Historic allure and prime location are drawing enthusiastic residents to Sacramento’s newly renovated Maydestone apartment building at 15th and J streets.
The century-old building may feature tight quarters, no parking and sometimes sticky drawers in its original built-in furniture, but in exchange it offers charm.
With hardwood floors, crown molding, claw-foot tubs and Murphy beds, the apartments are a throwback to its 1910 birth year — the exception being brand-new stainless steel kitchen appliances.
The rehabilitated Maydestone has drawn interest not only from young singles who want to be within walking distance from jobs and nightlife, but also from middle-aged couples and retirees, says Bay Miry of D&S Development Inc., the company that rebuilt the Maydestone from the ashes of the burnt and boarded Mission Revival building.
“It’s historic, it has so much character, and if you want to live in an urban environment, you’re not going to get a much better location than one … surrounded by a lot of restaurants and nightlife,” Miry says.
Ranging from about 300 to 700 square feet, the 32 studios and one-bedroom apartments rent from about $700 to $1,500, depending on size, storage volume and location. Two units on each of the four floors face a building and its parking lot, while the corner units boast views of Memorial Auditorium and the stone-sided St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
The basement houses a community lounge with ping pong tables, pool tables and sitting areas, a small fitness room, laundry room, mail boxes and individual storage units with prices starting at $35. The facility offers no off-street parking, but residents can buy street parking permits or rent spaces at nearby parking garages. Also within walking distance are car rental companies and a Zipcar site.
D&S Development, whose projects also include the iLofts in Old Sacramento, the lofts at 1409 R Street and those on the 700 block of K Street, has a passion for renovating old areas, Miry says.
“Aesthetically speaking, we’re naturally drawn to these historic places and see such a potential in them,” he says. “Oftentimes, if you’re going to do a catalyst-type project that’s going to really change an area, then there’s no better way of doing it than taking something that is such an eyesore and all of a sudden making it the prized possession of the surrounding neighborhood.”
The Mission Revival building sat as a vacant, boarded-up eyesore following an unexplained fire on Halloween 2003. Creating more than 140 construction jobs, the $7 million Maydestone project received $6.1 million in funding and low-interest loans from the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. Presentation Development LLC — set up by D&S Development — contributed $900,000, Miry says.
One condition of city support was that units rent to individuals earning roughly $30,000 and $60,000 annual gross income (80 percent to 120 percent of the median income), with a goal of providing affordable downtown work force housing.
Utility bills are expected to be significantly lower than in other apartments, in part because of solar panels, energy-efficient heating and air conditioning units and a solar hot-water system.
“It’s definitely more challenging than going from the ground up or creating a more vanilla construction, but we like the idea that we’re leaving something behind that somebody else left behind and paid respect to,” Miry says.
With ground set to break on an entertainment and sports complex said to include state-of-the-art technology, owners of Downtown Plaza’s next-door neighbor, the California Fruit Building, have a high-tech makeover plan of their own.
Burke Fathy isn’t sure whether the building that housed Sacramento’s first Police Department will be converted to offices or apartments, but, as the managing partner of Sutter Capitol Group, he is sure the original architectural elements will stay.