Monday, June 05, 2017

State Plans High-Rise at 7th & O Streets

It has been a while since the State built any office towers downtown, but plans are in the works to build an office tower that will accommodate up to 3,500 state workers and could begin construction at the end of next year. The building would replace the Resources Building on 9th Street and be approx. 20 stories, 300 feet tall, and 800,000 sf. The proposed project would be built on surface parking lot and around the Heilbron House, an historic 140-year-old home at the corner of 7th & P Streets. Due to the Capitol View Protection Act  enacted in 1992, height restrictions and setback requirements limits the to 250 feet on the northwest corner. The state requires large floor plates for new state offices, so expect the massing of the building to be huge and  bulky.

The state has a miserable track record when it comes to designing anything downtown. Does the BOE tower on N Street ring a bell? Its ugly and it makes people sick, and the East End Complex is hardly something to be proud of. When the state builds, they don’t need approval from anyone in Sacramento. Sure, they might hold a few meeting with residents and ask for the cities opinion, but it’s all a show and they will build whatever they want.

How many blocks south of Capitol Mall are surface parking lots owned by the state? Quite a few. They were all neighborhoods at one time and then in 1950’s they were demolished by the state and have sit empty ever since. Now the state picks a block that has one historic house built in 1881 for possible demolition? It’s unlikely but it’s being considered.

I expect nothing more than a mediocre building. It will be big filling up the entire block and put a few cranes in the air, but the design will suck just like all the other times the state has crapped out buildings downtown. Here's the EIR for the building by the state’s Department of General Services