Photo tour of Maydestone Building renovation

The century-old Maydestone building at the corner of 15th and J streets is scheduled to open in spring or summer to provide 32 apartments to working-wage tenants.

“We broke ground a couple of months ago,” said Bay Miry of D&S Development. “We’re building it in four phases of eight units.”

The building has four floors for housing and a basement, which will serve as a common area with an exercise room, office spaces and a common kitchen.

All units are fully contained with their own kitchens and bathrooms as well.

“I’m most excited about two things,” Miry said. “First, we are rehabilitating a major eyesore in a very prominent location. Second, it provides more workforce housing to Midtown and downtown.”

Much of the building’s historical character is being preserved, including the above mosaic at the main entrance.

According to Miry, historic pull-out beds are being preserved and incorporated into some of the remodeled units.

Corner units are the bigger ones, coming in closer to the 850-square-foot size. Smaller units begin at 400 square feet, and Miry said monthly rents will range from $700-$1,100.

Rooms will be accessed through the interior hallway on each floor.

An all-metal exterior staircase will allow for the building to be accessed by the rear as well as the front.

Some of the details of the approximately $8 million project are still being hashed out, and in the above photo, co-owner Steve Lebastchi (right) discusses construction-related issues with contractors.

The above photo shows the basement, which will house the common area and amenities.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

Conversation Express your views, debate, and be heard with those in your area closest to the issue. RSS Feed

November 17, 2010 | 6:25 PM

You too could have a view of the beautiful St. Paul’s Church or Memorial Auditorium.

November 17, 2010 | 6:33 PM

Midtown and Downtown Sacramento needs more of exactly this type of development. Workforce housing targeting moderate income level people. That means more students, young people, professionals, artists, empty nesters, etc living and breathing the urban lifestyle. They will contribute to businesses in the surrounding area. And their carbon footprint will be that much smaller. That this project means the rehab of a historic building in such a key infill area makes it even sweeter. This building has been such an eyesore for far too long.

November 17, 2010 | 8:44 PM

I’ve always been curious about this building! So amazing!

November 17, 2010 | 10:48 PM

I guess this can be described as ‘development’ but more specifically it is restoration, and absolutely Downtown and Midtown need to restore what is already here and not tear down it’s architectural history. We have many gems like this in the central city waiting (and rotting) to be lovingly restored and tranformed into viable housing. In real urban centers you have kids too – lots of them – are we planning for them?

Many friends lived in this building and the place was spectacular – even when it wasn’t shiny. Rehab – not demoltion is the best form of economic development in that it creates more jobs per dollar spent than new construction and it is the greenest choice. Buildings do not ask to be mistreated. We have too many examples of owners who have no business owning buildings like this. If you can’t take care of it, don’t own it. Structures of this caliber deserve respect and good maintenance. Very glad to see it come back to life. As I recall, Midtown Monthly ran a story on this recently as well.

November 18, 2010 | 12:37 PM

It should also be remembered that rehab, restoration and preservation of historic structures always creates more jobs than new construction.

November 18, 2010 | 11:10 AM

$8M for 32 apartments is $250K per apartment, and around $300 per sf.

The majority of the funding came from high risk loans out of city redevelopment funds.

Even if we were to agree on the shaky prospect of a budget constrained city being in the mortgage business, we certainly need to question whether this is the most cost effective way to house workers.

November 23, 2010 | 6:04 PM

I think you are ignoring the cost of land and offsite development for a comparable new project with the same goals. Recycling existing building stock, preserving a landmark, introducing worker housing in an increasingly gentrified area – there is a great deal to admire about this project.

July 24, 2012 | 3:21 AM

You too should try to save your city…not tear down, but restore. You probably aren’t from America and would like to destroy!

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November 18, 2010 | 12:29 PM

Cog: Just playing Devil’s Advocate here: What you’re saying is true (can’t argue with math); but your statement is JUST about the building itself. Shouldn’t something like this also be taking into consideration the bigger picture? A previously empty, dilapidated building, now being restored to usefulness – occupied by tax-payers who will likely be using the goods and services of downtown shops, doctors, dentists, restaurants, etc? Doesn’t the city stand a pretty good chance (if the project is completed, and occupied as intended) of eventually coming out ahead on this?

November 18, 2010 | 12:35 PM

Indeed–there are also secondary effects, like the positive effect of an inhabited, rehabilitated building on the neighborhood (vs. a vacant, dilapidated one.) How much would comparable new construction on land of similar value cost?

November 18, 2010 | 2:06 PM

Hey I thought i was playing devils advocates! I totally see both your points…this project absolutely does kill 2 birds with one stone by by both providing “workforce” housing and restoring a great old building that might otherwise see a wrecking ball. And on a personal note I have a friend that used to live there and I always loved that building.

The challenge is that the it is relatively high priced real estate for moderate income housing. The resulting poor ROI forces along 55 year repayment terms which ties up redevelopment funds that could otherwise be used elsewhere.

Simply put, a use with a better payback (hotel, condo, offices) might keep more money in the redevelopment pool, while 32 small apartments could be acquired elsewhere in the city for a much lower cost per square foot.

It’s not the worst venture the SHRA has embarked on, but is a pretty typical example of the pitfalls of central planning.

November 18, 2010 | 3:46 PM

Cogmeyer…Of course you realize a person paying $700 for a studio or $1000 for a 1 bedroom apartment is not likely to be ‘counter help’ or some unskilled worker but a single government employees and young professionals or the equivalent. We need mid range housing downtown for these people not more ‘upscale’ condos real people can’t afford.

November 18, 2010 | 4:41 PM

Great point. Which begs the question whether the city should be subsidizing life style choices for young professionals who want to live close to all the cool restaurants and bars.

BTW your “real people” comment seems to imply that people only count under a certain income level. What a great new way to classify and segregate people… much more efficient than the old methods (racial stereotyping, family provenance, geographical origin, religion).

Could you please let us know at what income people stop being “real” anymore? And once someone crosses that threshold, can they ever come back?

November 18, 2010 | 8:40 PM

Rather than “subsidizing life style choices for young professionals who want to live close to all the cool restaurants and bars”, there are more practical reasons for more workforce housing within the central city–like proximity to workplaces.

The central city has a massive jobs/residents imbalance. About 100,000 people commute into downtown Sacramento every day–but only about 30,000 people live there. Assuming that everyone living in the central city, including retirees, the disabled, and children, had a job, we still have a jobs/residents ratio of over 3:1. These jobs range from very high-paying positions to minimum-wage jobs.

Those 100,000 commuters take public roads or public transit, and maintenance of roads and transit has real consequence costs to taxpayers. If some of those people can live in the central city, minimizing their commutes (and thus their impact on roadways and traffic, during commute hours and otherwise) the public is saved that expense. But there are other benefits–the presence of residents in the central cities makes those neighborhoods safer and more pleasant for residents and visitors, and makes the central city a more attractive place. That encourages tourism, investment, and business.

Rents of $700-1000 a month are intended for people making between about $10-20 an hour, so not necessarily minimum-wage workers, but entry-level office workers or retail supervisors, or even restaurant/bar/nightclub staff who make a lot of tips.

If they live in the central city so close to their jobs, they have less need of a car–and can save that expense entirely if they choose to do so. The lot in back of the building provides some parking, but not enough for all residents (although there is a by-the-month rental garage right next door.) Because the neighborhood is so close to neighborhood amenities, workplaces, and public transit, and is in the most walkable and bikeable part of the city, it is far more feasible to get by without a car.

There is already quite a bit of luxury housing in the central city–mid-rise condos at 15th and L and 17th and L, and assorted other places throughout the central city. They aren’t selling very well, but projects that were more affordable and accessible have proven much more successful in attracting tenants. Commercial properties are also facing a glut of oversupply, and hotels are also a market that has had trouble maintaining capacity, let alone needing room for expansion. There is demand for affordable workforce housing in the central city, and if the free market can’t compete because suburban housing is too highly subsidized, the public sector can provide support that meets that need and also pursues other city objectives.

November 19, 2010 | 2:28 PM

Just to play Devils’ advocate to the Devil’s advocate: there are quite a few people who live in the central city and commute to the surrounding suburbs, such as myself. We live the commuter life, but instead of coming home to the suburban life, we come home to the urban life, the car is parked and not touched once home from work.

November 18, 2010 | 12:44 PM

Brandon, will the builder be installing double or triple pane windows? Also, will the parking lot to the east be available for residents to park in.? Both are key to the success and livability of being there.

November 18, 2010 | 8:41 PM

D&S is restoring the existing windows. They installed dual-pane windows on the old frames at the iLofts project in Old Sac, not sure if they are doing that here, but at least the old windows are getting rehabbed. As mentioned above, they have some parking but not one parking space per unit.

January 28, 2011 | 4:27 PM

They will be restored as single-pane windows.

Article Author
November 19, 2010 | 12:06 PM

Thanks Bill. Anyone who has walked past that corner on either street knows that the traffic is very noisy–trucks included. The bar patrons up the street. It is every bit if not noisier than Old Sac. It will be seriously short sighted not to put in dual panes while they rehab the windows anyway.

November 23, 2010 | 12:18 PM

Please post any news about places being renovated for seniors living on Social Security income entirely! This amount is about $700 to $1200 a month . This renovation is very good news!!!! BRAVO!

November 23, 2010 | 3:37 PM

Love that old buildings are being revived and rehabbed. The Central City needs more housing and more affordable housing. Just wondering why the letter “N” is backwards in the tile?

January 28, 2011 | 4:16 PM

I asked Bay Miry when I saw him today, and he wasn’t sure.

Article Author
November 24, 2010 | 3:45 PM

R.I.P. Christian Vesci

May 20, 2013 | 12:29 AM

Funny, I was just sitting here thinking about how much I miss Christian and came upon this thread. Who are you? I am Eric Adcock.

September 3, 2011 | 12:56 PM

It’s a great start at taking more cars off the road and all of the myriad costs associated with subsidizing the commuter.

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November 23, 2010 | 10:27 AM

The Hotel Berry has been closed down for months. Now if we could just get the Marshall Hotel closed down and/or renovated. I’d rather have “undesirables” housed in known locations rather than living all over the streets.

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