Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lower K Street, War Zone or No?

Recently a state office on K Street closed shop and moved to get away from the blight that has long been a part of working there, but others might be moving in, and a request for a survey about the status of K Street, war zone or not?

Bob Shallit: City core could lose its only hardware store
By Bob Shallit -
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, October 27, 2007

Downtown fix-up: The owner of downtown's historic Kress building is about to launch an eco-friendly makeover now that its lone tenant has left the 818 K St. location.

"This will be the first green historic building in downtown Sacramento," says Jim Brennan, adviser to the Trancas Group of Napa, which owns the Kress and several other downtown properties.

The 6-month, $2.5 million rehab will begin immediately and include new electrical and HVAC systems, a rooftop garden and lots of energy-saving features designed to earn certification as a LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – building, Brennan says.

Until last week, it was occupied by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Brennan understands why the state agency relocated to new digs at 400 R.

"It's a war zone down there," he says of K Street. "Who would want to be there?"

But he's optimistic that the long-blighted stretch is poised for big improvements – assuming the city can end a dispute with developer Moe Mohanna that has stalemated development.

Once that squabble is resolved, several development groups – including Trancas – will move forward with plans for improving the street, Brennan predicts.

"This area will turn around like you won't believe," he says.

Your say on K: Speaking of K Street, is the stretch just east of Downtown Plaza really all that bad? Some folks think words like "war zone" overstate the problem and feel the 700-800 blocks are perfectly safe, albeit way overdue for redevelopment.
Let's hear your thoughts. The area is:

A) Gritty but fine. I walk there without fear.
B) Not so savory. I avoid it.
C) A war zone. You won't catch me there dead – or alive.

Send your vote (and a pithy comment or two, if you like) to the e-mail the top of this column. We'll run the results on Wednesday.