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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 3:29 PM
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West Sacramento: Proposal/Projects and Developments

Being that West Sacramento is really starting to make a push with lots of
great projects, I thought a thread devoted to the west side was needed.
This article's in today’s SBJ.


West Sac condo tower on tap
150 units will wait for hotter market
Sacramento Business Journal by Michael Shaw
June 8, 2007


The 24-story condo tower would rise above the Ziggurat in West Sacramento.

While residential towers have seemingly stalled in downtown Sacramento, a San Diego developer with pension fund backing is seeking approval for a 24-story condominium tower on the West Sacramento riverfront.

Fairfield Residential LLC is looking to build a 150-unit development on about 1 acre between the pyramid-shaped Ziggurat building and the California State Teachers' Retirement System's new headquarters under construction.


"I don't think you can get a better view from a residential project in the downtown area," said Val Toppenberg, West Sacramento's redevelopment director. The site also abuts West Sacramento's River Walk Park.

Fairfield bought the property last year, but the developer said it's likely to wait until conditions are more favorable before building.

"We're not going to rush into a bad market," said Dan Milich, development manager with Fairfield. "We're in a position to wait it out. If you're wondering about a groundbreaking, it's too early for that."

It's also too early to set prices for the condominiums, he said.

Fairfield has time on its side, Milich said, because fees at the site were frozen for 10 years when development agreements were struck.

Meanwhile, the project has a mighty equity partner in the form of CalSTRS. The pension fund has partnered with Fairfield before. In 2006, the fund's real estate portfolio included $95.1 million in assets attributed to Fairfield or its affiliates, according to a CalSTRS investment report.

The West Sacramento condo tower was originally pitched last year as a 17-story building, but developers decided they needed more stories to make the project work, said Jim Bermudez, associate planner with the city.

Fairfield on Thursday was scheduled to seek approvals from the city's Planning Commission for design approval and permission to add seven stories, which would bring the building up to about 240 feet. Planning staff has recommended approval of the changes. The Planning Commission vote was not available before press time. If adopted, the project could go before the West Sacramento City Council within a month.

City officials are optimistic that the project won't suffer the same setbacks as high-rise condo projects on the Sacramento side of the river.

"Given the nature of the project and the nature of their financing, this probably has an excellent chance of moving forward," Toppenberg said.

Fairfield would need to seek a construction loan to build the project, Milich said. Financing of pricey residential projects is scarce these days, judging from the delays and problems with Sacramento's other condo towers. A resurgent housing market, however, might lead to looser lending.

Fairfield struck an unprecedented agreement with the city over affordable housing.

West Sacramento has a citywide policy that typically requires 15 percent of new housing units to be priced so that low- or very-low-income residents can purchase them. Fairfield, however, does not have to provide affordable units within the tower. For the first time, the city allowed a developer to provide off-site affordable housing to satisfy its inclusionary housing rules.


Fairfield paid about $1.9 million to cover the costs of a nonprofit housing agency that acquired 23 low-income studio apartments in the neighborhood that will be refurbished.

Now, off-site affordable housing is an approach the city will consider with other riverfront properties, given the premium land costs there and the additional expense for building vertical developments, said Aaron Laurel, with the city's Housing and Community Investment Department.

Fairfield develops multifamily housing, ranging from small apartment buildings to high rises nationwide, primarily on the East and West coasts. It often acts as construction manager on its own projects.

The site is part of an overall development plan for 18 acres known collectively as Raley's Landing, so named because the development group included Raley's Inc. The overall plan for Raley's Landing was approved last year and includes additional housing as well as office and commercial space on other riverfront sites. Developers involved in other aspects of the plan include Panattoni Development Corp. and Signature Properties Inc.

Signature is now planning the first phase of a 7-acre site north of Raley Field and West Capitol Avenue for lots that would house 134 townhomes, with prices starting in the mid $300,000s, said David Nybo, Signature's director of land acquisition and forward planning. The company is seeking tentative map approval from the Planning Commission and if all goes well, could begin construction within a year. Future phases include a neighborhood coffee shop and restaurant, and two mid-rise projects that would bring the total number of units to about 400.

Large condo projects have not fared well in the past year.

In Sacramento, there has been no word yet from the partners in The Towers on Capitol Mall project -- John Saca and the California Public Employees' Retirement System -- on what will happen with their plans to build twin 53-story condo towers. Saca has failed to come up with enough financing to satisfy the agreement with CalPERS, essentially putting the project on hold.

Craig Nassi, the developer of Aura, another high-rise condo tower in downtown Sacramento, has struggled to secure financing for the project since last fall.

Last edited by innov8; Jun 8, 2007 at 3:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 4:34 PM
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This is definately good news for W. Sac.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 4:37 PM
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Great news if not great architecture. I'm sure this rendering will not be the final product. I hope it goes through major revision because that looks like 1960's public housing in the Bronx.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 6:15 PM
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I was thinking the exact same thing.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 6:51 PM
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The design could hopefully get a little better, but it's still great news! I think this will sell nicely.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2007, 4:17 PM
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West Sacramento selects Baltimore firm for waterfront project
4 miles of riverfront would become parks, housing, retail

Sacramento Business Journal - by Michael ShawStaff writer

June 22, 2007

The Cordish Co., which has redeveloped waterfront sites and large entertainment districts primarily on the East Coast, has been named the top candidate for master developer of a city-owned, 200-plus-acre project in West Sacramento along the Sacramento River.



The four miles of continuous waterfront property is among the city's prime pieces for redevelopment, though city officials don't have a vision for what will go there.

"We don't know of many other places that have this amount of waterfront land under single ownership," said Traci Michel, senior program manager for the city's redevelopment agency. The agency owns the property, known as Stone Lock Bluff.

City staff selected the Baltimore developer based on its track record for delivering projects and its financial viability, though the City Council must review the selection at a meeting, likely next month. If approved, the city and Cordish will begin negotiations over developing the waterfront land.

Stone Lock is mostly unused land with few areas of public access to the water. It includes the city's wastewater treatment plant that's due to be decommissioned this fall and eventually demolished.

"We did not want plans for this site," Michel said of the city's approach of seeking a developer before it had any concrete ideas for the massive project. "We wanted to find the company most qualified to develop it."

The city has vague ideas that it wants a large central park of 100 acres or more, a marina and neighborhood-oriented retail as opposed to big-box stores. There could be hundreds or thousands of housing units, depending on the ideas that Cordish, the city and the community generate.

The development will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Initial concepts could be developed by the fall, Michel said.

Cordish topped the list of 10 applicants, selected based on a host of benchmarks, including the experience of top management, financial viability, experience working within a public-private venture and superior architectural design.

"We're looking for someone who will maintain ownership and continually reinvest in this long-term project," Michel said.

The city hasn't yet released the list of competitors for the site, but Signature Properties Inc., which has plans to build in West Sacramento and specializes in urban infill projects, was one of the applicants.


"We're not too familiar with (Cordish), but it appears they're involved in quality projects," said David Nybo, director of land acquisition and forward planning for Signature. "We're looking forward to seeing what they'll bring to the community."

Cordish is a family-owned company that traces its roots back more than 100 years. Company officials were not available to comment late Wednesday.

Its long list of former and current developments include projects in Baltimore's inner harbor and the $650 million ballpark village under construction in St. Louis.

"The Stone Lock District presents an opportunity for a new waterfront neighborhood with retail and entertainment concepts that can become the bellwether for West Sacramento," company vice president Blake Cordish said in a news release. "We look forward to working in partnership with the agency, the city and the community."
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2007, 5:43 PM
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Interesting...the train tracks in the illustration are the former right of way of the Sacramento Northern Railway. Some of them are still in use to serve the Port of Stockton and freight customers, but the line south of the lock roughly parallel to Jefferson is actually owned by the city of West Sacramento.

It's an IDEAL place to put a streetcar line, as a third-phase expansion of the system currently being planned. There is open space on either side, originally left clear due to old-school zoning codes and wanting to be away from the train tracks, which might make good spots for TOD mixed-use development trackside. Add that theoretical Broadway Bridge with streetcar tracks down the middle and you've got a great way to provide handy transit and reduce car trips from West Sac to make LPCA happy (or at least slightly less angry.)

The tracks behind Stone Blvd. are still used as a switching yard by YSL, so I'm not sure what their plans are there--it's not like an abandoned railyard where they can just tear things up, if they still hope to ship things by rail (the best way to ship things in big quantities) they'll need a yard somewhere convenient to the port and nearby industries.
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Old Posted Jun 24, 2007, 2:25 AM
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CalSTRS
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2007, 5:30 PM
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Raley Field diversifies with non-baseball events, upgrades with surrounding projects
By Lakiesha McGhee - SacBee
Thursday, June 28, 2007



Heather Layman, from Shell Rock, Iowa, scrambled among a horde of River Cats fans at Raley Field to catch her first foul ball.

She screamed with excitement and clutched the ball tight to her chest, savoring the moment.

But what she will remember most about the West Sacramento stadium, she said, is the park itself.

"This is the first minor league baseball park I've been to and I like that it's a little more intimate," said Layman, 29, as she and her friends watched the River Cats play the Tacoma Rainiers last week.

Near the entrance to the 14,414-seat stadium, a man nicknamed "The Organ Guy" entertained guests with songs. Children played on inflatable structures in a new Kids Corner while school groups attended an assembly about personal values. Employees from Intel were treated to lunch in the stadium's new barbecue "Bull Pen," which opened at the start of the season for private parties.

The evidence is around the stadium: Raley Field isn't just about baseball anymore.

Raley Field is owned and operated by the River Cats organization. Team officials are expanding offerings at the stadium to appeal to a broader audience. In the past three years, non-baseball events at Raley Field have nearly doubled -- from 35 events in 2005 to more than 60 this year.

Attracting visitors are facility rentals for corporate functions, private parties, graduations, festivals and a growing line of concerts, which often sell out, said Alan Ledford, River Cats president and general manager. International soccer and boxing matches have been scheduled this year to compete for area residents' discretionary dollars, he said.

"People don't come here just to watch baseball," Ledford said. "They're here to be with friends, family and co-workers. It's sort of like a town hall for the community."

The new attractions are compensating for a drop in baseball game attendance, which fell from 861,808 in 2000 when Raley Field opened to 728,227 in 2006. River Cats management said the team's "honeymoon stage" is over and the decline is typical.

The River Cats still have led all other minor league teams in attendance during each of their seven seasons.

West Sacramento officials are recognizing the stadium's worth to their growing city. A $5 million street improvement is under way to provide better access to Raley Field and to new housing in the adjacent Triangle area, said Maureen Daly Pascoe, city redevelopment program manager.

"Think boulevard instead of freeway," said Pascoe, describing an intersection under construction at Tower Bridge Gateway and the new Garden Street.

An overpass at Riske Lane is being demolished. Street signals, sidewalks, bike lanes and trees will take its place, Pascoe said. Construction is expected to be completed by year's end.


Future street upgrades to benefit Raley Field will be at Tower Bridge Gateway at Third and Fifth streets, Pascoe said. Other developments include a proposed 2.2-mile streetcar system that would have a stop at Raley Field and link West Sacramento to Sacramento over the Tower Bridge. That project is still in the planning stages.

Tower Bridge sidewalks are being widened to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists
.

Raley Field has lured big concert acts such as the Dave Matthews Band from larger arenas such as Arco, which seats 17,317, and the Sleep Train Amphitheatre, which seats 18,500.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said Raley Field has been a catalyst for the city's revitalization.

"Raley Field brought attention to all the possibilities that can emerge on the waterfront," Cabaldon said.

West Sacramento and Sacramento in 2003 adopted a Riverfront Master Plan calling for several public gathering places, a pedestrian transportation loop, new marinas, a pedestrian bridge, homes, offices and retail.

The Triangle area, southwest of Raley Field, is planned for up to 5,000 homes and 7 million square feet of office space, according to city reports. So far, 189 loft-style homes have been built at the site.
"The construction of Raley Field and the success of the River Cats helped establish the area, but it has evolved more slowly than some would have liked," Ledford said.

City officials hope new tactics to draw a wider crowd to the stadium will spill over to retailers.

Grace Sanford, 87, of Alameda shopped with her niece last week at the Raley Field gift shop.

Amid the pickings were a baby pink River Cats T-shirt, meant to attract young girls.

"It makes me feel 20 years younger," Sanford said as she held the shirt next to her body. "Maybe more than that."
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2007, 8:09 PM
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Wow, I didnt realize the rivercats attendance was that high. The Devil Rays of MLB only averages 14k per game.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2007, 11:29 PM
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Yeah the Devils Rays have been a disaster. They use a crappy dome in beautiful Tampa Florida...how stupid is that? With the dissolution of the Expos not too long ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if MLB tries to do something with the Devil Rays.

Anyway I had no idea Rivercats attendance was that high. With minor league attendance that high, one could make a strong argument that Sac could support a major league team...or at least an NFL team. It’s too bad the city prob. couldn't afford to subsidize the construction of a major stadium.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 6:08 AM
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The expos weren't disolved, they were turned into the Washington Senators.

As far as NFL and MLB, there is no chance as long as there are two teams in each leage playing in the bay area. That's what makes the A's moving to Fremont so disheartening to me.

Sac's only chance at this point to improve it's big-time sports offering would be if one of it's college teams joined the WAC or similar conference. I understand that UCD's new football stadium is expandable to 30,000. In order to qualify for D1 college football, you have to play in a stadium that seats at least 30,000, I believe, and have a few years in a row of attendance exceeding something like 20,000. Of course, you also have to have a conference that invites you to join, unless you're Notre Dame

That being said, the Sacramento media market would be desirable to any conference wanting to add a team (since all the teams in the conference typically share a large portion of their media revenue) But you have to have a stadium first...

If UCD or Sac St. joined the WAC, I would buy 10 season tickets and have the best 4 saturday afternoons known to man every year. 1A college football is the best sport going in the US as far as party atmosphere. Nothing else even comes close in my mind. Man, what I would give to be 25 again...
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 8:02 AM
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Agree with the WAC on football. UCD certainly has a better shot at the WAC than Sac State. Sac State actually plays in the WAC for baseball and Big Sky for most other sports but not all. As far as basketball, I would have prefered Sac State to play in the WCC or at least the Big West (where I believe UCD begins play in a year or two). Regional rivalries is what makes watching college hoops a little more exciting if you are not in the Big Leagues. As a Sac st alumni, I don't really give a damn that Sac plays the Montanas, Idaho states or Northern Colorado. Would rather see 'em consistently play Pacific, USF, St Mary's, UCD, LB state, San Diego, Cal Poly etc.
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2007, 5:09 PM
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Speaking of Tampa, I think their arena is accessible by their recently completed TECO trolley system, which uses historic and reproduction streetcars.
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Old Posted Jul 10, 2007, 11:24 PM
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Southport conference center, resort planned
By Michael Shaw of The Sacramento Business Journal

July 6, 2007

A conference center and spa resort could highlight a massive development just south of West Sacramento and shelve plans for college student housing.

Developer Riviera Lakes Joint Venture is still considering an active-adult community -- part of an earlier plan -- but is now proposing to add a resort on 587 acres, said Steve Patek, West Sacramento's community development director. The project has a new name: Vina del Lago.



The developer has also curbed the active-adult community from 2,500 to 2,200 homes and will focus on a resort, possibly including a hotel, instead of the earlier idea called University Park, which focused on student housing. Riviera Lakes officials hope the city will annex the riverfront property.

The altered plan comes just as the city decides how it will guide development in Southport, the southern area of West Sacramento surrounded by the Sacramento River and the deep water ship channel. It's been the city's most active site for new housing developments over the past few years.

Three large communities, including Vina del Lago, would bring a total of about 8,000 homes. This month, the City Council is expected to determine how it will process applications for those developments, whether to examine them together or individually.

The other developments are:

Yarbrough Village, a planned lakeside community with 3,004 homes, a public golf course and trails proposed by ASB Properties Investments LLC.
River Park, a 2,788-home project along 500 acres of riverfront property proposed by Richland Planned Communities Inc.
Richland senior vice president Steve Thurtle said his company remains interested in pursuing its project despite additional costs on developers to improve and repair the city's levees. If the company's project is entitled this year, new-home construction could start in 2009. But construction also depends on an improving new-home market, he said.

Patek said if the applications proceed as expected, public hearings on the two developments could be held this year.

Vina del Lago's representatives could not be reached for comment this week.

City Councilman Mark Johannessen said he wants to know what the developments add to the city before he will consider supporting them.

"My main focus is that we need to determine all the development within the next 15 years and see what benefits they'll offer," he said. "It's got to be a net benefit to the city, or why are we doing it?"

One of the major concerns is traffic. Adding 8,000 homes would further strain Southport's main thoroughfare, Jefferson Boulevard, Patek said. Dealing with that may be difficult, although city staff are preparing a report that will detail options, such as blocking certain left-hand turn lanes to keep traffic moving.

There are no immediate plans to add access points to Southport, which residents reach essentially by one bridge. There had been talk of a new bridge to Sacramento at Broadway, although those plans have cooled in recent months.

It would be an issue as well for Vina del Lago, situated south of West Sacramento's city limits.

The developers have suggested that they build a levee along the city's new southern border if they're annexed into West Sacramento.

Currently, the levee at the city's southern edge isn't adequate flood protection for new homes. Farmers built the levees to protect their fields, not neighborhoods or a resort.

Patek said it's not considered a primary levee, meaning that it doesn't abut water, but improvements would be needed to protect new homes.

http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sa...09/story3.html
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Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 1:25 AM
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All these proposed developments on the south side of West Sac would really benefit from a new bridge over the Sacramento River. Minus a new bridge there's only Jefferson Blvd for getting out of the area and that street is already overburdened.

I visited the new Super Wal-Mart in West Sac for the first time. It's the nicest Wal-Mart I've seen---wide aisles, very clean and organized. Maybe being next door to Ikea is keeping them on their toes.
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Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 6:29 AM
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West Sac clean-up

I've actually never ventured into West Sac past IKEA but the other day we drove from downtown to IKEA through the I st. bridge. several observations. we definitely need more bridges. but more importantly. between the river and IKEA/Wal-Mart is a trashy low-income neighborhood. they need to do some serious rehab. it's pretty ugly. For now it seems like all the development is by the freeway or on the riverfront leaving the rest of the city in neglect. there aren't many trees either just a lot of burnt grass. coming from downtown/midtown you feel like you're entering another world.
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Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 7:48 AM
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[QUOTE=brandon12;2925028]The expos weren't disolved, they were turned into the Washington Senators.

Washington Nationals

Last edited by Kevin Hassett; Jul 11, 2007 at 7:49 AM. Reason: no message
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Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 2:11 PM
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oops. You're right. Sorry about that.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2007, 4:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmidtown View Post
I've actually never ventured into West Sac past IKEA but the other day we drove from downtown to IKEA through the I st. bridge. several observations. we definitely need more bridges. but more importantly. between the river and IKEA/Wal-Mart is a trashy low-income neighborhood. they need to do some serious rehab. it's pretty ugly. For now it seems like all the development is by the freeway or on the riverfront leaving the rest of the city in neglect. there aren't many trees either just a lot of burnt grass. coming from downtown/midtown you feel like you're entering another world.
If you made it to Ikea, that's most of the way through West Sacramento--the western city limits are a ways past the other side of the highway.

There are some nice old houses in that neighborhood, many of which have faced decades of neglect, but some are still pretty nice. There are a number of developments going in over there--I'm sure you noticed the cluster of new buildings just west of the bridge. LJ Urban is a big investor over there, and has something like a half-dozen different projects underway in West Sacramento. Part of the challenge they face is that the area is still very economically depressed. However, that's not so different from the way midtown Sacramento looked 20-30 years ago: in the 1980s, if you told people you were moving to midtown Sac people thought you were just crazy.

That being said, there is a lot of neat old architectural fabric in the area at the foot of the I Street Bridge (historically known as the Washington district), like the old firehouse (which is scheduled to become a restaurant and wine bar) and the buildings around it, including the little West Sacramento history museum. West of that things get looser--and a lot of those patches of "burnt grass" still flood every year.
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