Friday, June 10, 2016

Third Party Appeal: Yamanee Mixed-Use Project

After gaining approval to build from the city’s Planning and Design Commission on May 12, the city Council will hear a third party appeal lead by William Burg, President, Preservation Sacramento Board of Directors. William who is a self-proclaimed “Hindrance to Development” on several local forums has cobbled together several people and small activist groups who strongly oppose the project. While on the other hand, support for the project is solid and encompasses many small business and residence in the area.

Support for this project is broad; it’s being praised for its architecture, smart density, more housing, and bring an up upscale development to midtown. The public hearing scheduled for next Tuesday the 14th and should be a hoot. The City Council usually does not overrule the commission, so the preservation and neighborhood associations will have an uphill battle to sway the council. 

City Council hearing agenda for June 14th


Stephen Fenocchio said...

Mr. Burg is not a hindrance to all development, per se. He just has preferences for development, which he likes to enforce on the rest of us. Those proposals that meet his standards get a his support. Those proposals which don't meet his notion of "directed development" ideals get his opposition. While he may have good points, and his advice should be considered, people like Mr. Burg fail to realize that life does not work according to their best laid plans, or their graphs, or their extrapolations, or their research or anything they put on paper. Instead, things happen based on natural economic realities. Mr. Burg's tightly-regulated Central City theme park idea (with a defined high rise CBD, low-rise midtown, single family housing in east sac, land park, curtis park, and oak park) just isn't reality.

At the end of the day, I think this project will fail, not because it's bad for Sacramento, but because of economics. Although Sacramento is demanding higher density, and its citizens can support it with $$, the banks, driven by an endless money supply, want ridiculous ROIs, which Sacramento cannot provide at this point. If this project gets built, I suspect the economic conditions will only allow for a shorter building, with lower prices per unit.

Although I tend to oppose government regulation of any kind, I kinda like the requirement that the developer must pull building permits before the current building is demolished. #NoMoreHolesInTheGround

Anonymous said...

+1, albeit I applaud Mr. Burg's efforts to recognize and fight potential deviations from the 2035 plan. I do see him on the right/progressive side of the development coin in encouraging more housing downtown while preserving the city's character.

I also believe this project will never get off the ground given the points above w/ banks expecting an ROI that are not attainable in the Sacramento market at this time. Additionally, unless I missed something, the developer lacks experience and the project itself isn't very realistic - thus I'm a bit pessimistic as to its chances as planned.

Unfortunate, because there remains a big-time need for middle to mid-up housing in the CBD and midtown, much more than what is offered. Additionally, all this "mixed use" development needs more full time residents to support all this streetfront retail, as I'm sure there will be a lot of empty stores once the new sheen wears off due to lack of a residential base (cough cough DOCO).

There needs to be some sort of incentive to increase the amount of residences in the CBD and midtown, because developers simply aren't filling those holes in the ground. The silver bullet remains: fostering and/or landing a large private sector employer or two within midtown/CBD that helps diversify the employment base and bring in high-paying jobs to the central city...equating to greater housing demand, a $ figure that developers can't resist. A secondary tactic would be easing restrictions and/or providing incentives to redevelop unused/long-dormant office space into the Darth Vader building. Third, would be further tax incentives and easing restrictions...which seems to be an ongoing task.

All in all, dream projects by inexperienced developers in unlikely neighborhoods aren't the way to go.

Zwahlen Images said...

Thanks Steve for you fantastic insight on Mr. Burg and the development process, I agree. Anonymous, do you remember when Lot A on Capitol Mall was for sale for $1 by the city to lure head a major company to relocate their head quarters to the city? What a bust that idea was. Sweet incentives only work if all parties find the outcome rewarding, I don't think the Renaissance Tower has shown interest in this idea... have they? More work than it's worth?

Stephen Fenocchio said...

It would be a cool use for Darth Vader. BUT, it was built to be an office building. I certainly hope a conversion to housing "pencils out".