Friday, March 28, 2008

Downtown Towers

Another project discussed.

Five new towers envisioned downtown
An L.A. firm, undaunted by others' failures, plans to transform apartment site.
By Mary Lynne Vellinga -
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, March 28, 2008

Undaunted by the recent failure of two high-rise condominium projects planned for downtown Sacramento, a Los Angeles-based developer proposes to transform a leafy, four-block area south of the Capitol with five new residential towers.

The Bond Cos., an experienced developer of infill housing and retail projects nationwide, filed an application with the city of Sacramento Thursday to replace 206 low-rise apartment units in the Capitol Towers neighborhood with five towers ranging from 15 to 33 stories.

Mark Bachli, a principal in the Bond Cos., said the "market will determine what is actually built" on the Capitol Towers property, bounded by Fifth, Seventh, N and P streets.

Still, he said his company views the parklike superblock – where no cars are allowed – as the perfect place for a high-density urban development, which can be built in phases as market conditions permit.

"It's ideally located along the light-rail line. It is close to thousands of jobs, retail, restaurants and entertainment opportunities; those are the key ingredients to smart and sustainable growth," Bachli said.

The proposed project also would contain 50,000 square feet of street-level retail – which Bachli said could include a grocery store – and parking garages wrapped by three to five stories of housing or office space. It may also include a hotel.

The 15-story apartment building at the center of Capitol Towers would remain.

In total, Bond Cos. is proposing to build 1,646 new housing units. Doing so would create a neighborhood nearly eight times as densely packed with people as the current one on the four-block property, which city leaders have long viewed as underused.

"I think it's great," Assistant City Manager John Dangberg said of the plan, which is in its formative stages.