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How Ali Youssefi left his mark on Sacramento

Ali Youssefi visits the 700 block of K Street in January 2016 as construction of the mixed-use project was underway.
Ali Youssefi visits the 700 block of K Street in January 2016 as construction of the mixed-use project was underway. Sacramento Bee file

Though only 35, Ali Youssefi had already helped shape the future of Sacramento when he died Saturday after a battle with cancer.

His development projects, under the mantle of his family's CFY Development company, are some of the most well-known of recent years. He was passionate about building mixed-income neighborhoods and providing housing to workers in all age ranges. Here is a list of some of his projects:

WAL

Billed as Sacramento's new hub for artists, the Warehouse Artist Lofts might be Youssefi's most well-known project. Completed in 2015, the building caters to the creative class, who are often counted on to shape a city's culture and then priced out when an area becomes cool. Youssefi sought to counter that by offering painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers and writers an affordable place to live where they can collaborate. Residents have called it the best living situation they expect to find in their lifetimes.

Partially housed in a formerly abandoned warehouse, the complex includes 116 units, a public market and a combination bar and barbershop.

RB K Street 7.JPG
Developers Ali Youssefi, left, and Bay Miry walk the 700 block of K Street in Sacramento in 2013. Randall Benton Sacramento Bee file

700 K Street

Youssefi began working almost a decade ago on the 700 block of K Street, long a thorn in the side of a downtown struggling for revival. The project broke ground in 2015, five years after Youssefi and fellow young developer Bay Miry of D&S Development first proposed a project.

It will have 137 units above a string of restaurants and shops, adding 70,000 square feet of retail to the street.

Rochdale Building

Sitting adjacent to the WAL complex at the corner of 11th and R Streets, the renovation of the historic B&G Rochdale Building was a collaboration between Youssefi and Miry. Until its recent closure, the Italian restaurant Amaro occupied the bottom floor of the former warehouse and grocery store, with office space upstairs.

Ridgeway Studios

One of Yousseffi's less well-known downtown projects, Ridgeway Studios sits on 12th Street. The 22 studio apartments replaced 58 dingy hotel rooms and common baths. Now each apartment has a full kitchen and a modern feel, but the units are intended to be affordable housing.

800 block of K Street/ Bel-Vue

Owners of the Sacramento Kings are partnering with CFY Development on the long-blighted block just a few hundred feet from their gleaming new Golden 1 Center. In February 2017, the Kings announced plans for a 170-unit apartment building and mixed-use commercial complex.

The block includes the historic Bel-Vue apartment building, which Youssefi had previously expressed interest in. He said he planned to put shops or restaurants on the ground floor and build apartments on the top two floors.

17th and S Streets

A collaboration between Youssefi and CADA, the six-story building planned for the corner of 17th and S was approved by the planning commission in January and appears to be the most recent project undertaken by the young developer. The complex will have 159 units aimed at tenants from a wide range of income levels, according to the developers.

Youssefi told The Bee in January that the building was meant to provide housing for the "missing middle," or people who can't afford rapidly rising downtown rents but do not qualify for low-income housing.

Ali Youssefi, who died at age 35 after battling cancer, was involved in some of Sacramento's most important development projects during the city's current renaissance.

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