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  #41  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2007, 9:19 PM
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While I haven't seen the plans, the thought of a 75' building on a lot that small is hard to imagine. If memory serves (and I could be mistaking this for a different project) the opposition to this was more political than from the zoning code. I think the Council Member had issues with the project, although that's Fong's district so that doesn't sound right.



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snfenoc Was there a reason why they removed the office structure??

4 storys, 15 units, not approved?? I hate America.
If this is the only reason you hate America, you need to pull your head out of the sand.
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  #42  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2007, 11:42 PM
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If by "political reason" you mean resistance from the neighborhood association, no. I was the chair of the area's neighborhood association when this came up, and not only did I not oppose the building, I liked and supported it, and had mentioned my support directly to city staff. We had opposed conversion of the site back into a gas station, due to concerns about traffic patterns and safety on that corner, and the City Council agreed with us. The developer came back with a plan to convert the corner to housing and donate the building, which made a lot of sense to me, and seems win-win in terms of both urban planning and historic preservation.

We didn't actually take a position as an association because it never got as far as the Design Review or Planning commissions. I know some of staff's concern was because it was a 15 unit building with only 12 parking spaces.

After some revision the architect came back with a shortened version, but the shortening made the building look a lot worse and it was still too tall, so they have gone back to the drawing board, 12 units with 12 parking spaces and a projected 3 stories tall: probably 45 feet or so, given that they want to do tall ceilings.

But that wasn't really the issue of the meeting last night: that was simply the issue of relocation of the gas station to the Towe Auto Museum. The building being considered for 3030 T Street will come back around in different form.
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  #43  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2007, 12:18 AM
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Sorry Wburg, I wasn't very clear. If I remember right it was the council member who didn't like the project.
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  #44  
Old Posted May 6, 2008, 4:30 AM
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An interesting rumor I just heard: Apparently Revolution Wines is planning on relocating to 11th and R Street! If it's the space I'm thinking of (a vacant part of a building also occupied by the Studio Theatre) that would be a great adaptive reuse of a beautiful building, and potentially a way to spark some more life into the R Street corridor.
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  #45  
Old Posted May 6, 2008, 4:50 AM
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The brick building with the cool corner entry? I love that building. My girlfriend and I came up with a hundred different imaginary businesses for that place.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 6, 2008, 5:20 AM
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I had a chance to trade emails with one of the proprietors of Revolution Wines almost two years ago when they were still putting things together. Before they opened in their current location at 21st and P, they actually wanted to open in that spot (11th and R), but it didn't work out for whatever reason. Glad to see things are back on the table though. That's a killer spot that has been vacant for too long.

TD - Same here. Every time I pass that corner I think of what an awesome music venue or bar that location would be. Endless possibilities.

Last edited by sugit; May 6, 2008 at 5:47 AM.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 10, 2008, 8:45 PM
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Does anyone know if there are any plans to rehab the Maydestone on the corner of 15th and J street? I hate to see it just sitting their falling further into disrepair.


btw i see the Memorial looks to be well outfitted with exterior lighting (i think part of the update).. It's looking better than ever...
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  #48  
Old Posted May 10, 2008, 11:55 PM
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The exterior lighting is nice, as is the new sidewalk--just wait until the uplighting to illuminate the Memorial at night comes on!

The owners of the Maydestone were approved to do some interior work, occasionally there are crews there, but obviously it's taking some time. Most of the damage from the fire was on the interior, which is why you aren't seeing many changes on the exterior, other than they removed the back stairs entirely a while back.
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  #49  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 7:03 PM
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Looks like there finally might be some traction to get the movie theater back into decent shape and have Reading put some money into the facilities rather than spending their resources submarining proposals in downtown. It would also be nice to get another business on the end where Joe Marty used to be. It has been quite a few years since the fire and yet it still sits empty. What gives?

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Ready for a close-up: Tower to get a face-lift
By Bob Shallit - bshallit@sacbee.com
Last Updated 11:31 am PDT Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Look for a little face-lift -- at long last -- at the Tower Theatre.

The Bay Area family that owns the historic art deco movie house and several connecting businesses is evaluating a major rehab of the 70-year-old building's exterior.

"It once was very grand, and we want to return it to that condition," says Brad Werner, a commercial real estate broker with CB Richard Ellis in San Francisco and member of the family that owns the property.

Among the fix-ups: Repairing cracks in the concrete terrazzo floor at the theater's entrance, extending a line of maroon-colored tiles around the building's perimeter, repairing the roof, improving the parking lot and repainting some of the exterior.

What about the theater's interior, which has fallen into embarrassing disrepair?

That's up to Reading Entertainment Inc., the Southern California cinema company that leases the building. In the past, it has blamed the lack of repairs on concerns that Sacramento city officials might subsidize competing movie theaters downtown.

But Werner says Reading is obligated to do interior maintenance under terms of its "triple-net" lease. "We're telling them, 'OK, guys, we are going to enforce the leases.' "


Reading officials did not return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Werner says maintenance on the property's exterior slipped because the family member managing the complex was in ill health. He died last year and others now are stepping in to upgrade the property.

Family pride is at stake, Werner says.

"My grandfather (Joe Blumenthal) and his brothers built the theater in 1938," he says. "It's part of our legacy."
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  #50  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 7:32 PM
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Sorry, that's not a "major rehab". That's standard maintenance. It's good to hear the family and owners of the building are stepping up and doing a few little things, and love that they're going to put the screws to Reading. But they really shouldn't act like they're leading a crusade here. Repairing tiles and "some" exterior painting is the kind of stuff your do to your own home every few years.
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  #51  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 9:07 PM
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Work has actually been ongoing in the Joe Marty's space, and supposedly it will eventually return.
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  #52  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 9:57 PM
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This is all my own speculation, but I was under the impression the work that has been done so far was required by the city, simply to meet code while sitting vacant. I have heard Joe Marty's is returning, but that was around a year ago, and I'm not sure anything has been accomplished since.
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  #53  
Old Posted May 14, 2008, 4:56 PM
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Well this answers the Joe Marty question...

http://www.sacbee.com/103/story/936571.html

End of era: Speaking of the Tower complex, it appears likely that Joe Marty's won't reopen.

The longtime bar and eatery known for its sports memorabilia has been closed since a fire there in 2005.

An insurance settlement is finally at hand, Werner says, but he hasn't been in touch with Joe Marty's owner and doesn't see the business returning.

Owner David Garibay could not be reached for comment.

What will replace the once-popular sports hangout after insurance matters are resolved? Most likely, "some sort of food service business," Werner says.
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  #54  
Old Posted May 14, 2008, 5:05 PM
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Dammit, how about a bar? Some sort of food business??? There's already tons of restaurants in the area and another couple already on their way. It would be nice to be able to grab a drink on Broadway... errr... without getting stabbed at the XO.
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  #55  
Old Posted May 14, 2008, 5:08 PM
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Yeah, it seems like a great place for a bar. The space itself screams bar. Perfect location to grab a drink before or after a flick at The Tower.
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  #56  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 3:24 AM
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I had a tour of the future cosmopoliton this afternoon and all I have to say is it is going to be great for K street. The rooftop (well 3 floors up really) is going to be stunning and theater will be great. This project is gong to be a major draw for K street and it should be opening Sept 1.
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  #57  
Old Posted May 15, 2008, 4:14 AM
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Very cool. 10th and K is part of my running path I take a few times a week, so I've been watching it slowly transform over the last year.

I'm very much looking forward to see the final product while taking in a show and devouring a hot pastrami sandwich with an ice cold beer.
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  #58  
Old Posted May 17, 2008, 2:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
The exterior lighting is nice, as is the new sidewalk--just wait until the uplighting to illuminate the Memorial at night comes on!

Stunning!!!

I saw it the other night and nearly wrecked my jeep.

Arguable one of the most beautiful buildings in Sacramento without exception and the lighting really makes it stand out..

I would still like to see the interior renovated to serve as an Opera House and/or Symphony Hall, but at least it's not going to be allowed to fall into disrepair..


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  #59  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2008, 6:08 PM
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Saw this in today's paper...I suppose it could fit into restaurants/entertainment, but it's the adaptive reuse element that interests me in this case. Some of the points are good, and I'd agree that losing all of this sort of business in the central city isn't a good thing. My mechanic is in midtown, and it's nice being able to drop off my car for work in the morning, walk the rest of the way to work, and then walk back in the afternoon and drive it home, vs. having to drive out to some outer neighborhood and get a ride or public transit back into downtown to go to work.

The same goes for things like hardware stores, as mentioned in the article: part of having a "walkable" city means being able to walk to all sorts of uses--not just recreation and dining, but the sort of practical businesses we need to visit from time to time, like hardware, auto repair, dry cleaning, other sorts of retail sales, etcetera.
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Sacramento restaurants move into old auto showrooms, garages
By Laurel Rosenhall - lrosenhall@sacbee.com

Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, June 8, 2008
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B7

Print | E-Mail | Comments (5) |

Auto repair workers of the 1920s pose alongside a vintage tow truck at 1615 J St., the modern-day home of Lucca Restaurant. Spacious midtown sites built as garages and showrooms are now pulling in diners. Courtesy of Terri Gilliland
Click on photo to enlarge

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Across midtown Sacramento, eateries are opening in buildings that originally served up more carburetors than carpaccio, more brake jobs than breakfast specials. Old mechanic shops, gas stations and auto showrooms are morphing into restaurants that span the culinary spectrum, from casual coffee shops and burger joints to upscale venues where dinner for two can top $100.

Suzie Burger opened earlier this year in an old Orbit gas station at 29th and P streets. Lucca, an Italian restaurant rumored to be Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's favorite place in town, opened in 2003 in a historic garage on J Street. And when renovation is complete on the Firestone tire store at 16th and L streets, three new restaurants will join the hopping midtown dining scene.

Reusing old buildings is nothing new in urban cores. Many of them are protected by historic preservation rules that make tearing them down impossible. But the fact that so many buildings created for cars are now dishing out cuisine indicates more than an appreciation for old-time architecture.

The trend reflects major shifts in society, said Ron Vrilakas, the architect who has worked on three such renovation projects: the Firestone tire store that will become a California Pizza Kitchen and two auto dealerships that have been converted into Zocalo and PF Chang's restaurants.

When the tire store and auto showrooms were built in the 1920s, people didn't eat out much. The car, on the other hand, was a new and exciting part of life that was being celebrated through elaborate, centrally located buildings, Vrilakas said.

"Fast-forward to today and it's a completely different trend in play – generally having automobile uses in the city is a misfit," he said.

"The business trend of today is that people eat out a great deal. That's a really important part of our community life in modern America."

As midtown has become a dining and entertainment destination, the suburbs have become the place to buy and repair cars. Central-city buildings are too small to accommodate car sales. Rents in the urban core are too high for many mechanics.

"Now we've got auto malls and any of the new gas stations going in have a huge mini-mart," said Karen McClaflin, executive director of the Towe Auto Museum.

"It's a change of customer service and demographics. … You've got to sprawl."

Greg Taylor, an urban designer for the city of Sacramento, is happy to see more life coming into midtown with each restaurant. But as a resident of the area, he also laments the loss of businesses that provide daily necessities – a tune-up, a new tire, a piece of hardware.

"For a complete city, there is need for some form of these neighborhood and domestic product resources," he said. "We want to encourage a very active downtown … But every time there's a gain, there's a loss of some nature."

What isn't lost in many of the renovations is the feel of each building's original purpose. Mulvaney's Building & Loan restaurant sits inside a 19th-century firehouse on 19th Street. Next door, chef-owner Patrick Mulvaney is converting the Howard & Sons mechanic shop into a banquet hall for his catering business.

Mulvaney dusted off the auto shop's redwood-beamed ceiling and had the floors pressure-washed to remove decades of oil stains. But he's not getting rid of the cinderblock walls or the rolling metal garage doors.

"We want to keep the idea that it is an auto garage," Mulvaney said. "The bones are what the bones are."

Terri Gilliland, owner of Lucca Restaurant & Bar, said she was attracted to the raw brick walls and cavernous ceilings when she decided to put her restaurant in an auto body shop built in the 1920s. It makes sense that other restaurateurs are also turning to buildings made for cars, she said.

"They're wide-open, expansive spaces that lend themselves nicely to converting into restaurants," Gilliland said. "There's not a lot of internal structure; it's just a great big expanse you get to work with."

Diners seem to appreciate the look. Rachael Perrizo and Julie Thigpen, interior designers from Orange County who were in town for business last week, had noticed Lucca's vintage feel as they sipped bloody Marys and noshed on zucchini chips.

"I think it's got a great atmosphere," Perrizo said.

People said the same thing across town at Suzie Burger, housed in a very different kind of building. Like something out of "The Jetsons," its huge red and white wings hang over a parking lot that was once covered with gas pumps. During a recent lunch hour, industrial garage doors were rolled up to reveal a dining room where Dick Davis waited for his burger.

"This is where they would do the tuneups and the oil changes," he said, gesturing around the room where patrons munched on chili fries and onion rings.

It's not the kind of thing you typically hear someone say inside a restaurant.

Or is it?

About the writer:

* Call The Bee's Laurel Rosenhall, (916) 321-1083.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2008, 10:50 PM
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Took another walk through Alkali Flat today, to take a peek at some lovely buildings like this one. I know many people pooh-pooh Alkali Flat but many of the old homes out that way are just breathtaking, and a lot are being worked on. An alley building that I was sure was a goner/knockdown is being fixed up, and there are plenty of beauties like this one that aren't quite in show condition but still holding up magnificently:

The J. Neely Johnson Mansion, home to two of California's first governors before the "Historic Governor's Mansion" was even built, is getting some attention:


Nearby, the Globe Mills project's first phase is open and renting. The units are senior apartments, intended for those 55 and up. Rent is based on income but varies from $350-650.

The market-rate section is still a couple of months from completion but definitely coming along:

Last edited by wburg; Jun 16, 2008 at 11:27 PM.
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