An “urban nursery” in Oak Park?
That’s the latest idea from architect-developer Ron Vrilakas, a leader in transforming the long-neglected neighborhood into a chic citywide destination.
Vrilakas says he’s talking with an operator who would open the nursery this summer in a portion of his Broadway Triangle project, a mixed-use, block-long development that now has condos, apartments and a novel retail space called Display.
He likens the planned garden center to Talini’s Nursery, an East Sac institution that’s “very compact but services the community around it.” The Oak Park business, as yet unnamed, would promote organic gardening and sell tools, furnishings and plants.
Vrilakas says the nursery would have a small indoor footprint with lots of outdoor space for plants behind the Triangle project, which is on Broadway between 34th and 35th streets.
While working out details for this venture, Vrilakas is also readying space on the Triangle’s 34th Street edge for what he’s calling “a new interpretation of the corner store.” Called Magnolia, it will offer basic food staples, locally sourced produce, along with meat, wine, and a deli where people can sit and have a sandwich or soup.
Like the nursery, the 1,600-square-foot market is set to open this summer, the developer says.
And that’s not all: Vrilakas recently acquired a property on the opposite side of Broadway, across 35th Street from the Old Soul at 40 Acres coffee shop and next to the hugely popular Oak Park Brewing Co.
The site is occupied by a business called A1 Auto Tire, which will remain there, the developer says, until he comes up with a better use.
Why is Vrilakas continuing to pour time and investment money into Oak Park?
“I like the area and really believe it will become special,” he says. “And as an architect, I like to be an agent of change.”
You almost need a scorecard to keep up with all the development projects in Sacramento’s urban core.
Cushman & Wakefield broker Chris Strain has something even better: a YouTube video with images and commentary on 12 projects.
He jokes that it’s “unabashed propaganda for the urban core.” But, he adds seriously, all but one of the 12 featured projects are “certain to be built.”
Strain, who advises businesses looking to buy or lease space, based the video on a presentation he developed for the Downey Brand law firm. He posted it to YouTube because: “I’m very excited about what’s going on … and I haven’t seen one comprehensive overview showing retail, entertainment, mixed use and residential projects” in one format.
It’s a dandy presentation, lasting about 30 minutes, with information for everyone from newcomer to seasoned developer. Check it out at Christian Strain’s YouTube channel.
Meat and eat
East Sac neighbors have been bugging Ken Fahn ever since he and partner Mark Cordano acquired the former Larry’s Comfort Shoes building at Folsom Boulevard and 48th Street more than three years ago.
“It was a huge eyesore,” Fahn says. “Everybody was asking, ‘When are you going to do something there?’ ”
Now he has an answer. After delays related to architectural and disability-access issues, he and Cordano are nearly done with a rehab of the formerly fortress-like building, leading to this summer’s opening of two food-oriented businesses.
My colleague, Blair Anthony Robertson, has written about one: a neighborhood butcher shop that will take up about one-third of the 4,000-square-foot building across the street from the OneSpeed pizza place.
Here’s the scoop on the other: It will be a restaurant called The Bowl East Sac and will be run by brothers Fred and Matt Haines. Details are being withheld until the opening is closer. But Cordano describes the fare as “fresh, casual, healthy and hearty.”
The concept was worked out jointly by Fahn, Cordano and the Haines brothers, whose other restaurants include 33rd Street Bistro, Riverside Clubhouse and Suzie Burger in Sacramento, Bistro 33 and City Hall Tavern in Davis, and Bistro 33 in El Dorado Hills.
Call The Bee’s Bob Shallit, (916) 321-1017.