Photo tour of K Street’s 700 block
The massive redevelopment project on the 700 block of K Street will be submitted to the city’s building department for approval in October, and if approved, work could begin as early as the end of this year.
“We’re looking to break ground in (February or March) of 2012, but it might be sooner,” said Ali Youssefi of CFY Development.
The approximately $47.7 million project is a collaboration between D&S Development, Inc., and CFY Development. It will be a mixed-use project with apartments, retail spaces, restaurant/bar spaces and an approximately 15,000-square-foot live music venue.
“We really want this to be a catalyst for the rest of the area,” said Bay Miry of D&S Development.
For more information on the project, its funding and how it got to where it is, click here.
Both Youssefi and Miry said they don’t want to think of the project in terms of what it compares to in other cities.
“This isn’t Polk Street in San Francisco, or some place in Portland, or the gaslight district in San Diego” Youssefi said. “Sacramento is sort of creating its own identity. We want this to be a place people use as an example.”
Miry agreed, adding, “We want this to be K Street.”
The project area stretches all along K street and 180 feet back along Seventh and Eighth streets to the alley. The 90 feet fronting K Street will maintain a similar footprint, but the rearward 90 feet will be demolished, and mid-rise apartment buildings with two levels of parking will be built.
“There’s going to be a courtyard between the new construction and the historic buildings,” Youssefi said, adding that the courtyard will be landscaped and serve as a space where people living in both the all-new buildings and the apartments incorporated into the original buildings will be able to go.
Part of the project involves thinking beyond the ground-to-ceiling spaces and making creative use of rooftops and basements.
Outdoor seating will be a big part of the restaurants on the block, with one slated to make use of a patio that extends 10 to 15 feet into the sidewalk.
The city plans to bring cars back to K Street by November, but the 700 block will still remain free of vehicular traffic.
“We’re going to get a lot of visibility when cars come back,” Youssefi said. “K Street was a big business district until they closed it off to cars, and that was really a failed experiment.”
Miry said other projects in the area are contributing to its return from being a blighted area.
“The project over on the 1000 block (composed of Dive Bar, Pizza Rock and District 30) is one aspect, and the moving of the Greyhound station (from nearby L Street to Richards Boulevard) has really helped, too,” Miry said.
“We’re down here every day, so we really notice the difference,” Youssefi agreed.
The estimated build time for the project is just under two years, he said.
The project is receiving redevelopment funds from the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, which is currently a controversial subject. On the statewide level, redevelopment agencies are fighting for their existence, but Youssefi said the 700 block of K Street has already secured the funding and will be built.
“This project could be one of the last of its kind,” he said.
The end goal, according to Miry and Youssefi, is to return K Street to its former status as one of the vibrant sectors downtown and bring mixed-use retail, restaurant, entertainment and residential entities to downtown.
Sixty percent of the project is dedicated as affordable housing. The other 40 percent will be market-rate housing.
“It’s going to bring a good mix of workforce housing as well as apartments that are as nice as any downtown,” Miry said.
Youssefi said there is one overarching reason the project excites him.
“I grew up in Sacramento,” he said. “To be a part of this project, which will be a catalyst for revitalizing downtown, that’s exciting”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.
Editorial Note: A correction has been made to this story after it was published.