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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2007, 12:40 AM
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Re. West Sacramento today [...that's not so different from the way midtown Sacramento looked 20-30 years ago: in the 1980's] -To the best of my knowledge Midtown never had a bunch of trailer courts and only a handfull of old homes. I understand the greater point you are making but to be fair Midtown had a lot more to work with in the 1980's than West Sacramento does today. That's not to say it's a problem. Sometimes less is more. It seems like there would be less design constriants since there's so little context to fit into.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 4:44 PM
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Ziggurat's big brother
There's a new kid on the riverfront as CalSTRS erects West Sac headquarters

By Mary Lynne Vellinga of The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


The new headquarters for the California State Teachers' Retirement System, above, will rise 280 feet tall next to the ziggurat building, which until now has been the tallest structure on the West Sacramento waterfront.
Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton

West Sacramento's ziggurat building, long a brash but only child screaming across the river that the city had arrived, is about to get a taller and more subdued sibling.

The new California State Teachers' Retirement System headquarters, now rising on the waterfront, will stand 280 feet tall, nearly twice the height of the ziggurat. The $253 million building will contain 18 floors of parking and office space.

Its design represents a marked departure in style from the attention-getting ziggurat, which local architects have long loved to hate, but which nonetheless has become one of the best known features of the riverfront.

Clad in glass, the CalSTRS building will curve as it approaches the river, coming to a narrow point. The curve will create more views of the river, while the narrow edge of the building facing east will reduce energy use -- one of many green features.

Conference rooms will be in the tapered edge, with the best river views.

"It will be incredible," said Paul Woolford, director of design for the San Francisco office of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc., or HOK, the international architecture firm that designed the pension fund building. "From the tower, you will be able to see the point at which the (Sacramento and American) rivers converge.

"The building is really designed to look like a large, billowing sail of glass, almost as if the wind has caught it," he said. "We took inspiration from the idea that there's this confluence of the rivers, and this is a former shipbuilding site."

HOK designed many of the high-rise buildings constructed in Sacramento during the past 20 years, including Esquire Plaza, the Wells Fargo Center and the new office tower under construction at 621 Capitol Mall.

Its West Sacramento project, expected to open in spring 2009, is winning praise from some of the same design enthusiasts who dislike the ziggurat.

Developer Mark Friedman, who is also pursuing projects on the West Sacramento waterfront, said he likes the building's curved side, and the walking plaza that connects it to the waterfront.

"It does a very nice job of inviting people from the street edge to the water," he said. In contrast, the limestone and beige-tinted glass of the ziggurat makes it feel like an isolated object with no connection to the river, he said.

"One of the flaws of the ziggurat is it doesn't really respond to the attributes of the site," Friedman said. "What they were trying to do was create a monolithic look that emulated the pyramids."

John Packowski of PHA Architects said the CalSTRS building is "striking in its simplicity," although he complained that the north side is too bland.

"This is more indicative of where the future of West Sacramento's architecture is going," Packowski said. The city of West Sacramento last month approved a high-rise condominium tower -- also to be financed by CalSTRS -- next door to the new headquarters. More office and residential buildings also are in the works.

"The city of West Sacramento is at a transformational point," Woolford said. "I don't think it will be recognized as the same place in 10 years."

Yet even as West Sacramento's downtown grows up, Packowski said, it will be hard to obscure the prominence of its pyramid-shaped firstborn in the view from downtown Sacramento.

"You're not ever going to not see the ziggurat," he said.

West Sacramento's longtime Redevelopment Director Val Toppenberg said the city's handling of development projects has changed considerably since the ziggurat was constructed in 1997.

In those early days of cityhood, West Sacramento officials were scrambling to lure some office tenants to the long neglected waterfront.

"We were in a much different position in those days," Toppenberg said.

The man behind the pyramid was Marc Turtletaub, who built it as a headquarters for the Money Store, which he headed. The project was shrouded in secrecy. The Money Store refused to release public renderings until it was completed.

After the Money Store went out of business, the state took over the ziggurat.

"The designers of the CalSTRS building worked with the city very closely to come up with a design," Toppenberg said. "On the ziggurat building, the designer and the owners pretty much came up with the building and said, 'Here it is. Take it or leave it.' "

Still, Toppenberg says he's personally fond of the ziggurat, which was designed by Ed Kado, the architect who recently proposed building a high-rise on the Capitol Mall with a replica of the Parthenon on top, an idea that was later dropped.

"I love it because it was the first building on our waterfront," Toppenberg said. "It created an iconic feature, and it's something West Sacramento has really been able to be proud of."

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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 8:21 PM
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I can't think of any project from HOK that I haven't liked but I'm having a hard time getting a good feel of the scale and look of the project from the renderings put out there. It looks a lot smaller than 280ft. I guess since the building is not a typical verticle rectangle and looks to have quite abit of curves, it looks smaller on paper. Very eager to see them finish the frame..
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 8:34 PM
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I have to say I like the look of the building: the soft, organic curve and glass do kind of make it a bit more part of the landscape than the sore-thumb look of the Ziggurat.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 8:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arod74 View Post
I can't think of any project from HOK that I haven't liked but I'm having a hard time getting a good feel of the scale and look of the project from the renderings put out there. It looks a lot smaller than 280ft. I guess since the building is not a typical verticle rectangle and looks to have quite abit of curves, it looks smaller on paper. Very eager to see them finish the frame..
Judging from the other diagrams posted here, the building may be 280' tall, but it's almost equally wide. That angled perspective of the detailed rendering makes it look half of its actual width.

I think it will look great - especially reflecting in the mornings and evenings. It's good to see some glass-clad buildingd on the west side. They work well with the big sky sunsets we get here in the valley.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2007, 9:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowerDistrict View Post
Judging from the other diagrams posted here, the building may be 280' tall, but it's almost equally wide. That angled perspective of the detailed rendering makes it look half of its actual width.

I think it will look great - especially reflecting in the mornings and evenings. It's good to see some glass-clad buildingd on the west side. They work well with the big sky sunsets we get here in the valley.
You know, to my surprise after going over there a few times, the building is not
as wide as you might think... or as I once thought. I guess will know soon
now that they have started to erect more steel again this week.

It will look nice over there, that's for sure... and I love how it looks already
when I see it driving south on I-5.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2007, 11:58 PM
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This is a rendering in the July issue of Comstock Magazine. They have a feature
story on the city and weather the waterfront area over there is now starting
to get going or is it's another false start... Good read.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 2:26 AM
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That is HOT! That would make me want to live in W. Sac.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 3:47 AM
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There has to be some great small business opportunities opening up in that area. The population in the area should see some vital growth. Imagine if the A's move to Raley field! There would be plenty of costumers to cater to!
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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 5:53 AM
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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 8:10 AM
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Originally Posted by COASTIE View Post
Imagine if the A's move to Raley field!
If ONLY that were a real possibility.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 2:23 PM
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Nice looking shots Innov8, that 280ft is going to put some needed elevation in the W Sac skyline
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 4:50 PM
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I'm interested in some of the smaller residential developments going on in West Sac too: the infill that is taking up the gaps between the older homes in existing neighborhoods, which will help sew together the urban fabric. LJ Urban has a big hand in this, and while I attended part of the meeting they held on Monday (and met some of y'all finally) I couldn't stay for the whole thing. Basically they have about half a dozen little projects, residential or mixed use, plus a planned community garden, sticking close to their "eco-urban" model. Most of the projects are within close walking distance of the planned streetcar line, a plus for keeping car traffic to a minimum.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 8:18 PM
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Woah, that's beautiful! Thanks for posting that rendering. Great update as well!
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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 8:18 PM
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I really like some of the proposals for west sac. The potential to do some really cool things based on the available infill and the eagerness of the city government there bodes well. It will be very interesting what the west side of the river will look like in 20 years if they continue the momentum of the Raley field area and continue redeveloping west capitol ave. Maybe even quicker if they keep stealing away big retailers like Ikea and investing the tax renue.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2007, 6:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innov8 View Post


This is a rendering in the July issue of Comstock Magazine. They have a feature
story on the city and weather the waterfront area over there is now starting
to get going or is it's another false start... Good read.
anything like this is years away, unless all of those highrises are full of office space...the real estate market is in a slump, not expected to revamp until 2009, so i would say that lenders are going to be weary of investing in any highrise condo buildings in sacramento, or california for that matter...the 1st quarter of this year alone, over 40,000 people defaulted on their mortgages just here in california, on pace to meet the former record of just over 54,000 in a single quarter
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  #37  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 3:35 PM
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State looking for developers to build its West End
By Michael Shaw of The Sacramento Business Journal

August 3, 2007

The state is looking to commercial developers to revive the 1.4-million-square-foot office project in downtown Sacramento known as the West End complex, shelved as a state-financed effort after construction costs spiked.

If developers take over the project, it wouldn't necessarily be built on the original sites, which cover 2½ blocks south and west of the Capitol.

Officials expect to solicit proposals within a month or so for building the massive complex, designed to house the entire California Resources Agency, which employs 16,000 statewide. Sites could be located within three miles of the Capitol.
A request for proposals that would describe the project's parameters awaits approval at key state offices such as the Department of General Services and the Resources Agency, said Anne Cavanagh, the project's program manager within General Services.

The state can't build West End for what it now would cost; estimates have risen to $620 million, about 59 percent higher than the $391 million expenditure authorized in 2001. Building at today's higher steel and concrete prices would require reauthorization by the Legislature.

But leasing the space after it's built by a commercial developer, with a purchase option down the road, makes more economic sense, Cavanagh said.

The project, known as both West End and West Side, originally was envisioned as two buildings, each taller than 20 stories, replacing smaller offices housing different state offices on two city blocks. Developers could submit proposals to build on the original site or elsewhere. Other sites might include the Richards Boulevard redevelopment area, alternate downtown sites or the West Sacramento riverfront, said John Dangberg, assistant city manager of Sacramento.

Developers of large office buildings await the specifications. Those guidelines, enough to fill three binders, would likely leave the design details to the developers but require them to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for efficiency and water conservation.

"We're very interested," said John Igoe, a senior vice president with Sares-Regis Group of Northern California, which is working with Ramco Enterprises Inc. and Clark Pacific Corp., a maker of precast concrete structures. The latter two control about 8 acres along the "Triangle" area of West Sacramento riverfront that already has entitlements for office space.

"We don't yet know what (the state's) schedule is for putting out the invitation," Igoe said.


A selling point for the group's property, just south of Raley Field, is the elevation. It sits higher than other areas around the capital and is therefore better protected against flood, said Dan Ramos, vice president at Ramco.

The area is expected to get streetcar shuttle service, which might satisfy the state's requirements that the site be located near rapid transit.


Ramos said developers are more likely to hold down construction costs and create cost-saving designs than on projects done "in house" by the state.

State administrators have met with local government officials in Sacramento and West Sacramento about the project.

Les Bowman, redevelopment manager for West Sacramento, said another major property owner in the Triangle, Fulcrum Properties Inc., also has expressed interest.

While entitlements already exist, the Triangle needs utilities and roads. Bowman said a future transfer of a large complex to the state has implications on the city's ability to pay for that infrastructure. That's because once a building is transferred to the state, it's removed from the tax rolls. The lack of tax revenue would make it difficult for the city to finance sewers, roads and other public works.

Sacramento has also been spreading the word, though officials won't say to whom. "We're contacting others about the project and encouraging them to respond," Dangberg said.

Even after proposals come in, likely within 90 days after the request is issued, which is the standard deadline, the Legislature would have to authorize the new project.

"In some respects, we're in the same place we were last year," Cavanagh said, referring to the fact that requests for developers' proposals haven't gone out. She expects 10 to 15 responses.

As originally conceived, the West End office buildings would have occupied the blocks between N and P streets and 7th and 8th streets. The site also contains the historic Heilbron House, which would have to be preserved or moved.

The Resources Agency now has offices in a building at 1416 9th St. and other leased property.

http://sacramento.bizjournals.com/sa...y3.html?page=1
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  #38  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2007, 6:12 AM
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how much bigger is the calstrs gonna be?
It has four more floors to go, two on the west side and four on the east.

CalSTRS







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  #39  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2007, 10:09 AM
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good pics Mike. And that Old Sac shot is a bit menacing
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  #40  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2007, 1:28 PM
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It'll give the Darth Vader building a run for its money as a photo hog...
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