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econgrad
Dec 16, 2008, 5:13 AM
^ If I am the ideologue, then why is there strong interest to put cars back on K street?

I would also like some evidence of K street going downhill after the street cars stopped operating, because this article states that the mall was a lively cruise spot up until 1969. I think your creating your facts again...

http://www.sacunion.com/pages/education/articles/10093/

I am also willing to bet that the retailers strongly disagree with you about the success of a mall not catering to consumers such as soccer moms, etc. That is why their is success in Roseville Galleria, and not in DTP, easier to access with vehicles/cars.

Majin
Dec 16, 2008, 6:08 AM
econgrad no offense but I'm still confused as to why you are here and not Fresno.

Phillip
Dec 16, 2008, 7:51 AM
I am also willing to bet that the retailers strongly disagree with you about the success of a mall not catering to consumers such as soccer moms, etc. That is why their is success in Roseville Galleria, and not in DTP, easier to access with vehicles/cars.

So why did Florin Mall shut? Florin had abundant free parking in a middle class family neighborhood.

And why does Westfield's SF Centre thrive? There's no free parking within miles. The mall garage charges $3.50 per 20 minutes, up to $25/day, and there's a line of cars backed up waiting to get in. The mall is packed and suburban soccer moms are a small portion of the crowd.

The Roseville model works in places like Roseville. Other models work better other places. Not all of Westfield's malls are suburban, and some of their suburban malls are in as rough a shape as Downtown Plaza.

========

I mentioned about no ads from DTP in the December Sactown. There's none in Sacramento magazine either. I thought maybe Westfield decided to split their buy this year, promoting the Galleria in Sactown mag and DTP in Sacramento. But no DTP ads in either mag.

wburg
Dec 16, 2008, 4:41 PM
econgrad, being a cruise spot is not an indication of economic vitality. Cruisers hang out in their cars and maybe patronize a liquor store or a late-night diner, but generally the stores along a cruise area are already closed. The whole point is driving around, not shopping. Not to mention that large numbers of intoxicated teenagers driving around is typically one of the things that scares off middle-class soccer moms from wanting to shop someplace. If you read later in the article you'll note that the K Street project was undertaken in 1969 not because K Street was super successful, but because they wanted to revive K Street.

My information comes from studies of the downtown shopping problem and competition from suburban shopping centers, written in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They point to K Street's decline coming shortly after the opening of suburban shopping centers, like Town & Country Village in 1948, then Arden Fair, Country Club and others in the early 1950s.

It wouldn't really make much difference if we demolished several city blocks around K Street Mall and turned them into parking lots. We know this, because when K Street Mall was first opened, several city blocks around the mall were demolished and turned into parking lots. At the time, the downtown freeways were brand new and vastly under-capacity, so traffic wasn't a problem. But K Street was never a particularly successful experiment.

The real problem with downtown malls vs. suburban malls is proximity: people will go to the closest mall. If the downtown mall has the same sort of stores as the suburban mall, there is no reason for someone living in the suburbs to go to the downtown mall.

Majin
Dec 16, 2008, 7:54 PM
I know no one really takes me seriously here but I'll go ahead throw my random 2 cents in as a resident basically living on the K street mall for the past year or so.

I'd say at least 80% of the problem with K street mall and DTP as a whole has nothing to do with LRT running through there, nothing to do with the need to open it up to cars, nothing to do with soccer moms not wanting to go there.

The real problem is there is no where near enough housing in downtown proper, especially around the JKL corridor. Just not enough people to patronize the mall and surrounding business. It's quite sad for me to walk down K street on a Monday night at 7pm and see Ride Aide closed, most restaurants and other shops closed. There are just not enough residents strangling the streets at night during the weekdays.

Anyway I believe LRT vs Cars vs Streetcars etc is a worthy discussion but the housing issue in the JKL corridor needs to be addressed in parallel or else any efforts made on the mall will in my opinion be wasted without the residents to support it.

BTW what is the issue with the lack of housing? For the insane amount of rent I pay there MUST be some serious demand for cheaper housing.

wburg
Dec 16, 2008, 10:40 PM
Majin: You're absolutely right. There needs to be a lot more housing in the central city, especially downtown. As mentioned above, the main reason why downtown malls don't work is because suburban malls are more convenient for suburban residents. But urban malls are far more convenient for people who live downtown! Increase the central city population, and suddenly those downtown businesses have more customers.

K Street went downhill when Sacramento's middle class moved out to the suburbs, and the working class was kicked out by redevelopment, in the 1950s and 1960s. Bringing back central city housing (at all income levels) can reverse that trend, and create a volume of customers for downtown businesses to stay open late.

The lack of housing has a lot to do with the unspeakably bad economy, unfortunately, and there's no easy answer for that.

econgrad
Dec 16, 2008, 10:43 PM
Majin you are correct, and thanks for sharing. Wburg, no sources?

Surefiresacto
Dec 17, 2008, 12:09 AM
Do you guys suppose that if the Railyards project is successful and brings an influx of urban residents to Sacramento, then the DTP has a chance of revival?:shrug:

Majin
Dec 17, 2008, 12:20 AM
^^ Given that the railyards is no where near DTP and the railyards will have it's own shopping district that will be likely nicer, DTP would be finished.

Cynikal
Dec 17, 2008, 12:58 AM
I know no one really takes me seriously here but I'll go ahead throw my random 2 cents in as a resident basically living on the K street mall for the past year or so.

I'd say at least 80% of the problem with K street mall and DTP as a whole has nothing to do with LRT running through there, nothing to do with the need to open it up to cars, nothing to do with soccer moms not wanting to go there.

The real problem is there is no where near enough housing in downtown proper, especially around the JKL corridor. Just not enough people to patronize the mall and surrounding business. It's quite sad for me to walk down K street on a Monday night at 7pm and see Ride Aide closed, most restaurants and other shops closed. There are just not enough residents strangling the streets at night during the weekdays.

Anyway I believe LRT vs Cars vs Streetcars etc is a worthy discussion but the housing issue in the JKL corridor needs to be addressed in parallel or else any efforts made on the mall will in my opinion be wasted without the residents to support it.

BTW what is the issue with the lack of housing? For the insane amount of rent I pay there MUST be some serious demand for cheaper housing.

I agree, I've been screaming this for years. K street needs 24 hour foot traffic and not just at the price point that Majin pays but a diversity of rents.

econgrad
Dec 17, 2008, 1:30 AM
Do you guys suppose that if the Railyards project is successful and brings an influx of urban residents to Sacramento, then the DTP has a chance of revival?:shrug:

I think this is one of those... maybes. 10,000+ residents correct? If DTP offers some reason for them to go over and shop, I am sure some will. Majin has another good point, if its not convenient to them, they may not come over to DTP. Cynikal is correct as well, 24 hour foot traffic will of course help out an area t be more vibrant. We have the answers, cars and people/residences.

ltsmotorsport
Dec 17, 2008, 1:30 AM
That K street central project that joninsac posted a while back would be a huge help. It was the one on the same block as the Citizen and we only ever saw pics of a model, no actual details (although the two towers were definitely res. in design).

Phillip
Dec 17, 2008, 2:02 AM
Do you guys suppose that if the Railyards project is successful and brings an influx of urban residents to Sacramento, then the DTP has a chance of revival?:shrug:

If the Railyards didn't include major retail that influx of population to downtown would greatly benefit DTP. But retail will be in the Railyards and that could be the final nail in DTP's coffin....if DTP hangs on long enough to see the Railyards built.

Since progress at the Railyards is slow I think the big wild card in DTP's near-term future is whether Macy's stays or goes, more than what happens in the Railyards. I haven't heard that Macy's is leaving (and I wouldn't hear; I'm not connected), but Macy's has been closing underperforming stores around the country and the DTP store seems vulnerable at least. Losing Macy's would be devestating to DTP, since it's the mall's only anchor.

If DTP was levelled I think its location would be perfect for a corridor of highrise apartments and condos. That would be great for K Street, of course. But it seems like things maybe have to get worse before they can get better again.

wburg
Dec 17, 2008, 2:51 AM
econgrad: Plenty of information can be found in the Sacramento Room of the Central Library. Ask for the pamphlet files for malls and shopping centers, redevelopment, and the West End.

The studies I mentioned are:

The impact of Sacramento's suburban shopping centers on her central business district / Hansel Hudgens Cope.

West End commercial complex : a general development plan and report for a portion of project area no. 2-A and no. 3 in Sacramento / prepared for the Redevelopment Agency of Sacramento by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

There are other studies and collections on Sacramento's redevelopment era, you just kind of have to poke around for them. Some are at SAMCC, others at the CSUS library.

If you don't want to do the primary source research, I'd recommend Steven Avella's books Indomitable City, a general city history that mentions the redevelopment era and K Street, and The Good Life, which focuses on Sacramento's consumer culture.

LandofFrost
Dec 17, 2008, 5:07 PM
This weekend I went to DTP to do some Christmas shopping. I remember what it was like to go shopping in DTP the first few years it was open; there were tons of people, all the shops were full and there was constant foot traffic coming from Old town down to K street.

What I saw this weekend was just depressing. The entire block east of DTP is a deserted mess, almost post-apocalyptic. The mall was deserted... on Saturday! One week before Christmas! Now I realize that it was freezing outside, but .. damn.. The week before that i went to Arden Mall and it really wasn't that crowded either, so the economy could also be to blame.

On an up note, the Cosmo lounge and Palare were both packed to the limits the last two weekends, though honestly I don’t' know how people afford to go to these places every week. Cosmo cost my group of friends $90, just to get in the door and about $400 for alcohol. The six of us could have had dinner at Ella for the same price

Majin
Dec 17, 2008, 6:14 PM
^^ Yeah, for some reason downtown proper on the whole only caters to the rich and and the poor with almost nothing offered in the middle for both housing and entertainment... Midtown is a good mix of both. Downtown is lacking in that respect.

econgrad
Dec 18, 2008, 1:48 AM
^^ Yeah, for some reason downtown proper on the whole only caters to the rich and and the poor with almost nothing offered in the middle for both housing and entertainment... Midtown is a good mix of both. Downtown is lacking in that respect.

That's what I have been saying all along! Except that the products geared to higher prices "the rich" are not worth it in DT or MT. More needs to be built and prices are about 30 to 40% way to high for the value of what you get for everyone, rich and poor. They need a glut of condos and apts DT and MT for things to improve I guess, so build build build! More apts and condos..

doriankage
Dec 22, 2008, 3:50 PM
From the Crapamento Bee.
By Ed Fletcher and Mary Lynne Vellinga
Published: Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 | Page 1B

As Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" played from the speakers above downtown Sacramento's outdoor ice rink Sunday morning, the K Street Mall scene sang another song.

The rain-soaked rink was empty. Hardly a storefront was open along the two blocks closest to the Downtown Plaza. And the homeless and nearly homeless outnumbered the shoppers.

"It's dead," said Alan DeMena, who ventured downtown from Antelope on Sunday morning with his wife and son to check out the scene and have lunch. "It's amazing. A few days before Christmas and there's nothing here."

"Nothing" isn't exactly true. More people were shopping at Westfield's Downtown Plaza.

The city of Sacramento has struggled for years to give the traffic-free stretch of K Street between Downtown Plaza and the Convention Center more economic and social pop.

There has been limited success at restaurants closer to the Convention Center. But the 700 and 800 blocks – home to absent storefronts and gaping holes in the ground – were empty Sunday.

For years, city officials have pinned their hopes on Joe Zeiden, whose family owns the Z Gallerie furniture chain. Zeiden proposes to revamp the historic storefronts in the 700 block for modern retail tenants, including Z Gallerie.

But Zeiden was delayed for several years by the city's battle with former K Street property owner Moe Mohanna, who only recently agreed to sell his nine properties to the city for $18.6 million. The market has changed, and Zeiden has made it clear he doesn't intend to move forward unless he gets more money from the city.

"He wants to meet with Mayor (Kevin) Johnson, and that meeting is being scheduled," said Assistant City Manager John Dangberg. "Based on that, I would suspect we'll get a proposal from him. We had a real different marketplace when he started."

Mohanna is working with local hotel developer Bob Leach on a plan to buy back his former properties in the 800 block of K Street from the city redevelopment agency, and build a 400-room hotel and a mixed-use complex fronting L Street.

DeMena held out hope Johnson will be able to get the area singing once more.

Some physical improvements to the mall are already on the way.

The city is scheduled to start construction in February on $4 million in improvements to the K Street pedestrian mall that include new seating, lighting, paving and sidewalks.

Light rail trains will pull into new platforms, and the station in the 700 block of K Street will be moved around the corner.

Then, in March, Westfield is expected to begin a $40 million renovation of the shopping center. The food court will be moved from the area next to the movie theater to the front of the mall at Seventh and K.

At Downtown Plaza, there were, few if any, lines and plenty of room for shoppers to maneuver.

"We came here because Arden Fair (mall) is too busy," said Michelle Gonzales, of Woodland.

Gonzales said she didn't have to fight her way through the store and still found everything she needed.

Elizabeth McAllister, of south Sacramento, had the same thought: "We didn't have to wait in any lines."

Donna McDonald and her daughter Rae found the New Year's Eve blouse they'd been searching for at Downtown Plaza. They said they don't have much use for other K Street shopping in its current state.

LandofFrost
Dec 22, 2008, 6:00 PM
^^^^ Wow, they pay people to write this crap? I bet this article took 15 minutes to write, and was probubly half made up.

wburg
Dec 22, 2008, 7:38 PM
"Area With Almost No Stores Poorly Attended By Shoppers During Large Winter Storm In The Midst Of Massive Recession" pretty much sums it up.

innov8
Dec 23, 2008, 12:30 AM
^^^^ Wow, they pay people to write this crap? I bet this article took 15 minutes to write, and was probubly half made up.

That story seems very close to what's going with K Street... which parts are made up?

Web
Dec 23, 2008, 6:46 PM
yet Arden Faire is impossible to navigate due to congestion......

sounds like people are still hip to the suburban shopping mall as opposed to the Downtown walk along and look at the windows.

aka Phoenix vs Portland


has anyone seem downtown portland and all the businesses that have street access and all the people downtown during christmas season??? True they cant handle a couple incehes of snow and the whole city is shut down now but still a couple weeks ago you could barely move in the downtown traffic cars/busses/rail/streetcar/ and people

hmmmm what are the taxes in oregon and how was this infrastructure built?

wburg
Dec 23, 2008, 8:26 PM
Portland's streetcars were funded by special property tax assessments along the route: if you own property within a couple of blocks, you pay a special tax. I think there are some trade-off incentives, like reduced parking requirements, to sweeten the deal. The Sacramento/West Sac streetcar concept is working on a similar funding strategy.

I think their light rail system was funded the same way ours was, as it was built at about the same time--federal transportation dollars. Streetcar operations tend to prefer to not use federal funds, as it comes with fewer strings attached and generally more quickly.

Oregon has much higher property tax rates than California. No Prop. 13 up there...

Cynikal
Dec 23, 2008, 9:03 PM
Portland's streetcars were funded by special property tax assessments along the route: if you own property within a couple of blocks, you pay a special tax. I think there are some trade-off incentives, like reduced parking requirements, to sweeten the deal. The Sacramento/West Sac streetcar concept is working on a similar funding strategy.

I think their light rail system was funded the same way ours was, as it was built at about the same time--federal transportation dollars. Streetcar operations tend to prefer to not use federal funds, as it comes with fewer strings attached and generally more quickly.

Oregon has much higher property tax rates than California. No Prop. 13 up there...

But they do not have a sales tax. Just say'n :)

Phillip
Dec 23, 2008, 9:51 PM
Being the only significant sized city in the state makes Portland retail mecca for all of Oregon, not just the Portland area. People drive hundreds of miles to shop in Portland, even if it's just once or twice a year. Sacramento doesn't have that same regional draw, not when Union Square is so close.

Oregon has no sales tax while Washington's is high, like 8% (varies by city). Southwest Washington has another half million people or so and they drive across the bridges to shop in Portland too, especially for large ticket items where the sales tax is a significant amount.

otnemarcaS
Dec 24, 2008, 8:34 AM
Web, yeah, Portland's street shopping is wonderful (so is Seattle's). But as Phillip has described, Portland is the main major city in Oregon as is Seattle in Washington or Chicago in Illinois or even NYC in New York, so the kind of things that may work in the major city may not extend to many other cities. So many major cities here in California.

For me, the thing that makes Portland's DT shopping work well is the transportation that makes it easy to get in, get out, get thru and get around downtown (it's also free to ride the street cars within the downtown corridor). You are almost always within a few blocks of your destination. Same thing with public transportation in SF. In Sac, try going from say, Handle District at 18th and Capitol to dinner at 28th and J then to DT plaza at 5th and L without a car.

I've been to Portland about six times and it's always great walking around their downtown and it's street level shops. But let's not also forget that despite all the street level shopping, they also have a huge indoor mall downtown on fifth street called Pioneer Place mall that's about the size of four city blocks downtown.

sugit
Jan 5, 2009, 3:41 AM
Looks like other city-owned buildings at 10th and K might be getting close.

City Council Staff Report (http://sacramento.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=8&clip_id=1669&meta_id=162740)

Taylor and CIM have submitted a proposal to the city with the report extending the ERN with Taylor and CIM for 4 months to finish business terms (aka Subsidy) on the project. It sounds like the money will come from the funds set aside from the Sheraton sale.

From reading the report it look like a couple of tenants have been identified, with 1012 still searching for a user.

Although it doesn't say so, it sounds like housing might be out an option for those sites. (Though I thought Taylor was talking a short time ago about a possible hotel project)

If they are going to do a rehab, I hope they have at least found a couple good tenants (no more Paragary's, please) that will continue building on some of the cool stuff already there. I'd love to see a second run theater personally..

Hopefully we find out within the next 4 months.

sugit
Jan 17, 2009, 6:18 AM
Here's the plan for 10th and K. I find Mason's comments pretty amusing considering he just opened a new spot himself. Competition is a good thing.


Mermaids, dancing, pizza tossing? Developer reveals plans for new downtown nightspots
By Bob Shallit
bshallit@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Jan. 16, 2009

Mermaids on K Street? Believe it.

Sea nymphs swimming in an aquarium behind a bar is one element of an audacious - and very serious - proposal for a new entertainment complex in downtown Sacramento.

The proposal from acclaimed San Francisco nightspot owner George Karpaty also calls for a dance club targeting the "30s-and-over" set and a pizzeria known for its "dough acrobatics."

The complex would go into three storefronts between 1016 K and 1022 K St. and could be open by the end of this year, says Sacramento developer David Taylor, whose company is negotiating to acquire the proposed project site from the city's redevelopment agency.

That opening date is contingent on the city investing $5.4 million in redevelopment funds. The matter will go to the City Council next month.

Karpaty, who owns Ruby Skye and several other Bay Area nightclubs, says he's been looking for opportunities in Sacramento for two years and learned about the K street site last summer.

"It all just sort of fit together," he says of his plans, which include.

- Frisky Rhythm, a nightclub with plenty of seating, celebrity DJs and music that, Karpaty says, "gets 30-year-olds tapping their feet."

- Dive Bar, a "rustic" drinking spot, with a back bar aquarium that would be occupied at random times by women in mermaid costumes.

"We're going to create a buzz," Karpaty says. "People will be saying, 'Have you seen the mermaid?'" Instead of a juke box, the bar will have an oversized "flawless replica of an iPod." Guests could plug in their hand-held devices and play their own tunes, he says.

- Pizza Rock, an eatery by owners of Castro Valley's Pyzano's Pizzeria, known for the dough-spinning antics of owner Tony Gemignani, who promises the same kind of show here."Think of what the Harlem Globetrotters do with a basketball. We do it with pizza," Gemignani says.

Backers of the Karpaty proposal have kept a lid on the project - until now. But some local club owners fear it could cannibalize a shrinking market.

Mason Wong, owner of Mason's restaurant and the Park Ultra Lounge nightspot, says downtown and midtown already have "too many restaurants, too many bars and too many night clubs."

But Taylor, whose company is developing the project with CIM Group of Los Angeles, says Karpaty has the creativity and promotional chops to bring many more people to downtown, benefiting all. "He adds a whole new level of energy and marketing expertise," he says. "That can only help."

Pistola916
Jan 17, 2009, 7:18 PM
Sounds like a very cool project. I'm looking forward to the mermaids!

otnemarcaS
Jan 18, 2009, 3:59 PM
Mason Wong thinks there's too many bars, restaurants and nightclubs in MT/DT? Ironic and funny considering he just opened up the $3 million Mix nightclub near his Park Ultra Lounge.

Each new project on or near K street will essentially create a domino effect on attracting the next entertaining project. However, I think if all they build is one new upscale project after another then they will truely saturate that market. Sac needs more affordable spots. How many people can go to The Park Ultra Lounge and pay $20 just for the priviledge of getting in only to then start out by paying $10 for one Long Island Iced Tea that contains like 70% ice?

wburg
Jan 18, 2009, 5:14 PM
I can't imagine a place with a name like "Dive Bar" being too upscale, even though they're obviously playing on the name. Fortunately, if you want a cheap drink downtown you can always hit Henry's or the Chambers Room instead.

sugit
Jan 18, 2009, 5:31 PM
However, I think if all they build is one new upscale project after another then they will truely saturate that market. Sac needs more affordable spots. How many people can go to The Park Ultra Lounge and pay $20 just for the priviledge of getting in only to then start out by paying $10 for one Long Island Iced Tea that contains like 70% ice?

That's why I'm looking forward to De Vere's and The Shady Lady. I think those two will fit the bill. For a newer place, even though it's a pizza place as well, Uncle Vito's has some good drink prices if you are looking for a bite to eat in a bar atmposhere.

Dakotasteve66
Jan 18, 2009, 9:42 PM
I'm sure the 12,000 people that attended New Year's Eve at 10th and K helped those developers in moving forward with these projects. I also think that K street should not add cars, especially in lieu of the fact that several nightclubs could be added to that area. It seems to me that major department stores should primarily front J and L streets where they get the drive by recognition. Then leave K street as something different, similar to smaller alleys in London.

wburg
Jan 18, 2009, 10:26 PM
That's just it--adding entertainment venues (including bars, but also live music and dance venues, restaurants catering to various tastes/income levels, theaters, etc) could turn K Street into a walking street in the evenings, when light rail trains are shorter and less frequent. And I think you're exactly right about the effects of New Year's Eve on K Street plans.

Even in rough economic times, people still want to be entertained: movie theaters were among the few businesses practically immune to the effects of the Great Depression, because folks were looking for distraction from the grim realities around them.

otnemarcaS
Jan 19, 2009, 12:42 AM
Fortunately, if you want a cheap drink downtown you can always hit Henry's or the Chambers Room instead.

There are actually several places in MT/DT where you can get cheap drinks, from those wburg mentioned above to others like the Torch club and Limelight and several others in-between. I'm mostly referring to the new nightclubs or lounges with dancing that have recently opened up with not so tender drink prices.

I'd really love to see K street become some type of entertainment zone with several live music venues included.

innov8
Jan 27, 2009, 9:29 PM
Crest Theater Improvements Project

The Sacramento City Council passed a motion on the 20th of last week to
loan an additional $160,000 to the existing $253,839 loan principal to create
a new loan to be used for capital improvements to the theater. The loan is
forgivable in the year 2019 if the theater makes structural, safety, and
aesthetic improvements as part of scenic easement to the Crest Theater
marquee. An Owner Participation Agreement (OPA) with The Briggs Family
Group (Owner) is to provide Downtown Redevelopment tax increment funds
to the project. The loan would add $160,000 to the existing loan principal
$253,839 and create a new loan of $413,839 to be used for capital
improvements to the theater.

http://sacramento.granicus.com/DocumentViewer.php?file=sacramento_c7870719e5b9e76dc067ccc3eebec3d8.pdf

http://sacramento.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=8&clip_id=1767&meta_id=167992

sugit
Feb 11, 2009, 9:49 PM
K Street Streetscape Kick off on February 24

Join the City of Sacramento, Regional Transit and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership at an event to celebrate the start of construction on the first phase of the K Street Streetscape project!

This project will revitalize the 700 block of K Street and create an inviting environment with updated street furniture, landscaping, pavement, and improved lighting; relocate an existing light rail station from the 700 block of K to the east side of 7th Street; and renovate St. Rose of Lima Park with the addition of a new interactive water feature.

When
February 24, 2009 at 10 a.m.

Where
St. Rose of Lima Park at 7th and K streets

For more information, contact Economic Development at econdev@cityofsacramento.org.

innov8
Feb 20, 2009, 1:17 AM
Bob Shallit: Sacramento eatery, bar owners not applauding downtown entertainment complex
By Bob Shallit
The Sacramento Bee Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

A number of Sacramento's top food and drink purveyors are escalating their campaign against a proposed city subsidy for an entertainment complex near the corner of 10th and K streets.

As owners of various downtown restaurants, bars and nightclubs, they say the new businesses would siphon away customers – just when the economic downturn is threatening their very existence.

"Everybody is scraping and clawing. … it's survival mode for the next year," says Mason Wong, a leader of the opposition group.

Its members have met with some City Council members and plan to lobby Mayor Kevin Johnson and others before a council meeting Tuesday, when the $5.4 million subsidy is tentatively scheduled for consideration.

The group already has had some impact.

Councilman Steve Cohn says he sympathizes with the opponents, adding that as of now "I'd vote against" the subsidy.

But Cohn also acknowledges that the proposal, spearheaded by San Francisco nightclub owner George Karpaty, could spark more economic activity on the block, considered a key juncture between the east and west ends of the K Street pedestrian mall. And could do it quickly.

"It's similar to the (federal) stimulus," Cohn says. The city needs projects that are "shovel ready."

Karpaty's K Street proposal has some novel elements: a pizza shop with staffers doing "dough acrobatics," a dance club targeting the 30-and-up crowd, and a bar featuring a built-in aquarium with women swimmers costumed as mermaids.

Backers, including the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, say it fits with the city's long-term vision to bring a mix of entertainment, housing and retail to downtown. The partnership's board endorsed the subsidy proposal Wednesday.

But opponents say a large bookstore or other "destination" retail outlet would do more to attract shoppers and visitors.

"This city needs a game changer," says Ernesto Jimenez, co-owner of Zocalo and Ernesto's. "Not another restaurant or bar."


Making a splash

If the Karpaty proposal does get approved, it won't be the first time that "mermaids" have lured downtown visitors.

So says Sacramento transportation consultant Steve Schnaidt.

In the '60s, he went with his parents for occasional dinners to the El Mirador Hotel at 13th and N streets, long ago converted to senior housing.

Back then it was a swanky gathering spot, with a restaurant and bar whose glass wall provided a view into the hotel's swimming pool. Attractive young women were hired to swim for "visual effect" during the evenings.

Schnaidt has no recollection of the El Mirador's food. But he remembers the sea nymphs.

"To a 13- or 14-year-old boy, they were gorgeous," he says.

http://www.sacbee.com/shallit/story/1636125.html

econgrad
Feb 20, 2009, 2:14 AM
Bob Shallit: Sacramento eatery, bar owners not applauding downtown entertainment complex
By Bob Shallit
The Sacramento Bee Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

A number of Sacramento's top food and drink purveyors are escalating their campaign against a proposed city subsidy for an entertainment complex near the corner of 10th and K streets.

As owners of various downtown restaurants, bars and nightclubs, they say the new businesses would siphon away customers – just when the economic downturn is threatening their very existence.

"Everybody is scraping and clawing. … it's survival mode for the next year," says Mason Wong, a leader of the opposition group.

Its members have met with some City Council members and plan to lobby Mayor Kevin Johnson and others before a council meeting Tuesday, when the $5.4 million subsidy is tentatively scheduled for consideration.

The group already has had some impact.

Councilman Steve Cohn says he sympathizes with the opponents, adding that as of now "I'd vote against" the subsidy.

But Cohn also acknowledges that the proposal, spearheaded by San Francisco nightclub owner George Karpaty, could spark more economic activity on the block, considered a key juncture between the east and west ends of the K Street pedestrian mall. And could do it quickly.

"It's similar to the (federal) stimulus," Cohn says. The city needs projects that are "shovel ready."

Karpaty's K Street proposal has some novel elements: a pizza shop with staffers doing "dough acrobatics," a dance club targeting the 30-and-up crowd, and a bar featuring a built-in aquarium with women swimmers costumed as mermaids.

Backers, including the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, say it fits with the city's long-term vision to bring a mix of entertainment, housing and retail to downtown. The partnership's board endorsed the subsidy proposal Wednesday.

But opponents say a large bookstore or other "destination" retail outlet would do more to attract shoppers and visitors.

"This city needs a game changer," says Ernesto Jimenez, co-owner of Zocalo and Ernesto's. "Not another restaurant or bar."


Making a splash

If the Karpaty proposal does get approved, it won't be the first time that "mermaids" have lured downtown visitors.

So says Sacramento transportation consultant Steve Schnaidt.

In the '60s, he went with his parents for occasional dinners to the El Mirador Hotel at 13th and N streets, long ago converted to senior housing.

Back then it was a swanky gathering spot, with a restaurant and bar whose glass wall provided a view into the hotel's swimming pool. Attractive young women were hired to swim for "visual effect" during the evenings.

Schnaidt has no recollection of the El Mirador's food. But he remembers the sea nymphs.

"To a 13- or 14-year-old boy, they were gorgeous," he says.

http://www.sacbee.com/shallit/story/1636125.html

I hate it when I read articles like this! GRRRRR! Build it and build more housing for more people so they won't fu*king whine about too many bars and eatery's. I am sick of it! :hell:

wburg
Feb 20, 2009, 2:44 AM
I've been talking about putting more entertainment on K Street for a while now, and this New Year's Eve was a great example of the potential there for an entertainment and recreation district instead of assuming K Street has to be a shopping center. Personally I think that if they do become a magnet, places like Zocalo might lose some business but gain a lot more; people looking for the big party could go all the way downtown, people looking for something fun but more relaxed would be drawn to midtown.

And yeah, the population of the central city is going up and should go up more; the current city plan estimates a tripling of the central city population by 2030, mostly in new-growth or redevelopment areas like downtown, the Docks, R Street and the Railyards.

econgrad
Feb 26, 2009, 11:26 AM
Stakeholders to meet over K Street club plans
Sacramento Business Journal - by Mark Anderson Staff writer

Long before they ever even open, plans for a series of new nightclubs downtown on the K Street Mall are causing a commotion in Sacramento.

Some of the stakeholders are meeting Thursday with Ray Tretheway, city councilman representing downtown, to calm some of the rhetoric in memos, letters and e-mails passing between downtown and midtown restaurant and club operators.

The brouhaha is about the timing of one of Sacramento’s most successful developers opening three new clubs in the worst recession current club owners have ever experienced.

There is a growing debate whether the new clubs will create more business and draw more people downtown or just cut into the pie of existing business in Sacramento.

Developer David S. Taylor and partner CIM Group have tapped San Francisco club operator George Karparty to open a dance club, high-end Dive Bar and a “rustic adult pizza lounge” in a series of buildings on K Street.

Taylor, who developed the Sheraton Grand Hotel, bought the hotel from the city last May, creating a $50 million windfall for the city, and $25 million of that was to be used for Taylor redevelopment projects downtown.

“This does stay consistent with long-term strategies of downtown,” said Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

The developers hope to have all three venues open by the end of this year. Taylor and CIM are seeking a city subsidy of $5.4 million to renovate and refurbish the shells of the buildings, which have toxic and structural problems. In addition, Taylor would spend almost that much again on the buildings and the tenant would invest about $1.7 million.

The three venues would be in a series of buildings at 1012-1022 K street. Frisky Rhythm is proposed as a 4,000-square-foot high-end nightclub targeting an above-30 crowd. Next door would be Dive Bar, a hip 3,200-square-foot bar with an aquarium in it featuring mermaids and mermen. And third, there would be Pizza Rock, a trendy 5,600-square-foot pizza joint. Another building, with 20,000 square feet, is the former Rite Aid, and there is a plan to renovate that building, but no use plan yet.

Some restaurateurs are for it, including Randy Paragary, who operates a restaurant next door to the site, along with nine other locations.

Some club owners also support it, including Bob Simpson, who operates the Cosmopolitan next door, which stands to gain business. Simpson also runs other clubs in midtown and the suburbs that might compete for business.

And there are restaurant owners in midtown and downtown opposed to the project.

“This one is going to hurt,” said Jimmy Johnson, a partner in Zocalo restaurant in midtown. “I can understand if this was something really special — some kind of attraction or destination — but this is just another restaurant and bar. We’ve got those all over the place.”

“The restaurant owners are worried. Hospitality is tight right now. The owners in midtown have got skin in the game, and they are just getting by,” said Rob Kerth, executive director of the Midtown Business Association.

NewToCA
Feb 26, 2009, 2:59 PM
While I understand the concerns of current business owners about further splitting the pie in a bad economic environment, I think their sentiments are a bit short sighted. The economy will not stay in a tailspin over the long term, and may in fact even start to recover near the end of this year.

Expanding the options and enhancing the overall area has to be a win/win proposition, even if the "new kid" initially pulls some of your business. In the longer term, the enhanced attraction of the area will expand the pie.

Phillip
Mar 2, 2009, 4:41 AM
The three venues would be in a series of buildings at 1012-1022 K street. Frisky Rhythm is proposed as a 4,000-square-foot high-end nightclub targeting an above-30 crowd. Next door would be Dive Bar, a hip 3,200-square-foot bar with an aquarium in it featuring mermaids and mermen.

In the '60s, he went with his parents for occasional dinners to the El Mirador Hotel at 13th and N streets, long ago converted to senior housing.

Back then it was a swanky gathering spot, with a restaurant and bar whose glass wall provided a view into the hotel's swimming pool. Attractive young women were hired to swim for "visual effect" during the evenings.

Fresno had one of those "swimming mermaid" bars in the 1960's too, at the old Hacienda Hotel. Maybe every city had a swimming mermaid bar in the 1960's?

Here's a vintage postcard from Fresno's Hacienda Hotel. The caption says: "A ballet routine in the famous Mermaid Room cocktail lounge of the Fresno Hacienda. Complete back bar is a glass side in patio swim pool".

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll48/PhilipsPics/mermaids.jpg

sugit
Mar 10, 2009, 4:16 PM
I'm really curious to see how the 10th and K city council item goes today. I can def see both sides of the argument. The subsidy does seem high, esp since we have seen a couple nightclub and retail rehab done with no subsidy recently (Firestone the most recent). I get that K Street is a different beast, but that amount still seems high.

In the end I'm with NewtoCA though. Any new venues to Downtown, esp K Street, will benefit all of DT and MT. I don't know if the city should pass this up. I doubt the businesses will fail, but even if they do, the shells are finally in place for tenants after all these years.

If this does pass, I hope the city makes sure the yet to be decided space is used for some sort of different entertainment venue, not another club or restaurant. Something that can drive a different crowd to K Street.

Personally, I liked the idea of Strikes Bowling that was mentioned a couple years ago. That could drive some families back to K Street. (maybe the NW corner?) Though, I think the pizza place could be family friendly. I saw the guy who would be owning the pizza place on the Food Network a few days ago, pretty bad ass pizza thrower. If nothing else, it would be entertaining to watch.

On the politics side, if I had to guess, KJ and Cohn could vote No. The two most vocal people against it in the news seem to be Mason's and Zocolo's. (KJ supporters) and it's a Taylor project (Fargo supporter). For Cohn, all the business owners are in his district.

wburg
Mar 10, 2009, 5:52 PM
It seems like an ideal spot for a medium-sized music venue, larger than the small downtown clubs but smaller than the Memorial Auditorium. There aren't many options for spaces with a capacity of a few hundred, which is a big reason why touring bands tend to pass Sacramento by. The Crest does live shows sometimes, but it is pretty big, and because it is a theater not well-suited to dancing (or moshing.) A lot of bands end up playing at the Boardwalk in Orangevale, and assume that's downtown Sacramento! Music venues can also adapt to changing times, while the whole "mermaid bar" idea seems awfully faddish.

A bowling alley is a nice idea, and I suppose more family-friendly. But it's kind of faddish too.

I got a chance to visit Mix this Saturday night, and it certainly didn't look like business was suffering. It was pretty crowded, in fact. It seems like a pretty natural path to turn a stroll from Mix or deVere's to the bars around K Street and 10th, as long as there is a suitably well-lit walking path and enough things worth walking past (as in open businesses and other pedestrians.) Enough late-night foot traffic and some of those stateworker-lunchtime spots will start opening later. Maybe the city can offer a "mea culpa" to the folks who started "Junta" on 7th & K (only to be shut down within a few months) by offering them a space to re-open an all-ages music venue in the 700 block?

Exposure to a place tends to destroy incorrect assumptions about it. People who think downtown Sacramento is all scary and ooky may have their perceptions changed after coming downtown for entertainment a few times, and have more interest in taking up residence. At that point, we'll need some of that downtown housing we've been crying for. Take some of those redevelopment funds and turn the Bel-Vue at 8th & L into stunning market-rate apartments--sounds like a job for D&S, once they get done with the Maydestone!--and build a residential tower in the hole on 8th & K. Put a Nugget Market into the front facade of the Greyhound station (with a residential tower behind the front facade, taking up the former Royal Hotel site and the Greyhound garage) so those folks don't even have to hop light rail to Safeway to get their groceries.

It all starts with a single step--although that one needs to be followed by quite a few more.

sugit
Mar 10, 2009, 6:47 PM
Yeah, a mix sized live music place built to be JUST a live music place is badly needed amongst all the DJ clubs, I think that's been beaten down on these boards.

I've been also hoping MOBS (Movies on a Big Screen) would find their way into one of these K Street projects in a multi-use venue, that last space could maybe work. Money wise though, who knows.

The city did offer up 25M to developers for housing a few months ago, but none of the proposals fit the bill. They said they would be getting out there again, but nothing yet. I'd love to see more housing, but hotels would be great as well. You figure people in hotels are here to get out and about and spend money.

jsf8278
Mar 11, 2009, 2:22 AM
I dont know all the details of the transaction, but the more I think about the Sheraton sale, the more it seems like a complete rip off to the tax payers.
Basically, the city owned this hotel, sold it for 100 million to Taylor, and is required to use half the money to subsidize his projects? Were there no other buyers, was Sheraton not profitable?

And now, we are considering a subsidy for $5 million to refurbish three buildings. The whole deal just screams of corruption.

Maybe not though...just thinking out loud.

sugit
Mar 11, 2009, 5:25 AM
I wonder what " A compromise was reached between the council and both proponents and opponents of the project." was?

City Council OKs K Street subsidy
Sacramento Business Journal
Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 9:53pm PDT

The Sacramento City council on Tuesday approved a subsidy for a rehab project at 1012-1022 K Street.

The subsidy is $5.4 million to pay for the core, shell and tenant improvements for a nightclub, dive bar and restaurant on land the city has owned for 10 years. The proposed developer is a partnership between David S. Taylor Interests Inc. and CIM Group and the operator would be San Francisco nightclub owner George Karpaty. Taylor has had an exclusive right to negotiate for development proposals on the site, a former Rite Aid drug store and other closed businesses, since 2005. Under the proposal, the developers are bringing $5.3 million in equity to the project.

The subsidy funds would come from proceeds of the city’s sale of the Sheraton Hotel last year to Taylor Interests. As part of that deal, the city agreed to set aside half of the proceeds, about $25.6 million, to subsidize the development of property along the city’s central corridor along J, K and L streets in deals with Taylor.

Many downtown and midtown restaurant owners were opposed to the subsidy, fearing it would take business away from their establishments. A compromise was reached between the council and both proponents and opponents of the project.

Dakotasteve66
Mar 11, 2009, 7:29 PM
The compromise was that Taylor will not get all of the 5.4 million subsidy right now. 2.1 million that is allocated for the Rite Aid building won't be discussed until Taylor has a tenant lined up for the building. This will give midtown businesses an opportunity to weigh in on what goes into that building, obviously hoping for something that doesn't compete with midtown businesses.

I think someone mentioned Lucky Strike Bowling for that building.

innov8
Mar 15, 2009, 4:12 AM
Friday, March 13, 2009
Sacramento Business Journal
Opinion

K Street compromise
The issue: The city approved a $5.7 million subsidy for a nightclub/restaurant
on K Street despite protests / Our position: The subsidy’s new restrictions
should be enough to quell the controversy without killing the project

And a controversial development on K Street is proof.

A complicated accord, reached during last-minute negotiations, will allow developer David Taylor and the CIM Group to contract with an out-of-town nightclub and restaurant owner to open a bar, gourmet pizza eatery and nightclub. Construction is scheduled to start by the end of April, and the so-called dive bar — featuring mermaids and mermen — and other entertainment-oriented spots could open by the end of the year.

It’s a long-overdue and much-appreciated development for K Street, which has battled eminent domain lawsuits, failed shops and a look-over-your-shoulder feeling. Sure, an arts center, museum or major retailer is a better use of the building, but an entertainment outlet is a huge step forward.

Any development is better than a block of decaying and neglected structures.

The late-in-the-game agreement turned controversy into compromise and is evidence of a let’s-get-it-done attitude under Mayor Kevin Johnson and a revived City Council.

There was anger, debate and, in the end, a resolution. Truly, a great example of the process at work.

Certainly, closed-door meetings created the deal, but it was a public dispute from the beginning, culminating with full-page newspaper ads and media coverage during the final week.

The Sacramento City Council approved the $5.7 million “altered” subsidy for the development, ending a few hours of public comment and dozens of speakers about the project.

Under the agreement, San Francisco nightclub owner George Karpaty cannot combine the business spaces to create a huge nightclub without Council approval, and $2.1 million in funding will be delayed until a tenant is found for the fourth space. A more-than-acceptable agreement, for both sides.

The controversial funding comes from $25.6 million generated from the sale of the Sheraton Grand, another high-profile and much-needed project Taylor powered. Those dollars could be used only for downtown redevelopment, and the bar-pizzeria-nightclub fits the bill. Karpaty and Taylor will combine to invest $5 million in the project.

However, many midtown business owners challenged the city subsidy, saying the entertainment venues would hurt their own struggling operations. It’s an acceptable argument, especially with the dismal economy and fast-declining consumer spending.

But K Street needs development. Now, with the agreement, the on-again-off-again renovation of the often-overlooked street can resume and get “off its knees and back on its feet,” in the words of City Councilman Ray Tretheway. The agreement between the city, the developers and midtown business owners will also help the city stand a bit straighter in the eyes of the community.

http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2009/03/16/editorial1.html

chan011
Apr 8, 2009, 11:35 PM
does anyone have any foot traffic numbers for K St or know where i might be able to find that type of data?

thanks

innov8
Apr 16, 2009, 4:36 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Z Gallerie files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Sacramento Business Journal - by Kelly Johnson Staff writer

Z Gallerie, the Southern California home furnishings chain whose owner has long planned to participate in a downtown Sacramento redevelopment project, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The Gardena-based retailer filed Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

It has stores locally at Westfield Downtown Plaza in Sacramento and at The Fountains lifestyle center in Roseville.

Z Gallerie “filed to reorganize voluntarily under Chapter 11 in order to remove the liability from 22 leases associated with closed stores and an Atlanta distribution center and to strengthen its balance sheet,” the company said in a news release.

Z Gallerie closed 21 stores, mostly in March, and has not announced any more store closings, a company spokesman said in an interview Tuesday.

Z Gallerie stores will be remain open without interruption. The retailer, in the release, said it “has sufficient cash to operate all aspects of its business, including custom furniture orders through its stores and Web site, and is seeking court approval to do so.”

The filing allows Z Gallerie to “eliminate certain lease liabilities from discontinued stores, and to continue to operate and serve our customers well,” Mike Zeiden, chief financial officer and co-founder, said in the news release.

The retailer is seeking court permission to pay pre-filing wages and benefits, honor existing customer programs and deposits and maintain its cash management system.

“Vendors who do business with the company going forward will be paid on an administrative priority basis for all goods and services the company receives after today,” the company said in the release on Friday. “The law prohibits payment for goods and services received before today’s filing.”

Z Gallerie began closing 21 stores nationwide on Feb. 18. Those stores were either poor performers or in markets that the retailer wanted to pull out of, the release said. The company also made arrangements to close its Atlanta distribution center. Now Z Gallerie is supplying merchandise from its central distribution center facility in Gardena.

Founded in 1979, the retailer now has 56 retail locations in 18 states and one outlet at headquarters in Gardena. It employs nearly 900 people.

Turnaround manager Broadway Advisors LLC is advising Z Gallerie. Its bankruptcy counsel is Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP.

A spokesman said Joe Zeiden still intends to work with the city of Sacramento on redeveloping the 700 block of K Street.

http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2009/04/13/daily27.html

DALINSAC
Apr 16, 2009, 6:32 PM
I don't think will see Z Gallerie at that K Street location anytime soon

Phillip
Apr 21, 2009, 12:54 AM
Westfield just can't win. In Sacramento Westfield gets flak for letting Downtown Plaza languish. At their Century City Mall in LA Westfield's getting shot down for trying to renovate and expand.

Westfield's Century City project faces challenge

by Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
March 24, 2009

Westfield's ambitious proposal to enlarge its Century City shopping center and build a 39-story tower with 262 apartments or condos is facing a challenge from a coalition of homeowners.

The appeal of the Los Angeles Planning Commission's approval of the $800-million project was set to be heard Tuesday at a hearing of the Planning and Land Use Management committee. But the city has postponed the hearing to an as-yet-unspecified date.

The project "puts too much of a strain on our infrastructure," said Mike Eveloff, one of the challengers. Meanwhile, Eveloff said, funds paid by Westfield and other developers to help schools affected by their projects "end up going into the maw that is LAUSD," rather than easing the effects at specific schools.

Also postponed was consideration of a challenge to the so-called La Brea-Willoughby project, a seven-story, mixed-use project that a neighborhood coalition says will bring too much traffic and density.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/03/westfields-cent.html

econgrad
Apr 21, 2009, 2:05 AM
^ I wish they would build that here, and Sacramento approve it.

innov8
Apr 23, 2009, 11:26 PM
Renderings of the 10th and K Entertainment Project.

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/1681/10thandkbynight.jpg

With a 45% ground floor vacancy rate, K Street’s health is currently
struggling. These spaces have been vacant more than eight years and have
seen several projects – all proposed with subsidies - come and go. Currently
David Taylor Interests (DSTI) and the CIM Group (CIM) have proposed the
following K Street Entertainment Project:

• 1016 K Street: This 3,000 sq ft parcel will feature Dive Bar, a trendy play
on a vintage dive bar. Dive Bar will feature an iPod jukebox with a selection
of many musical genres.

• 1020 K Street: This 5,600 sq ft parcel will feature Pizza Rock, a high-end
pizza restaurant. The restaurant will feature pizza acrobatics and trained
pizza artisans.

• 1022 K Street: This 4,300 sq ft parcel will feature Frisky Rhythm, an
upscale nightclub targeted to an audience ages 30 and up.

• 1012 K Street: This 12,000 sq ft parcel will undergo building shell and core
renovations. No tenant has been identified yet.

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5127/10thandkbyday.jpg

Financing: The total budget for this project is $11.8 million including tenant
and developer investment as well as proposed public investment.*

Investment in 1016, 1020, 1022 K Street
Public Investment $3.4 million
Private Developer $3.4 million
Tenant $1.7 million
TOTAL $8.5 million

Est. investment in 1012 K Street
Public Investment $2.0 million
Private Developer $0.24 million
Tenant $1.1 million
TOTAL $3.3 million

Total Public Investment $5.4 million
Total Private Developer $3.6 million
Total Tenant $2.8 million
TOTAL $11.8 million

* The public investment is derived from proceeds of the Sheraton sale in 200.
Under the sale terms, half of the transaction proceeds would be available for
DSTI/CIM projects in the JKL Corridor with City Council approval.

Major upgrades will need to be made to make the parcels market ready.
Hazardous waste issues, seismic retrofit and utility upgrades, and antiquated
infrastructure are just a few of the significant costs present in most
K Street projects. Additionally, the tenants will be paying market rate rent
and thus not undercutting existing businesses by offering subsidized
mortgage rates. Tentative target delivery date is late 2009.

Cynikal
Apr 24, 2009, 4:30 PM
Underwhelming at best.

ozone
Apr 24, 2009, 5:00 PM
Oh yeah empty storefronts are soooo much better.:koko: I'm on the K Street mall at least 3 times a week and I know the area well. I live and have a business in Midtown. My opinion and the opinions of people like me does count more than the opinions of a bunch of do-nothing whining suburban hick jerkoffs. Like Pane and his merry band losers who suffer from Sacramentopoopooitis. Tiffanys in Roseville= Lipstick on a pig.

Cynikal
Apr 24, 2009, 9:27 PM
Well, the "it's better than nothing" mindset has provided Sacramento with nothing but mediocrity. I, for one, would like to see that change and am ready for the top tier city we have been talking about. I would assume if you are on K Street as much as you are then you would agree.

innov8
Apr 25, 2009, 1:25 AM
Oh yeah empty storefronts are soooo much better.:koko: I'm on the K Street mall at least 3 times a week and I know the area well. I live and have a business in Midtown. My opinion and the opinions of people like me does count more than the opinions of a bunch of do-nothing whining suburban hick jerkoffs. Like Pane and his merry band losers who suffer from Sacramentopoopooitis. Tiffanys in Roseville= Lipstick on a pig.

If more Midtown people like yourself got involved in the process then it would
not matter what other people from outside the area thought because your
opinions would drown out those other people from the burbs. But that's not the case;
you and a few others are all talk and no action. What were the last
five things you did ozone to improve the area other than bitch about it at a coffee
shop about what others are doing? The tone of your post sounds like your
having some sort of withdraw in your life (nicotine) or other stress.
I remember one time you admitted having some serious cigarette withdraws.

I agree Cynikal, mediocrity has been the standard line in this town for a long
time now... we all loose when we settle for second rate projects.

econgrad
Apr 25, 2009, 2:10 AM
I agree Cynikal, mediocrity has been the standard line in this town for a long
time now... we all loose when we settle for second rate projects.

I agree with you and Cynikal that mediocrity has been the standard for far too long (as you know from my posts). May I ask, what makes this project mediocre? I like the venue concepts, should there be more? A highrise?

innov8
Apr 27, 2009, 5:08 AM
If the goal is to get more foot traffic downtown then the city should only
subsidize projects that add housing downtown. It now seems like nothing
can be built downtown unless subsidies are part of the deal while at the
same time city staff are waiving fees... the call for subsidies has become
more rapid and will only falsely create a market that can't support it's self.

econgrad
Apr 27, 2009, 5:57 AM
What will it take to bring K Street to life? Planners and a developer weigh in
rlillis@sacbee.com
Published Sunday, Apr. 26, 2009

Over the past decade, public and private investors have poured more than $170 million into the K Street Mall.

Results have been mixed for the six-block pedestrian strip between Downtown Plaza and the Sacramento Convention Center. In the 700 and 800 blocks, 14 empty storefronts face K Street. Most evenings the street is empty.

There are signs of improvement. Work has begun on a nightclub, bar and gourmet pizzeria between 10th and 11th streets, and a 409-room hotel has been proposed for the vacant lot at Eighth and K. The city is about to begin a $4 million streetscape project.

But success remains elusive.

The Bee asked a local urban planner, a K Street developer and a Denver planning expert what it takes to bring a street to life.

Finding a tipping point

A number of factors have conspired against K Street over the years, said Paul Shigley, editor of the California Planning and Development Report.

The decision four decades ago to close off the street to vehicle traffic didn't work, and some current and former property owners didn't do enough to help turn it around, he said.

The city of Sacramento also made "a series of bad decisions that at the time did not seem that bad," he said.

He referred to putting light rail tracks and stations in spots that cut off parts of the street.

Other factors he cited were cold, uninviting storefronts, and the lack of quality residential options in the area.

"When you've got people living there, they're always watching the neighborhood," he says. "Right now, you would want to be planning for the next real estate market."

As for the million of dollars that have been poured into the street, Shigley said, "It seems like you should be getting a bigger bang for that."

"You need to get to a tipping point when more things start happening, when success feeds off itself," he said. "It seems like K Street can never get to that point."

Shigley doesn't think the down economy has been any rougher on K Street than it has other places.

"K Street has been through three or four different recessions and booms," he said.

Still, he said, some of the projects that have recently opened or are being planned provide "lots of reasons to be optimistic" about K Street.

Less retail, more night life

Bob Leach created the luxury Le Rivage hotel on the banks of the Sacramento River near Greenhaven. Now he is developing a proposal for a hotel at Eighth and K with 409 rooms, meeting space, a day spa, fitness center, elevated pool and sky bar, and a parking garage that would serve K Street. The Hilton chain is interested in the project.

Leach said he has a letter of intent from a financial backer to provide $80 million toward the $110 million project and plans to go to the city with a formal presentation within a month.

Despite the blighted canvas in the 700 and 800 blocks of K Street, Leach is optimistic.

"If we can launch this hotel, it will really help the 700 block retail-wise," Leach said. "Great things are happening at the (east) end. We just need to pick up on that momentum."

Leach likes that many of the newest projects are aimed at night life and don't rely on shoppers.

"The idea that it's shaping up as an entertainment district is better than putting all your money into retail," he said.

Create people magnets

John Desmond, vice president of urban planning and environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership, helped turn around its 16th Street.

Today, the street is a collection of more than 200 businesses along 16 blocks. It has free buses that make frequent stops, granite sidewalks, trees, vendor carts and sidewalk cafes. An estimated 50,000 people ride the bus system and 30,000 pedestrians hit the mall every day.

Zoning changes have led to more welcoming storefronts, and the mall has become the first- or second-most visited destination in the Denver area every year, Desmond said. Unlike many downtowns that rely on 9-to-5 business, 16th Street is bustling 18 hours a day.

Entertainment drives the district, as 60 percent of tax receipts come from those businesses. There is also a steady stream of public investment in the mall, including money spent on transit, holiday lighting and new businesses.

Dense residential projects have developed in the area. A vacant high-rise was converted into apartments, and 10,000 people live within four blocks of 16th Street.

Desmond said in order to succeed, urban areas must offer something special to attract people.

"You can't count on the space itself to be the anchor," he says. "You've got to have other things that feed into it and support it."

Besides its shops and restaurants, 16th Street has benefited from its proximity to an art museum, stadiums, a convention center and the state Capitol.

Desmond suggested looking at several factors when mapping out K Street's future, including maintenance, public safety, a mix of businesses and pedestrian access.

"If it's seriously wrong, you've got to take a hard look at all of the elements that are not contributing to its success," he said.

econgrad
Apr 27, 2009, 8:46 AM
If the goal is to get more foot traffic downtown then the city should only
subsidize projects that add housing downtown. It now seems like nothing
can be built downtown unless subsidies are part of the deal while at the
same time city staff are waiving fees... the call for subsidies has become
more rapid and will only falsely create a market that can't support it's self.

Damn good thesis statement! :tup:

From the article above:
"You need to get to a tipping point when more things start happening, when success feeds off itself," he said. "It seems like K Street can never get to that point."

Cynikal
Apr 27, 2009, 4:12 PM
I agree that the missing component to K Street has been residential. I would add that a diverse blend of uses to keep people on the street all day and night is the better prescription. I thought the article was good but focused too much on entertainment uses being the key to the street. The one thought I agree with is the first step is to relocate lightrail to L and J streets.

@econ - I've been thinking about your question "what makes it mediocre?" and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it. I was just hoping for more. But not much that Taylor does blows me away.

wburg
Apr 27, 2009, 4:23 PM
The easiest way to bring residential into the mix on K Street is to return previously residential buildings to residential uses, or to simply utilize existing residential buildings that are now vacant. The Maydestone could set the tone for this kind of project: just a couple blocks from K Street, but an example of what can be done with the existing historic fabric.

The easy conversions on K Street are the Regis Hotel (currently offices, but could be residential again) and the Bel-Vue (which are apartments, in relatively intact condition) and obviously the Berry. There are other, less obvious spots too: most of the second-story level of the 700 block of K used to be residential, accessed via the Flagstone Hotel entrance on 7th Street and other side/alley entrances. As part of a restored 700 block, this could create a bunch of very unique residential spots. Once the economy and housing market is in better shape, if there is operating residential in the neighborhood (the result of restoration of residential units in the short term) the available lots downtown will be more attractive for new residential high-rise construction.

Especially if they put a market in the Greyhound building!

Restoring old buildings is a more practical strategy than new construction during tough economic times, and has a more positive effect on the local economy: it requires less materials than new construction, and more labor, which means less money leaves town to buy materials and the money spent on labor is spent by the laborers in the community.

travis bickle
Apr 27, 2009, 5:45 PM
I am no longer sure that residential on K street is an answer. Been trying to make that work for years and the results are dubious at best. I am increasingly of the opinion that an entertainment zone along K Street is a better solution to revitalization. Residential and entertainment districts are often at odds with each other due to noise and other issues.

K Street seems to be growing more organically toward entertainment and yes, I realize that the City is putting money there so it's not completely organic. But I think these types of investments will produce far better results than have previous contributions.

Sacramento leaders had fallen in love with nostalgic images of a K Street packed with shoppers and that mindset has driven years of failed redevelopment policy. The present team is slowly weaning itself away from that mirage and is looking to invest in something that they think might actually produce results.

20 years and $170 mil is enough evidence. Time to try something new.

wburg
Apr 27, 2009, 6:15 PM
It seems like the way the cards have fallen, most of the retail is going into Midtown (at least in the form of small boutiques and local businesses) while the entertainment is working its way Downtown. I do think that residential needs to be a component of K Street, and high-rise residential can be a better mix with entertainment districts (if you're up 10-20 stories in a new building with good sound insulation, you won't even notice a big party on the street) but the entertainment district idea seems like a better direction than trying to push a shopping-mall idea that never really worked.

As to light rail, I have pushed the idea before and will push it again: re-route light rail strictly onto 7th and 8th Street (through-routing the Gold Line via North B or Richards) and use the existing tracks on K and 12th Street as part of a local streetcar network. That way, the commuter lines can drop people off outside of the main pedestran paths, and the smaller, more pedestrian-scale streetcars can carry people along K Street.

travis bickle
Apr 27, 2009, 6:40 PM
As to light rail, I have pushed the idea before and will push it again: re-route light rail strictly onto 7th and 8th Street (through-routing the Gold Line via North B or Richards) and use the existing tracks on K and 12th Street as part of a local streetcar network. That way, the commuter lines can drop people off outside of the main pedestran paths, and the smaller, more pedestrian-scale streetcars can carry people along K Street.

I think there is some merit to this idea. Wburg, forgive me if you've already discussed this, but have you approached anyone at the City on this and if so, what has been the reaction? What about rerouting onto J and L streets (one way and keeping open to autos) while opening K to both vehicular traffic and streetcars?

travis bickle
Apr 27, 2009, 7:09 PM
I do think that residential needs to be a component of K Street, and high-rise residential can be a better mix with entertainment districts (if you're up 10-20 stories in a new building with good sound insulation, you won't even notice a big party on the street) but the entertainment district idea seems like a better direction than trying to push a shopping-mall idea that never really worked.

You and I may agree that any noise impact is minimal at that height, but my experience has been that it does not stop residents from claiming grievance and forcing a city council to enact and enforce restrictive noise and operating laws.

wburg
Apr 27, 2009, 7:21 PM
travis: The problem is that the volume of traffic on J and L Street would be tough to mix with trains. Instead of solving the problem, it would just relocate the problem to J and L. Rerouting the Gold Line via the planned 7th Street extension through the Railyards and onto North B would probably be the simplest, in terms of cross traffic, and create the opportunity to install a Light Rail station at North B Street or directly aside Loaves & Fishes (a move that would make many friends in Alkali Flat/Manison Flat.) The current Alkali Flat station would be the end of the line for the local streetcar, using the underpass tracks as a means to get back to the Swanston service shops.

This was basically how the city's streetcar and interurban lines worked: trains coming from Stockton and Oakland came downtown via 8th Street (in both directions) and K Street was streetcar territory. The interurbans were larger, multiple-car trains, like modern LRVs, while the streetcars were smaller and slower. From 8th street, the interurbans ran up I Street to 15th, then to 18th and D, then under the levee a block from the Western Pacific main and north through North Sacramento and eventually Chico.

I have not discussed this directly with city staff or RT's board. I suppose I probably could.

travis bickle
Apr 27, 2009, 7:36 PM
travis: The problem is that the volume of traffic on J and L Street would be tough to mix with trains. Instead of solving the problem, it would just relocate the problem to J and L. Rerouting the Gold Line via the planned 7th Street extension through the Railyards and onto North B would probably be the simplest, in terms of cross traffic, and create the opportunity to install a Light Rail station at North B Street or directly aside Loaves & Fishes (a move that would make many friends in Alkali Flat/Manison Flat.) The current Alkali Flat station would be the end of the line for the local streetcar, using the underpass tracks as a means to get back to the Swanston service shops.

This was basically how the city's streetcar and interurban lines worked: trains coming from Stockton and Oakland came downtown via 8th Street (in both directions) and K Street was streetcar territory. The interurbans were larger, multiple-car trains, like modern LRVs, while the streetcars were smaller and slower. From 8th street, the interurbans ran up I Street to 15th, then to 18th and D, then under the levee a block from the Western Pacific main and north through North Sacramento and eventually Chico.

I have not discussed this directly with city staff or RT's board. I suppose I probably could.


I see your point. Although I wonder how this routing would affect commuters from the northeast. For a variety of reasons (including stimulus money), a lot of transportation options are in play in ways they have never been before. Now may be the time to discuss this with the appropriate parties.

If you do, please let me know the response.

econgrad
Apr 27, 2009, 11:33 PM
@econ - I've been thinking about your question "what makes it mediocre?" and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it. I was just hoping for more. But not much that Taylor does blows me away.

I am hoping (and I know this is kind of a turn around for me) that now they keep K street pedestrian only, and turn it into an entertainment hot spot, these bars and pizza place is a good start. The hotel if built would be great for visitors to walk out of the hotel and walk around K street at night to restaurants and bars and clubs and whatever else (Imax, coffee shiops, live shows, etc). I looked at these places as a small piece placed in a larger puzzle yet to be completed. Maybe it will all add up, eventually. I hope. :)

Travis and wburg (and whomever): If built right and located right, we can have a mix of residential in the middle of an entertainment hot spot. I agree that some residents may complain, but if known as an entertainment district, well known, they wouldn't be too credible for moving into that type of area and then complaining about it. (More wishful thinking possibly).

arod74
May 4, 2009, 8:11 PM
Most have probably read the article but a good summary of the sad, continuing saga of the K Street Mall. I believe the first official word that the remodel is on hold (or cancelled) that I can recall. At this point I don't believe Westfield knows what they want to do with the property and these periodic plan and rendering parades are just to keep the city and tenants from bring torches and pitchforks until they figure out how to best dump the site..



Downtown Plaza feeling recession's bite

By M.S. Enkoji
menkoji@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, May. 4, 2009 - 12:00 am | Page 1A

Toting shopping bags in both hands, Jayne Jarvis breezed through the open walkway of Downtown Plaza on a recent lunch break. Pausing in front of a place where she used to grab a frozen yogurt, she gazed into the darkened, empty storefront.

"Every time I come over, something else is gone," she said on her way back to her job with the county of Sacramento. "It's too bad because this is like my main shopping time."

The two-level shopping center, embedded into four downtown city blocks, is undergoing a severe midlife crisis. Familiar retailers – Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Mrs. Fields cookies, among others – have shut their doors in the past few years. A planned renovation designed to update and reinvigorate the center is on hold. By some counts, more than one out of every three storefronts is vacant.

The retail industry is suffering mightily. Sales nationwide tumbled nearly 9 percent in the first quarter over the same period a year ago. Big merchants such as Mervyns and Circuit City are out of business, while other well-known names are struggling.

Anemic sales and the grinding economic downturn create steep challenges for many malls, especially in the Sacramento area. Over the summer, the 48-year-old Country Club Plaza at Watt and El Camino avenues will lose a major anchor when a bankrupt Gottschalks shuts. Meanwhile, construction has all but halted on a regional shopping center in Elk Grove.

For Downtown Plaza, where sales tax receipts have been falling since 2005, the number of vacancies and the ongoing economic turmoil fuel speculation about what lies ahead for the 16-year-old open-air center.

The plaza's challenges can't be separated from other issues facing downtown Sacramento. Located between the K Street Mall and the massive railyard project, it is integral to the ambitious plan Sacramento officials have of turning the inner city into a regional attraction with shopping, dining, entertainment and homes.

But the renovation of the adjacent 700 block of K Street has stalled. The project has been spearheaded in part by Joe Zeiden, the founder and president of Z Gallerie, but last month his company sought bankruptcy protection. Z Gallerie has a store at the Downtown Plaza.

Construction has finally begun on Thomas Enterprises' railyard project, but a greatly diminished Downtown Plaza would leave 1.2 million square feet of retail space struggling next door.

Expansion plans shelved

Besides the economy, past and present tenants and city representatives cite several reasons for Downtown Plaza's troubles, including competition from suburban retail outlets like the Westfield Galleria at Roseville and several stalled housing projects that would have brought thousands of new residents to the city center.

Those condominium high-rises would have been a shot in the arm for the mall, said City Councilman Ray Trethaway, whose district includes the shopping center.

The long-delayed, $120 million makeover for Downtown Plaza now seems like a distant dream. For the remainder of this year at least, Westfield American Trust, which owns Downtown Plaza and 54 other U.S. malls, will not undertake any large construction projects, said Catharine Dickey, a Los Angeles spokeswoman for the company.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is trying to meet with Westfield representatives to get a read on their timeline for remodeling the plaza. He's anxious to convey the city's position.

"We can't have them continue to sit on the property," Johnson said. "The down economy is not going to be the only excuse. This has been stalled for several years."

In August, the city signed off on Westfield's plans to remodel the plaza, primarily expanding the Century Theaters by moving the adjacent food court to Seventh Street, at the opposite end of the mall, said Leslie Fritzsche, Sacramento's downtown development manager. The plaza's south end would be renovated for a large department store and a grocery store.

At the time, Westfield said it had plans to start the renovation soon. The city's approval is good for several years, Fritzsche said.

Westfield had lined up Target to move into what would have been the renovated south end on L Street. But citing economic conditions, the Minneapolis-based discount retailer backed out.


Long-term prospects good?

The Australia-based Westfield is one of the world's largest operators of shopping malls. Its properties include the Galleria at Roseville, which has just undergone a $100 million-plus expansion. Johnson said the company has the wherewithal to weather the current economic troubles – and, ultimately, the means to carry out any renovation plans.

"Look, they've made major investments in San Francisco, in Fairfield and in Roseville," he said, referring to other Westfield sites. "Why are we not seeing that investment at the downtown mall? They can be the rising tide that lifts all boats."

The company has owned Downtown Plaza since 1998. Dickey, the Westfield spokeswoman, said it is doing "predevelopment work," including obtaining commitments from current and future tenants.

"We're supportive of rejuvenating downtown," Dickey said. She declined to comment further on the plaza's future.

In central downtown, the eventual makeover of the mall is second in scope only to the huge development of the abandoned railyard. That project calls for doubling the size of downtown and adding hundreds of stores, and homes for thousands.

City Councilman Steve Cohn, who represents part of downtown, said once surrounding development takes off, the plaza's long-range prospects are stellar.

"If Westfield can't make it, I feel very bullish on that location being very successful for someone else," he said. "I'm not saying this year."

The plaza's design bolsters its chance at success, analysts say. Unlike some 1970s-era downtown malls that turned city centers into retail fortresses, open-air malls are better positioned for the future, said Erin Hershkowitz, a spokeswoman with the International Council of Shopping Centers.

"These are the types of formats that have done well up until recent times, and it will probably make a comeback when times get better," she said.

But Hershkowitz said downtown shopping centers need the credit markets to flow again so renovation projects can get funded. And the mainstay tenants – apparel, luxury and department stores – that are the lifeblood of a mall need to regain financial strength.

"There's just not enough credit out there. Once that gets flowing and residential gets going, they'll see an improvement," she said of urban malls.

Some tenants worried

Still, some Downtown Plaza tenants are uneasy with an occupancy rate that is less than 70 percent. The industry standard is 92 percent. Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights is 94 percent filled; Arden Fair is 95 percent.

Beth Ayres often finds herself discussing the plaza's empty stores with diners at her restaurant, River City Brewing Co., across from Macy's.

"Customers will ask what's going on with the mall, why are all the stores closing? I'm defending the mall, but I don't know what's going on," said Ayres, one of River City's four owners.

Like some other tenants, she has been wowed by the blueprints and impressed at meetings where the plaza's renovation is detailed. But she is frustrated over delays.

Her restaurant business has fallen by as much as 12 percent since 2007, she said. She survives on a steady tourist and lunch trade, still a lively time at the plaza.

Marilyn Slipe, the first manager of Downtown Plaza, remembers an active center that faced fewer commercial rivals.

"I was there in its glory days," she said. "It attracted people from all over."

State workers were 20 percent of the customer base, she said. That was before shopping sprouted up in other places.

"As more and more retail kept mushrooming around us, it made it difficult downtown," Slipe said.

For a while, about two dozen national stores, including Guess and Forever 21, had their only locations in the region at Downtown Plaza.

Still, Slipe said that if any company could turn it around, it would be Westfield.

"The city is fortunate to have Westfield owning that property because no one can do shopping centers better," she said. "They've always been working to expand and get something going. I don't think it's ever stopped."

Majin
May 4, 2009, 8:55 PM
At this point Westfield is all but a slumlord over the property. I think the ED option needs to be considered.

arod74
May 4, 2009, 9:21 PM
The two-level shopping center, embedded into four downtown city blocks, is undergoing a severe midlife crisis. Familiar retailers – Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Mrs. Fields cookies, among others – have shut their doors in the past few years. A planned renovation designed to update and reinvigorate the center is on hold. By some counts, more than one out of every three storefronts is vacant.


Seriously, if a mall can't keep a Mrs. Fields Cookies alive then it should be put out of its misery at that moment. This is the good ol' canary in the coalmine indicator :haha: .

DALINSAC
May 21, 2009, 9:15 PM
I strolled K street mall last Saturday.
I don't do it very often. I hoped to see a glimpse of something promising. Of sourse, it was too sad for words. The block that was shut down for Zeiden to take over, is a sad empty mess. The street looks worse than ever. The same vacant spaces, ugly street lamps, benches etc.
I hope something positive happens to this street one day- I have a feeling it's gonna take a miracle

goldcntry
May 22, 2009, 8:36 PM
I still stick by my idea of letting the air force level K street in a rain of fire and brimstone... purely as a training excercise, of course.

http://www.sacfrg.org/images/sleepytomato.gif

wburg
May 22, 2009, 9:22 PM
The problem is that there just isn't a plan anymore. The city owns the whole block, they kicked out all the businesses that were there, but Zeiden is broke and there's not much money to kickstart things, so what should they do? Demolition wouldn't do anything but turn empty buildings into an empty hole, it wouldn't help bring in a developer with a plan or turn around the economy, and would destroy some buildings that, if restored, could be really nice--that being the original plan that has since gone to hell.

So, what the city is waiting for is someone to step up with a plan, preferably someone with money and a track record. Let's just hope the plan isn't for another mermaid bar.

econgrad
May 23, 2009, 2:08 AM
Demolish all, build all new high-rises, no two or three story wastes of space. 10 story minimums, NO MAX. Keep it no cars, have the bottom floors of each high-rise a restaurant or club or coffee shops..etc..

I am just dreaming...

Mr. Ozo
May 23, 2009, 6:35 PM
start with the gaping hole on 8th and K.

GridDweller
May 26, 2009, 6:01 PM
Hello!! I have been reading the posts for the past three years now. I pretty much know were all the forum posters are coming from as far as Sacramento metropolitan area developments. I live in Midtown. I work in the Architecture industry here in our little metropolis. Good to get on a few of the conversations around the board.
I work with Westfield in the downtown area. They, as a corporation, know what they are doing as far retail, we can see from the other malls throughout our wonderful state. I think one of the main problems with the management of DTP is that the mall is close to being half office space. Every time the Mall intersects with a number street the "mall" turns to office space(s). Westfield is a retail company, not office space development. Two different ways of design concept, execution and management. Westfield corporation has a problem with money being spent to "fill" these vacant office space. They, Westfield, has had too many plates spinning whiles its not understanding the physics of the "plates" themselves. The big guys in charge should get a clue and alleviate some of the anxiety and seperate the two schools of thought. Just thought I would throw that into the confusion.

Cynikal
May 26, 2009, 6:27 PM
Sounds like they should sell it off and stick to what they know, suburban malls.

wburg
May 26, 2009, 6:51 PM
Sounds like the best way to solve the problem would be to go vertical on the mall, or at least significant chunks of it. A couple floors of ground-level retail, a dozen or so floors of office above that, and a dozen or two floors of residential above that, say, at 5th and K. Put a new Pre-Flite Lounge at the top. Have Westfield (or a retail property manager that is up to the task) manage the lower floors, and leave the management of the retail/residential portion to someone who knows how to do it.

Heck, take a trip up north to Redding. They enclosed much of their old downtown to make a downtown mall, now they are in the process of un-demolishing it, rehabbing and restoring the historic buildings that were enclosed by the mall, and turning the now-outdoor areas into public plazas. They aren't changing the former mall walking areas to vehicular use. They realized they couldn't compete with the new suburban mall--so they stopped trying! We could learn from that example.

Majin
May 29, 2009, 10:34 PM
I haven't seen much in the news about K street, whats the latest on the streetscape improvements and the greyhound relocation?

wburg
May 30, 2009, 12:33 AM
Walk over there--a good chunk of St. Rose of Lima Park is fenced off so they can start on the 700 block streetscape improvements--hopefully they will figure out what they want to do with the 700 block by the time the improvements are done.

Greyhound won't be relocated until it has someplace to go, and the temporary replacement station at Richards Boulevard has not yet been built. Give that a year or so, assuming they have a plan in place and approved already, so they can build the temporary station--then once the depot plan is approved and the tracks are relocated, they'll have to move it again. If the depot plan and track relocation go fast enough, maybe they'll decide to cut out the middleman and relocate it to the depot area instead of Richards.

wburg
Jun 12, 2009, 5:59 PM
Okay, here's an interesting tidbit I noticed via the Human Transit blog: the Metreon, San Francisco's high-tech mall and dot-com boom era icon, is looking about as vacant as Downtown Plaza, and one of the new tenants is a farmer's market.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/15/BUJP17KOL6.DTL

One interesting thing: the current owner of the Metreon is...Westfield.

I have been saying that we need a full-time farmer's market on K Street for years. The ones on Wednesday and Thursday are well-attended; why not turn them into a seven days a week event, right on K? Either an open-air market on the Mall (a la the old Thursday night market) or inside a vacant storefront (a la the Phantom Galleries on Del Paso) or inside a vacant space on the K Street mall (a la the Metreon.)

Public markets and fresh food are very hot right now, the mall is very not hot, we already have plenty of farmers nearby used to coming in to the central city to sell their wares, and it wouldn't cost much money (or require extensive public subsidy) to set it up, and there is a massive need for a full-time source of fresh food in downtown Sacramento. So why not?

arod74
Jun 12, 2009, 7:54 PM
I really like your proposal wburg. I was thinking along the same lines. I work in Stockton and there is a very popular Friday farmer's market in downtown a few blocks from where I work. It draws quite well from the limited office workforce in the area. Quality produce at great prices, flowers, and all sorts of foods. I think a market on K street would draw like gangbusters from all the state workers in the immediate area during the warm months. Works wonders in Stockton and I think it would do even better on K St.

NewToCA
Jun 13, 2009, 5:26 AM
Good idea, I was in San Luis Obispo a couple of weeks ago and they have a Farmer's Market every Thursday, mixed with other activities and small independent vendor sales. The place was packed.

It seems like something they should at least consider.

wburg
Jun 14, 2009, 3:19 PM
Thing is, we already have weekly farmer's markets, on Wednesdays and Thursdays downtown, Mondays and Tuesdays in nearby parks, the big Sunday market at Southside Park, Saturday in Oak Park, plus more out in the suburbs, but we don't have a SEVEN DAYS A WEEK farmers' market downtown, one that is open every day in the same spot. We used to; the Public Market building was primarily a farmers' market, and there was another at Alhambra and S across from where the Co-Op is now. There are still wholesale farmers' markets north and south of downtown but they're not really open to the public.

sugit
Jun 30, 2009, 10:57 PM
Found this on the Downtown Partnership website. Here has been talk about a the need for a midservice hotel on these boards for a while now, hope this pans out.

10th & K Hotel Project (http://www.downtownsac.org/DSPAPP/V/life-and-culture/development-activity.html)
930 K St
Developer: Tony Giannoni, Jim Brennan, Brian Larson
Project Cost: 42 million
Public Funds: 10 million
Status: Proposed
Groundbreaking: 2010
Est. Completion: 2012
New midservice hotel: 12 story, 165 room hotel on 1/2 acre parcel. Approx 8000 SF of meeting space, convenience dining, no formal restaurant. Ground retail space along K Street.

Ideal location for business, convention group and leisure travel in the midst of downtown restaurant and entertainment scene. 1 block from the State Capital and 3 blocks from the Convention Center.

innov8
Jul 1, 2009, 2:35 PM
I just don't know how it could start by 2010 if an EIR has not been completed and without
going through the Planning and Design committees. About 4 years ago K Street Central was to look like this.

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/2493/kstreetcentral4.png (http://img4.imageshack.us/i/kstreetcentral4.png/)

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/5956/kstreetcentral3.png (http://img504.imageshack.us/i/kstreetcentral3.png/)

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/816/kstreetcentral2.png (http://img35.imageshack.us/i/kstreetcentral2.png/)

sugit
Jul 1, 2009, 7:05 PM
Well, there is still 18 months left until the end of 2010. Not sure if that is still enough time..maybe though. This project has been long talked about, so who knows. With so many hotel proposals out there, you would hope at least one or two pan out. New hotels on 10th and 8th would do do wonders for K Street.

Surefiresacto
Jul 1, 2009, 7:42 PM
are there any renders of the new proposal?

sugit
Jul 1, 2009, 7:53 PM
Nothing I could find...

innov8
Aug 15, 2009, 4:26 AM
http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/9932/kstreettraficstudylogo.gif (http://img30.imageshack.us/i/kstreettraficstudylogo.gif/)

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR

915 I STREET
ROOM 2000
SACRAMENTO, CA
95814-2604

PH 916-808-7100
FAX 916-808-5573

News Release
Contact: Linda Tucker, Media & Communications Specialist
ltucker@cityofsacramento.org (916) 808-7523
Release: August 14, 2009

Web survey posted
City seeks feedback about reintroducing vehicles to K Street
The City of Sacramento departments of Transportation and Economic Development invite residents to complete a Web-based survey to provide feedback on the K Street Vehicle Traffic Study. The survey results will be used by city staff and the project team to understand public sentiments about the idea and what features would be most important if the City went forward with a trial conversion.

To complete the survey, visit the project Web site at www.cityofsacramento.org/KStreetVehicleTraffic/. The non-scientific survey will remain active until Saturday, August 22 at 12 noon. Residents and interested parties are also invited to attend a community meeting on Wednesday, August 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A brief presentation by City officials and the project team will begin at 5:45 p.m. followed by questions and answers. A summary of survey results also will be relayed.

The community meeting will be held at the second floor of the California Association of Counties Conference Center at 1020 11th Street.

About the study
The K Street Vehicle Traffic Study project team is examining options for incorporating vehicle traffic to the K Street Mall between 8th and 12th streets. Currently, blocks are open exclusively to pedestrians and light rail. The study will analyze circulation and traffic, pedestrian and bicyclist patterns, and the potential for accommodating parking. The study will also include alternatives for all existing and necessary infrastructure. In conjunction with the study, the city is also considering a pilot project to try opening two blocks of K Street to vehicles. The blocks from 8th to 10th streets or 10th to 12th streets are under consideration for the trial.

For more information about the study, visit the City of Sacramento Department of Transportation Web site at www.cityofsacramento.org/KStreetVehicleTraffic/ and click on Web Survey.

kryptos
Aug 26, 2009, 10:24 PM
Survey tallies support, concerns about cars on Sacramento's K Street

published: Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 - 1:43 pm

A new survey by the City of Sacramento on the possible return of cars to K Street shows that supporters say it will provide safety from street people and bring business, while others cited cost and congestion as their concerns, according to transportation officials.

The K Street Vehicle Traffic Study examines the potential benefits and drawbacks of returning cars to K Street and the feasibility of such a switch.

In the online questionnaire completed by 1,250, survey-takers were asked to prioritize options for K Street. They most often emphasized that they want outdoor seating, mature trees and open space.

The city anticipates that the possible conversion of the blocks between 8th and 10th streets, or between 10th and 12th streets, could occur in early 2010.

During the 1970s, K Street was transformed into a walkway. Business suffered along much of the six-block pedestrian mall.

Unlike Sacramento, most of the 200 or so other cities that turned major streets into walkways have since reverted to streets, according to a consultant hired by the city and Sacramento Downtown Partnership.

The public is invited to comment on the possibility of vehicle traffic on K Street at a community meeting scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at the California State Association of Counties Conference Center, 1020 11th St.

kryptos
Aug 26, 2009, 10:30 PM
Heres a question:

Why do you believe that the K-street area attracts crime?

What would you do to turn it around?

wburg
Aug 26, 2009, 10:39 PM
That survey was fairly ridiculous--at no point did it ask whether people wanted cars on K Street or not. The closest was where it asked which half (8th-10th or 10th-12th) they would rather see opened first, or "no preference," but no "don't do it!" option was given.

DALINSAC
Oct 8, 2009, 7:00 PM
Sacramento mayor to meet with business owners on K Street Mall
ShareThis

Buzz up!By Ryan Lillis
rlillis@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 - 10:08 am
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will meet with property and business owners on the K Street Mall next week as he begins collecting ideas on how to revitalize the downtrodden thoroughfare.

In a blog entry posted Monday, Johnson wrote, "the goal is to bring revitalized energy, imagination and design to one of Sacramento's most important districts."

"The Mall and Plaza are the historic retail and entertainment heart of downtown Sacramento, but you wouldn't know it today," the mayor wrote. "While many merchants work hard to make the location an inviting place, the Mall and Plaza need help."

The mayor will meet with those property and business owners next Oct. 12 at the Cosmopolitan Café at 10th and K Streets. The following week, on Oct. 19, Johnson will conduct another meeting that will be open to the public. The time and date for that meeting are being finalized.

Johnson wrote on his blog that he has been in discussions with Westfield, the company that operated the Downtown Plaza, for several weeks. The mayor has said he wants Westfield to invest more in the mall - or sell the property.