Business & Real Estate

Investor planning Del Paso Boulevard music ‘incubator’

The former roller rink at 1031 Del Paso Boulevard still has open space, a hard maple floor and a high barrel roof.
The former roller rink at 1031 Del Paso Boulevard still has open space, a hard maple floor and a high barrel roof.

A Sacramento-area investor is closing in on a purchase of the former Senator Rollerdrome on Del Paso Boulevard and hopes to turn the 90-year-old building into a music practice, recording and performance facility.

Greg Kennedy, head of a Davis real estate investment company, confirmed he is in escrow to acquire the building. If he closes on the deal in coming weeks, he said he plans to spend “upwards of $1 million” to establish The Rink, a destination location for local and regional musicians.

“Essentially, what I’m looking at is creating the musical equivalent of a business incubator,” said Kennedy, 65, who runs Kevlyn Investments.

That operation would provide practice areas for bands, recording capabilities, retail space and a performance and general meeting area that could accommodate up to 250 people, he said.

Kennedy said his interest in the venture started when he was seeking practice space for his own band, which is called Refurbed Music and performs covers of “everything from Billie Holiday to Billy Idol.”

After a deal for midtown space fell through, an associate told him about the 11,000-square-foot building at 1031 Del Paso Blvd., which was acquired a decade ago by local developer Glenn Sorensen.

Kennedy’s first reaction on seeing the building: “This is crazy, it won’t work,” he said, noting that the exterior brick walls weren’t in great shape. “But that’s just the envelope. The structure itself is quite sound.”

My belief is (Del Paso) is ripe for some new activities ...We’re trying to kick-start that a little.

Greg Kennedy

Among its charms: double-thick maple flooring and an exposed, 30-foot-high barrel roof.

Kennedy, who declined to say how much he’s agreed to pay for the Del Paso property, said he’s optimistic about the neighborhood’s future and could make other investments there.

“My belief is (Del Paso) is ripe for some new activities,” he said. “There’s been a dry spell in terms of solid investments in that area. We’re trying to kick-start that a little.”

That’s welcome news to Shane Curry, chairman of the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership.

“We’re pretty pumped about it,” Curry said of Kennedy’s plans. “He’ll be bringing in a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise be coming to North Sacramento.”

Changing places

Nearly 500 local employees of the state’s health planning agency are going to have a new workplace next year. Most likely, it will be the gleaming 2020 Gateway Tower in South Natomas.

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development has been leasing 120,000 square feet of space for the past eight years at a CalPERS building at 400 R St. This year OSHPD was informed that the huge pension fund needs the space back when the lease expires on Nov. 30, 2016.

Department of General Services staffers subsequently did a search for new digs for OSHPD and narrowed the choice to two locations – the 12-story Gateway Tower, which was built by the Kelly family of Sacramento, and the Art Deco-inspired Park Tower at 980 Ninth St., which is owned by the CIM Group of Los Angeles.

DGS reps say no lease deal has yet been signed. But the reports we’re hearing say officials have opted for the LEED-certified Kelly building at 2020 W. El Camino Ave.

The 320,000-square-foot Gateway Tower opened in late 2009 and stayed vacant until early 2013 when the first tenant – the state Department of Housing and Community Development – moved into space there. A deal with OSHPD would bring it close to full occupancy.

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