The Conductor

The California High-Speed Rail Authority replaced an engineer with a political operative to lead the nation’s biggest public works project. Jeff Morales instantly charmed his opponents but made technical decisions that placed high-speed rail at the mercy of the courts. Can Morales save his runaway train?

Jan 2, 2014 Allen Young
Paul Petrovich, principal, Petrovich Development Co.

Love Thy Neighbor

Sacramentans love infill development – until it actually happens

Infill development is promoted as an antidote to suburban sprawl and environmental degradation and is championed by city planners, environmentalists and policy makers of all persuasions. But as local developers Paul Petrovich and Phil Angelides have long known, infill leads to fights over allegations of increased traffic or environmental hazards.

Nov 1, 2013 Bill Sessa
7th Street Promenade, Township 9

Pushing Boundaries

Infill projects seek to redefine the way we envision Sacramento’s borders.

In California’s post-redevelopment era, landowners, developers and local governments have struggled to make infill projects pencil out. Unlike new suburban developments that offer blank canvases and creative freedom, infill projects are most often shoehorned into existing neighborhoods and commercial developments where community expectations are high and cleanup costs are steep.

Nov 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Open For Business

Banning big-box was a bad idea anyway

I don’t think anyone can dispute the fact that local consumer demand is what drives the success of big-box stores. And, overall, I believe that success has brought more positives than negatives.

Oct 1, 2013 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Region Builder

Acuity with Joshua Wood

Joshua Wood, 31, is the executive director of Region Builders, a commercial-building trade association and coalition. Region Builders is comprised of 13 industry and professional associations representing architects, engineers, contractors, developers and allied firms from the Sacramento area.

Oct 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Nathan Redmon from Norwich City F.C. carries the ball during his team’s friendly match at Raley Field during Sacramento Soccer Day on July 18, 2013.

Kick Start

Soccer’s entry into Sacramento means big business

It should come as no surprise that the world’s sport has finally been embraced (some may say possessed) by America’s most diverse city. More than 14,000 people — a sellout crowd — attended Sacramento’s inaugural soccer match between the English Premiere League’s Norwich City F.C. and Mexico’s Dorados De Sinaloa. The match provided a glimpse of what is to come when the branding for Sacramento’s very own professional outdoor soccer club, Sacramento Republic FC, is unveiled.

Sep 1, 2013 Warren Smith
Armstrong Technologies, Auburn, Ca.)

Brain Power

Research and development is the foundation for regional manufacturing growth

Like an oil derrick with arms, the school-bus-yellow robot is the center of attraction in an otherwise colorless room dominated by metal castings and concrete floors. Moving like a mime on a street corner, the robot picks up a metal casting, holds it to a computer-run camera and then places the part and the fixture that holds it on a machine for tooling.

Sep 1, 2013 Bill Sessa

Family Focus

Acuity with Allison Otto

A third-generation member of the family business, Allison Otto joined the Otto Construction team as its marketing director in 2000. Three years ago, she was named vice president for business development. Family patriarch John F. Otto launched the Sacramento-based company in 1947. John’s son Carl took over the company in 1971 and served as president until his passing in 2007.

Sep 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Air Ball

Arena plan, meet CEQA reform

When Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson appeared before NBA bigwigs last April to plead his case for keeping the Kings, there was a lot more to the pitch than whether investors could afford to buy the team.

Jul 1, 2013 Rich Ehisen
Steve Ayers, CEO, Armour Steel

Man of Steel

Construction veteran Steve Ayers on Sac’s arena plans

Steve Ayers makes no bones about his vocal hope that several local contractors will be involved in the highly anticipated design and construction of a sports and entertainment facility in downtown Sacramento. And while he’s known as a humble person whose industry acumen, political clout and philanthropic activities stay largely under the radar, Ayers wants to be a prominent part of the project he believes will launch a downtown renaissance.

Jul 1, 2013 Douglas Curley

Structural Philosophy

Acuity with James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald, 45, became a partner and vice president of Market One Builders Inc. in 1999. The Sacramento-based firm has a well-established reputation as a Northern California leader in the construction of complex, sustainable projects, including mission-critical facilities, landmark urban renovations and commercial office environments. Fitzgerald currently serves as chairman of Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California and is a member of the Region Builders board of directors.

Jul 1, 2013 Douglas Curley
Rick Pickering, general manager, California State Fair

No Fair Plan

Cal Expo's options are few and expensive

A hundred years ago, the California State Fair had a sure-fire way to entertain crowds: Operators would send two steam locomotives crashing into each other at 90 mph for pure spectacle. Today, Sacramentans with an eye on Cal Expo are still thinking big.

Jul 1, 2013 Robert Celaschi

Job Creation

Elk Grove’s plan to build new businesses from the ground up

In March, the Elk Grove city council voted to develop the last large swath of land in its jurisdiction. But this time around, instead of focusing on rooftops, as the city has for the past decade, leaders and developers hope to bolster the local economy by building new businesses.

Jul 1, 2013 Kibkabe Araya

Building a Vibrant Downtown

An arena will revitalize the central city

When I was a girl, a visit to downtown Sacramento was thrilling. It was a busy, bustling place with Weinstock’s (“Sacramento’s Finest Department Store”) at 12th and K streets marking the high point of any shopping expedition.

I’d like to see a downtown Sacramento that can meet or exceed those childhood memories, one that is no longer scarred by vacant buildings, low-budget retailers and grimy streets.

Jul 1, 2013 Winnie Comstock-Carlson