Developers revamping the 700 block of K Street are turning back the clock on a blighted avenue that was, half a century ago, a thriving business and residential hub.
The $47.7 million project, which includes $14.5 million in redevelopment funding, would be completed under 700 Block LLC, a collaboration of D&S Development and affordable housing firm CFY Development, best known for its 143-unit Lofts at Globe Mills project. Construction is expected to begin by April, says Bay Miry of D&S.
Bordered by K Street and its alley between 7th and 8th streets, the project calls for 137 apartments – 60 percent dedicated as affordable housing – for about 200 residents and 65,000 square feet of commercial space for more than a dozen ground-floor shops, businesses, restaurants and bars.
The 90 feet fronting K Street will be upgraded, but the rearward 90 feet will be demolished to make way for a new, six-story apartment complex with a rooftop deck, gym and laundry facilities overlooking a courtyard between it and the historic buildings. Residents will have access to about 90 parking spaces in a covered garage, ample bicycling parking and individual storage.
K Street will be opened to traffic from 8th to 12th streets, but the 700 block would remain pedestrian only, lending itself to outdoor dining.
And when it comes to that dining, developers also are looking up.
Miry cites a recent visit to Minneapolis, where a friend took him to 10 or 15 rooftops where “people were just enjoying life, eating and drinking, and I kept telling myself, ‘We don’t have any of this in Sacramento, and we have the weather for it.’”
Such a rooftop dining spot would be included with a 15,000- to 20,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and live music venue run by the owners of Shady Lady Saloon.
“One thing our group thinks we’re lacking in Sacramento is a mid-sized 500- to 800-person venue, something like the Fox Theater in Oakland or The Fillmore in San Francisco or the House of Blues,” Miry says.
Remaining from the days when the city was a story lower are basement spaces with high ceilings and exposed brick. “We don’t really have basement-level retail uses around Sacramento right now either. So, the tenants that we’re working with are trying to come up with some really unique concepts for these already-unique spaces.”
The developers say they anticipate the entire project would create an estimated 400 to 500 construction jobs and another 400 to 500 permanent jobs, attract about 6,000 patrons per week, and result in roughly $1.6 million in annual sales tax revenue and another $330,000 annually in property tax.
“Hopefully, this can have a really positive impact on the area,” Miry says.
In the past decade, while midtown was going through its renaissance with the emergence of a larger arts scene, restaurants and lofts during the building boom, the city was spending time, energy and money assembling parcels downtown, especially on K Street.
“We’re now finally transitioning into an era of implementation,” Miry says. “It’s happening before our eyes. The 1000 block was successfully completed; cars on K Street are coming back by November; the Greyhound bus depot moved to Richards Boulevard, allowing for another redevelopment opportunity; the Marshall Hotel across from us on 7th Street and L is looking to do some kind of redevelopment project with their site; so we’re really starting to see momentum.”
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Sac Town revelers along K Street seem oblivious to new coordinated efforts by the Sacramento police, city officials, pubs, clubs and bars to deploy new layers of security and preparedness which, well, probably account for the harmony on this Friday evening in March.
Already embraced by business and city leaders as a catalyst that will ultimately launch a regional renaissance, Sacramento’s long sought and hotly debated entertainment and sports complex is finally taking shape.