development of each subsequent phase will require additional entitlements. The project would include an approximately 4.5 acres public park within the central portion of the project site.

It is assumed to include a range of housing types and densities, with an average density that falls within the identified range of 33 to 110 units per acre. Within the Mixed-Use Urban Corridor Low area, the proposed project would include a mix of residential buildings and mixed-use buildings with approximately 15,000 square feet of commercial space on the lower floors with residential uses above.

The signature elements of the project are:
1. Festival Street. Located adjacent to 5th Street in Phase 2 of the development, the street connects to 4th Street when opened and functions as an open outdoor plaza when periodically closed to vehicular traffic.

2. Open Air Market. A farmer’s market is planned for the reuse of existing structures between the park and 5th Street, along Festival Street. The market will provide the sale of local goods and produce.

3. Adaptive Reuse Building. A portion of the existing wholesale produce building to be adaptively reused to serve as a community-oriented facility to complement the neighborhood park. The facility is envisioned to support community gatherings, continued education, public health and safety and other indoor community events.

Optional Elements are:
1. Metal Burner Structure. A cylindrical structure located near the railroad undercrossing may be preserved and modified as a distinctive community icon.

2. Rail Tunnel. There is a tunnel under Interstate 5 adjacent to the western boundary of the project currently provides rail access into the Setzer site. With its potential abandonment in a later phase, a pedestrian and bicycle connection may be created between the Northwest Land Park neighborhood and Miller Park, located along the Sacramento River. The proposed use of the tunnel requires coordination and approval from State and local agencies.

City Staff has recommended entitlements for the project.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

$22 Million Toward Redevelopment Agency

The county and city of Sacramento have contributed about $22 million to keep their redevelopment agency running another year.

To help balance the budget, state lawmakers passed bills in June that dissolved redevelopment agencies across California, but allowed local governments to create voluntary redevelopment agencies.

The county Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to provide $3.5 million for the current fiscal year to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to provide $18.3 million to the agency for this fiscal year.

The funding will allow the agency to continue with planned redevelopment projects, officials said. In Sacramento, that includes improvements on the 800 block of K Street, and the Grand Theater renovation.

The California Redevelopment Association, the League of California Cities and two Bay Area cities have petitioned the state Supreme Court to block implementation of the state laws and to overturn them.

State lawmakers, including Gov. Jerry Brown, have argued that redevelopment money often went to wasteful projects, and continued funding didn't make sense when core services are being cut.

Noted comment from Sac Bee: I thought the city was broke? At least they claimed to be. Now suddenly they have over $18 MILLION to donate?? Wonder why all layoffs had to happen if they had this much to spend. Just goes to show you what liars the city councilmembers are.

Read more here.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Old Sacramento Savings Demolition

On the corner at L and Fourth streets, the weathered former Sacramento Savings building started demolition with a bulldozer this last Tuesday.  Signs were posted on the building over three years ago that demolition was planned, but this was its last week.
The privately owned bank with the Pony Express rider logo had been in business since the 1870s, growing to more than 40 branches across the Central Valley and into the north state before First Interstate Bank acquired the lender in the mid-1990s. First Interstate was later bought by Wells Fargo.
Known as the ugly duckling of downtown buildings in the 1960s and 1970s, the building at 424 L Street will soon become a parking lot with no other plans in the near future.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Downtown Sacramento Restaurant Closures

In the last few months several downtown restaurants have had to close their doors due to the continued sluggish economy. With the economy showing signs of a double-dip rescission, I expect to see a high turnover of dining establishment’s downtown and the metro area in the coming years.

Downtown Restaurant 2011 Closures to date:
Spin Burger Bar - 1020 16th St. – Open eight months
Brew It Up - 14th and H streets - 15 years in business
Table 260 - 826 J Street
Hangar 17 - 17th and S streets – opened 2004
Danielle's Creperie - 901 K Street
Fog Mountain Café - 10th and I Streets
California Pizza Kitchen - 1132 16th St. – Opened May 2009
Good Eats - 3145 Folsom Boulevard
Celestin's Island Eats  - 1815 K Street
Red Lotus - 2718 J Street
Garlic Shack - 19th and J streets
L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen - 28th and L Streets

On K Street, several businesses have seen tremendous support including Pizza Rock, Dive Bar and District 30. These three entertainment venues received a $5.7 million subsidy form the city to build the $8 million complex.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Cesar Chavez Plaza Park Improvement Plan

This Wednesday the 3rd, the Preservation Commission will review and make recommendations to the City Parks & Recreation Department in support of their proposed improvement plan for Cesar Chavez Plaza. The plans effort is to increase its usability and provide an attractive and enjoyable place for the community while maintaining and respecting the park’s remaining significant historic features and characteristics.

The improvement plan includes: park name sign, raised planters at the four street corners’ entry points, stripe loading zone, visual access to park along “I” and “J” Streets, planter area with low water use and low maintenance plants along J Street, extension of the existing walkway from the Stevens Monument to the central plaza, replace the existing picnic tables in the park, replace portions of turf and planting areas along major walkways and in high-traffic and gathering areas with decomposed granite paving to better facilitate the Beer Garden and Farmer’s Market events and reduce maintenance.

Other park improvements include the relocation of the Cesar Chavez Monument from the stage toward the street along J Street facing City Hall on a four-foot pedestal, widen existing steps and walkway to the stage, replant existing planting area with Cesar Chavez Rose roses and low shrubs and ground covers to open and enhance visual access to the park and reinforce the visual axis from J Street to City Hall, while maintaining the park’s historic cross-axial walkways. Raise the existing stage by 18 inches, which also requires modification of the side access ramps to the stage and additional steps/stairs. Upgrade electrical power for concerts in the park, replace existing turf in front of the stage with turf that can take higher traffic, install classic styled steel strap benches, both with and without backs, but with center armrests, along the perimeter of the central great circle to provide seating for park and event users while leaving adequate room for Farmer’s Market tents, add solar-powered self compacting trash receptacles to reduce trash pick-up requirements in the park, top-dress existing decomposed granite paved areas throughout the park, install a shade structure for the Downtown Partnership’s information booth that matches the architecture of the Café Soleil structure including brick columns and roof style.

Existing funding is available to construct proposed park improvements from Quimby Act and Park Impact fees. Construction of the improvements is proposed to begin Winter, 2011, phased to reduce impacts to events held in the park, and proposed to be completed by Winter, 2012. No estimated costs have been released to the public.