After three decades with a Burbank mailing address, the California Republican Party is moving its base to downtown Sacramento.
The state GOP has paid $1.6 million for the fourth floor of an office building one block north of the Capitol at 1001 K St., party Chairman Jim Brulte confirmed Wednesday. The purchase, first reported by the Sacramento Business Journal, follows the sale last year of the state party’s Southern California headquarters.
The property at the corner of K and 10th streets was formerly a Roos Atkins department store. It went through extensive upgrades between 2008 and 2013, according to the real estate firm marketing the property, Turton Commercial Real Estate. Sharif Jewelers anchors the ground floor.
Like its old headquarters, the new Republican base will be named the Ronald Reagan California Republican Center, in honor of the former governor and U.S. president.
Political sensitivities being what they are, particularly when it comes to California’s own Republican icon, “I didn’t want to be the guy to sell the Reagan headquarters in Burbank,” Brulte said.
So before the building went on the block, he asked former first lady Nancy Reagan for her approval. She gave it, and Brulte said he promised the party’s new base also would carry the Reagan name.
The move is a no-brainer, Brulte said, because nearly all the party’s 21 staff members already work in Sacramento.
“We just have two employees in Burbank,” he said, and the building – built in the 1970s – needs renovation to accommodate modern technology.
Party officials settled on the K street property because of its proximity to the Capitol for fundraising events and because much of the space is already gutted and ready for immediate customization, Brulte said.
“Anything outside a three-block radius might as well be five miles away,” Brulte said. “And this is like a blank canvas” that can accommodate up to 30 employees.
Party officials would like to move in by year’s end, but Brulte thinks the first quarter of next year is more realistic.
“Our drop-dead is March,” he said, because that’s when the 2016 election season will kick into high gear.
In keeping with the law, both the sale and purchase transactions were handled by the California Republican Party Building Fund, which is independent of the party’s political operations, Brulte said.