Business & Real Estate

City of Sacramento sues developer for public nuisance at workforce housing project site

These are some of the issues behind California’s housing crisis

California's housing crisis is due in large part to a lack of supply, particularly when it comes to affordable housing, and it is hitting low-income individuals the hardest.
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California's housing crisis is due in large part to a lack of supply, particularly when it comes to affordable housing, and it is hitting low-income individuals the hardest.

The city of Sacramento is suing a real estate developer planning a housing project near the American River in the Richards neighborhood.

City leadership filed its lawsuit last month, alleging Los Angeles-based developer Strategic Legacy Investment Group, Inc. hasn’t yet removed a dilapidated building from its project site at 701 Dos Rios Street as it was ordered to do.

The complaint alleges the city informed Strategic Legacy that the building – an old, partially damaged warehouse – has been a public nuisance and a safety hazard since at least May 2016.

Strategic Legacy acquired the property in July 2018, and the remaining building is damaged by fire, is structurally unsound, has parts likely to fall and is in danger of collapse, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendant has had ample opportunity to correct the substandard, dangerous and unsafe conditions on the subject property,” the city alleged in its complaint. “Despite their knowledge of the conditions and the opportunity to correct them, (Strategic Legacy) has failed and refused, and continues to fail and refuse, to make all repairs necessary to bring the subject property into compliance with all applicable building, health, fire, safety codes, regulations, ordinances, and laws or, in lieu thereof, to demolish the structure.”

The roofless building is currently supported by beams. Metal fencing restricts entry, though in many areas it leaves open space above. Rusted corrugated aluminum sheets block other areas.

Notices posted to the building show Strategic Legacy has been fined several times by the city, totaling thousands of dollars.

The city believes the property will not be cleared any time soon under current ownership, and although it could correct the violations itself and bill the developer, it would “incur substantial costs,” according to the lawsuit.

Strategic Legacy’s project, known as the Legacy Riverviews, calls for a 168-unit multifamily workforce housing complex at the site, estimated to be worth about $24 million.

As of early March, Strategic Legacy submitted plans for the site to the city’s planning and development department. Project plans include one three-story, 145,000 square-foot building with 105 one-bedroom apartments, 50 two-bedroom apartments and 13 three-bedroom apartments.

The developer said on its website that it is still “undergoing its final entitlement / due-diligence timeline.”

Representatives from Strategic Legacy were not immediately available for comment.

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
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