The proposed Sacramento Commons project, which would replace 1960s-era low-rise apartments in downtown Sacramento with high-rise and midrise condominiums, will go before the City Council on Tuesday. .
The plan, proposed by Kennedy Wilson, a Beverly Hills-based real estate investment firm, calls for retaining the 15-story Capitol Towers but replacing the 206 low-rise Capitol Villas units with high-rise and midrise condominiums, retail space and possibly a hotel.
The property is bounded by Fifth, Seventh, N and P streets. Designed by noted architects in the 1950s and ’60s, the current pedestrian-oriented community features streets closed to traffic and a lush canopy of trees regarded by residents as an oasis in the downtown area. The Sacramento Preservation Commission recently recommended that the City Council adopt an ordinance to list the Capitol Towers complex as a historic district in the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources and recommended denial of the Sacramento Towers project.
Aside from the historic attributes, some people have argued that demolition of Capitol Villas would result in a loss of moderately priced market-rate housing units in the downtown area, as well as a significant portion of the tree canopy on the 10-acre site.
But the Planning and Design Commission last month unanimously backed the Sacramento Commons project. Commission members argued that the development is necessary if Sacramento expects to attract private investment to revitalize the central city.
Those speaking in favor of the project included representatives of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District and Sacramento Regional Transit, who noted that it would provide more housing close to light-rail lines.
The council will hold a hearing on the Sacramento Commons mixed-use development project, followed by a hearing on the proposal to list the Capitol Towers historic district and contributing resources in the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources.
Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council chamber.