Monday, December 17, 2012

Sacramento Courthouse Delayed Indefinitely

Judicial oversight committee makes recommendations because of potential loss of funds designated for court construction.

SAN FRANCISCO—The Court Facilities Working Group voted today to recommend that four additional courthouse construction projects in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno, and Nevada City be delayed indefinitely if the Legislature directs that court construction funds be used to finance the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach.

The recommendations—which Justice Hill hopes will go before the Judicial Council in January 2013—include: a new criminal courthouse for downtown Sacramento, a replacement for the overburdened courthouse in Huntington Park for the Southeast Court District in Los Angeles, and renovation projects planned for downtown courthouses in Fresno and Nevada City. The draft
recommendations include a special direction for the Sacramento project: a recommendation that site acquisition proceed for that project, a $10 million commitment to the developer of the Railyards that would allow the project to proceed as planned when funding becomes available.

During the meeting, courts whose projects were slated for deferral gave presentations and answered questions from the working group. Using the same process that ultimately delayed seven projects last fall, the working group will post the draft recommendations on the California Courts website
for two weeks for public comment, then submit finalized recommendations to the Judicial Council for review early next year.

Sacramento - New Sacramento Criminal Courthouse - Draft Recommendations: Indefinitely delay, but move forward on site acquisition.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Blue Trees Art

The Blue Trees art installation in Seattle earlier this year - Courtesy of Konstantin Dimopoulos
Sactown magazine is reporting that on On Oct. 9, Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos will begin coloring about 20 sycamore trees on both sides of 13th street between J and K streets in downtown Sacramento, flanked by the convention center and the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Using eco-friendly, bright, ultramarine blue pigment, the artist will make a bold urban design statement while hoping to draw attention to global deforestation issues.
The Tree Foundation quickly partnered with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sactown magazine to help organize and fund the event. In only about a week’s time, the team raised approximately $25,000 from community groups and leaders to make the project a reality.
With the help of volunteers, Dimopoulos will paint the trees over the course of five days (Oct. 9-13). The paint is expected to last until the bark begins to shed in spring, so the trees will remain blue for approximately six months.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Space Shuttle Flyover

This is Space Shuttle Endeavour's last fight over downtown Sacramento before before going on display in Los Angeles at the new Samuel Oschin display pavilion. Photo by Derek Hocking in Old Sacramento.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Old Postcards and Photos

A view of the K Street Mall under construction on December 3, 1969, with 10th Street in the middle of the photograph, seen under the Fox Theater sign on right.

1950's Sutters Fort
Old Sacramento
Al & Bud's Platter - now Pancake Circus 1961
I have now seen much of anything to post for a while, so here are some cool old photos I found on the web.

Friday, August 31, 2012

16 Powerhouse

16 Powerhouse - 1601 16th Street, Sacramento 95814

16 Powerhouse has an improved new design for the East End Gateway Site 4 directly across from Fremont Park off 16th Street between P St & Powerhouse Alley. This project has a proposed construction date for spring 2013, thus far, no info has been released stating how much it will cost or if the same developer who made the original design is also behind this proposal.

This project is being labeled as a green & sustainable net zero mixed use development featuring grey water and storm water recycling, solar hot water system, solar PV, Vertical Farm, R30 wall insulation, R50 ceiling insulation, Superior building envelope, Variable Refrigerant HVAC system, and LED lighting. The building includes 45 luxury rental apartments built to condo spec for when the market might be right for it. In addition, approx. 7,700 sq. ft. of ground floor restaurant & retail space, 45 parking spaces, onsite waste management, building management system to monitor energy usage, orientation to optimize daylight and natural ventilation, and automatic solar shades.

16 Powerhouse also has a Facebook page
hereBelow is an image of what was originally proposed for the site by CADA


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The 22nd Annual Chalk It Up to Sacramento Festival!

This Labor Day don’t forget to also check out Chalk It Up at Fremont Park. For three days Chalk It Up will host live performances by many musicians who donate their talents, food vendors and sponsors all to make this their best year yet. This year there will also be the return of Kids Create-A-Zone, where kids are led through activities by local professional artists.
For more information, please visit the website.
Labor Day Weekend • September 1-3, 2012
Fremont Park • 16th & Q Streets

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gold Rush Days 2012

Old Sacramento Gold Rush Days - Front Street

Gold Rush Days are a celebration of Sacramento's heritage.  This Labor Day Weekend Aug. 31st - Sept. 3rd., more than 200 tons of dirt pave the streets in Old Sacramento as this annual festival "turns back the clock," transforming Sacramento's historic district into a scene straight out of the 1850s. Hundreds of costumed performers take on the roles of celebrities, personalities and just plain folks, bringing history to life while bluegrass pickers and old-timey Musicians performed on several stages, evoking the vivid tunes of the times.

Events and performances throughout the district are FREE to the public. Please click here for the entertainment schedule.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hoofing It to the New Rail Platform

Sacramento Valley Amtrak Station - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Over the weekend I went out to the new rail platform to take a closer look at the track relocation project, also known as "The Path to Progress." Walking from the Sacramento Valley Station Depot to the new platforms took about five or six minutes and was about a quarter mile. I found myself thinking while shuffling out to the new platform that this is far less convenient for everyone. Even with the covered pathway; the weather is going make this hike even more of a chore with baggage in hand. Something else to consider, if you did not use the restroom before leaving the main depot., you better be prepared to hold it because this $50 million project does not include any at the new platform.

Sacramento Valley Amtrak Station - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

The new platform was built anticipating an intermodal depot would be built close by shortly after completion. There are currently only vague conceptual plans for the new intermodal depot with no additional funding to build it. So this barren hike from the old depot to the platform will now be many passengers first and last image of Sacramento for years to come. The city recently won a federal grant to rehabilitate the current depot with work expected to start next summer.

Sacramento Valley Amtrak Station - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814
Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814
Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814
Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Walk to the platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

New train platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

New train platform - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Looking back at the depot - 401 I St. Sacramento 95814

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Downtown Plaza Sold

Local press is reporting that JMA Ventures of San Francisco has purchased Downtown Plaza today for about $22 million from Westfield Group LLC. and plan on transforming it into an urban destination. The mall was originally built in 1971 and redeveloped in 1993 costing $157 million. At nearly 1 million-square-feet and covering six city blocks in downtown Sacramento, the new owners will have a big job getting bring new life into the diminishing shopping complex.
City officials seem to have lots of ideas, like turned the inside out so that it connects better with the city on J and L streets. They also have talked about rebuilding Fourth and Fifth streets through the mall and possibly allowing cars back on K Street in the plaza. I personally would not take too much advice from the city and how to revitalize the mall, just look at their track record thus far on K Street, both the 700 & 800 blocks are barren and after nearly three decades  of social engineering, K Street in downtown is still about the same.
In other news at the Downtown Plaza, lenders have foreclosed on the building housing Macy's men's and furniture store at 600 K St., though the store remains open and will continue to operate as usual for now, according to people working in the store.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Finished La Valentina Project

La Valentina Apartments - 429 12th Street, Sacramento, California 95814
The final touches are being taken care of at the new La Valentine apartments and judging by their Facebook page, they have a steady flow of new tenants moving in too.  This $27 million project has 81 units of affordable housing adjacent to the Alkali Flat/La Valentina light rail station.  

La Valentina Apartments - 429 12th Street, Sacramento, California 95814

La Valentina Apartments - 429 12th Street, Sacramento, California 95814

La Valentina Apartments - 429 12th Street, Sacramento, California 95814

La Valentina Apartments - 429 12th Street, Sacramento, California 95814

La Valentina Apartments - 429 12th Street, Sacramento, California 95814

Friday, August 03, 2012

Seventh & H SRO Construction Activity

Seventh & H
With just a few more bricks to lay, “Seventh & H” looks pretty sharp for an affordable housing project. The eight-story, $47.4 million, 150-unit being built by Mercy Housing is the first new structure going up in the railyards redevelopment project area.

Seventh & H

Seventh & H

626 I Steet, Sacramento 95814

626 I Steet, Sacramento 95814

This project when completed will consist of 108 units for occupancy by extremely low income elderly persons in September 2012. See before photos here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

East End Gateway 2 & 3 Construction Activity

East End Gateway Site 3

For the next two weeks at Site 2, the contractor will be laying out and beginning to install plumbing, laying out the mechanical system, laying out and framing the third floor walls, floor joists, and laying out and framing fourth floor walls
East End Gateway Site 2
At Site3, the contractor will be laying out walls on the newly-poured concrete deck above the first floor, removing the shoring that supported this floor during concrete pouring, begin framing the second floor, and install the plywood decking for the third floor. Work to lay out the building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems will begin.
East End Gateway Site 3
East End Gateway Site 3
Look north down 16th Street at East End Gateway Site 2 & 3

Panoramaic view of East End Gateway Site 2 & 3

Work began on this project at both the SW and NW corners of 16th and O Streets January 12th and is expected to cost $26 million. The project includes 13,000sf retail along 16th street, 84 apartments, and 93 parking spaces. The architect for the project is Stantec, Developer: Ravel Rasmussen Properties and Separovich/Domich Real Estate, General Contractor: West Fork Construction, Inc., and expected to be completed by mid-2013.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Courthouse Agreement Paused

I have learned recently from the Office of Court Construction and Management that the Sacramento acquisition phase funds for building a new Sacramento Criminal Courthouse have been re-appropriated but funding is still dependent on the final State budget. There has also been an agreement on price for the preferred site and OCCM real estate staff are now working on the purchase and sale agreement; however, negotiations have been paused. I have a hunch that we won’t see any movement on this project till early next year after the elections and budget issues have been resolved. No renderings of the proposed courthouse have been released.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Capital Secured for Capitol Lofts

CADA has announced that the Capitol Lofts project (CADA Warehouse), located at 11th and R Streets, was award $18 Million in low-income housing tax credits. The federal tax credits will allow the Capitol Lofts to move forward and start construction within the next seven months.

Next spring, CADA’s development partners, CFY Development and Holliday Development, will be begin constructing 116 mixed-income housing units and 23,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The construction will be completed in the spring of 2015. When finished, you will see a mixed-use, transited-oriented, brownfield, historic adaptive rehab, and infill development project that will continue the transformation of R Street’s Historic District that began with the streetscape project completed earlier this year. The $41 million complex will have underground parking and a courtyard between the warehouse and new construction.

The historic six story warehouse (built in 1895) will be brought back to life; supplemented with new construction on the adjacent ‘pit’ that combines two levels of parking with a multi story 60 ft high new building wrapped in brick. Dwelling Units per Acre: 131.5. Learn more and stay updated by going here, here, and here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Renovated Hotel Berry

Hotel Berry, 729 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Last spring, the 83-year-old Hotel Berry began renovations at a cost of $24.5 million to completely renovate and modernize the historic hotel. The depression-era six-story mixed use hotel had fallen into severe disrepair, but after being bought by Jamboree Housing Corporation in 2007 for $5 million, the agency was able to finance the project with $13.6 million in tax credit equity, $10.1 million in permanent financing from Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency and $500,000 in federal weatherization funds. U.S. Bank provided $5.5 million in construction financing.

Hotel Berry, 729 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 - 1926
The historic hotel was built in 1929; the Berry was once a functioning hotel but has been used as low-income housing for single occupants since the 1960s. At that time, there were about 2,300 single-room occupancy apartments in the city. With 104 Single Room Occupancy (SRO) studios and a manager’s unit, the total cost break down per room is $240,000 per unit to renovate.  The hotel is scheduled for completion in the next 4 to 6 weeks and now called The Studios at Hotel Berry.

Hotel Berry, 729 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Hotel Berry, 729 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 - 1926

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nomination of Maydestone as Historic Place

Maydestone - 1001 15th Street, Sacramento, CA 95614
Next week the Preservation Commission will consider nominating the Maydestone Apartments to the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1910, the building will be eligible as an important element contributing to the urbanization of Sacramento in the early 20th century and as an excellent representative of Mission Revival design in Sacramento.
Last year the building finished up rehabilitation at a cost of $7.2 million which restored the building in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standard of Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.        

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

L Street Lofts Now Renting

L Street Lofts - 1818 L Street, Sacramento CA 95811

The L Street Lofts just became more affordable to those desiring to live at this midtown location. If you want to rent, they range from $1,825 for one bedroom to $3,150 for a one bedroom Penthouse. If you would rather buy a condo, Zillow show the sale of a 663 sf. unit on the 6th floor for $210,000 last April… making the estimated monthly mortgage payment $758. Buying a unit seems to be the better way to go, but don’t forget the HOA fees, I believe that’s an additional $250 per month.

L Street Lofts