Thursday, February 04, 2016

301 Capitol Mall Tower Proposal

A few words I have read to describe the proposed CIM/CalPRES 30-story tower at 3rd & Capitol Mall… boring, gross, fugly, and not attractive at all. I have also read positive comments but they seem to be in the minority. I think its design is mundane which is typical with the state influence. Thankfully these are only conceptual drawings. CIM has said that no tenants have signed on, no price tag has been given and no permits or entitlements have been started. This is all an effort to get free publicly, something they have done nearly every year for the last several years but this time they have pretty pictures.

Proposed tower at 301 Capitol Mall by CIM/CalPERS looking west

Maybe this was a rushed effort to show me that there was a proposal in response to my post about it a few weeks ago? Probably not J Even though nothing thus far shows this will even happen, the developer has said it could break ground as early as 2018.

CIM plans for the site include a single 420-foot tower, 1.1 million square feet of space in the structure with 550,000 square feet of total office space, 100 apartment on the upper most floors and creative space and retail on the lower floors. It appears to be built to accommodate the states requirement of large open floor plates. Several weeks ago the Board of Equalization hinted it might relocate to this tower from its current headquarter on N Street, since then they have said they now prefer to move to low and mid-rise buildings instead of a tower. 

Proposed tower at 301 Capitol Mall by CIM/CalPERS looking east

This proposal like the Vanir Tower on J Street are still in the very early stages of development. This proposal will now be competing for tenants against the Vanir Tower to pre-lease. Banks under State/Federal law require that before monies can be lent to build an office building, 50% needs to be pre-leased. Vanir Tower needs to line up about 200,000SF and this tower needs 400,000SF. Occasionally developers will spend their own money to build high-rises like 500 Capitol Mall did and no pre-leasing is required. The Vanir Tower has not started the entitlement process or applied for any permits with the city. This indicates to me that after proposing the tower 15 months ago they have not pre-leased the minimum square footage to move forward. All these proposals emerging right now seem eerily similar to what Sacramento experienced in 2007 before the market collapsed and all but a few were built.

This proposal is far less appealing than I hoped for, but it not usual when the states involved. This site is at the foot of our city's grand entrance as you cross the Tower Bridge on Capitol Mall and deserved something much, much more that this current trendy design which is more awkward than anything else.

Current condition of the proposed CIM/CalPERS tower site

Sources: Sactown Magazine & SacBee


Chris Norman said...

As it has been since time memorial, a proposed building in downtown has such a long lead time that, by the time financing is arranged, etc., the economy will go into recession, the building will be canceled and the cycle will begin again. On the other hand, if the building turned out to be anything like the squat-looking hodge podge shown in the rendering, this may be called "dodging the ugly bullet".

Anonymous said...

You guys are hilarious. boring? ugly? hodge podge? And what buildings in this crap hole of a downtown are you measuring this against? This building, along with the new hotel tower at the arena (DOCO), would add a distinct style and give some sense of progress, uniqueness and creativity to this otherwise depressing joke of a skyline. I appreciate this blog that I've stumbled upon, but please guys show a little more compassion for a group trying to create something downtown. What on earth are you hoping for? The Chrysler Building?! Geez.

Anonymous said...

"boring, gross, fugly, and not attractive at all". Wow, if that's what they're saying about this building, I can't begin to wonder what they're saying about the Vanir Tower. And who are these folks saying these things? Must be some real classy sacramentan's with some high expectations. but how on earth could you have high expectations with this downtown. I got it, how about you stick some darts on the side of the building similar to what the local art coalition of sacramento is doing to ruin the portion of the plaza at 5th/L of the arena....would you all like it then. Is that what you're into?

Zwahlen Images said...

Anonymous, if you followed any local social media or news the week this tower was proposed you would have heard everything I repeated and much worse. Your opinion sounds as if the city should just accept whatever is proposed because that is what this city has always done. If that happens the "crap hole" as you say will never improve. I think many people who live here are tired of getting more of the same bland state influence high-rises. You on the other hand sound like the kind of person who will take any proposal given because it's better than nothing... thus more of the same. I also think the art around the new area is lame, but that ship sailed quite some time ago.

Chris Norman said...

I'm reminded of the old Wendy's commercial where the guy chooses the bland boring Burger B because he doesn't "deserve any better".

Zwahlen Images said...

Well said Chris.