Bob Shallit

Developer buys downtown land for future homes

Developer Mark Friedman has purchased a half-block of land on Eighth Street between S and T.
Developer Mark Friedman has purchased a half-block of land on Eighth Street between S and T. Sacramento Bee file

Sacramento developer Mark Friedman already has a full plate, with big residential projects underway in West Sacramento’s Bridge District and a partnership to help build the massive Ice Blocks mixed-used project in midtown Sacramento.

That’s not stopping him from seizing other opportunities. He expects to close early next week on a half-block of land near Southside Park in downtown Sacramento, where he eventually plans to build housing.

The land, along Eighth Street between S and T streets, now includes a 4,000-square-foot building that houses an Insight Coffee Roasters operation, and a vacant 12,000-square-foot concrete building that formerly was the site of Murray Industrial Supply. A sizable parking lot occupies the rest.

The property was listed for about $1.95 million but generated multiple offers above that price and went into contract for $2.5 million, said John Frisch, a Newmark Cornish & Carey broker who partnered with colleague Mike Riley to represent the seller, the Ken Murray Family Trust.

“It’s hard to find a half-block in that downtown city core,” Riley said of the active interest in the site.

Friedman said he likes the location, near the developing R Street corridor and Southside Park.

He said he would like to keep Insight in place. “This whole third wave of coffee is almost like the vanguard of neighborhood change,” he said. The larger building also may have an intermediate-term use. Friedman’s longer-term goal: to build housing on the block.

But he’s in no rush. A more pressing priority is the West Sacramento development, where his Fulcrum Properties has begun leasing new apartment buildings and is about to submit plans for the second phase of an upscale town house development.

“I want to focus over (there) right now where there’s a lot of momentum,” he said.

End of an era

It used to be called “the brokers’ triangle” – a Point West business center that, at three different spots, housed the offices of Colliers International, Grubb & Ellis and Cornish & Carey.

Colliers moved five years ago to University Avenue. The Grubb space was closed several years ago, when the firm was acquired by BGC Partners. Now Cornish – rechristened Newmark Cornish & Carey – is planning to leave Point West after 30 years there and move into new downtown digs in October.

“We’re kind of like the last of the Mohicans,” said Devon Atlee, the company’s Sacramento-area manager.

Point West, where Colliers has been since 1985, was an ideal location back when brokers had to drive everywhere to deliver documents and get signatures to execute leases. It was a central spot, close to the freeway, a quick shot to Roseville, Folsom or downtown.

Of course, these days documents can be sent online. Scanned signatures are acceptable for most deals. So why not be downtown … where the action is.

She still delivers

Among those weighing in on The Bee’s design changes this week was Geoff Zimmerman, the longtime local Dunnigan Realtors broker.

She likes the changes, but that’s not the point of this item. Turns out, by her telling at least, Zimmerman was the very first female to deliver the newspaper.

“I was the original Bee girl,” she said, starting in 1942, at age 10, with a route near her home at Folsom Boulevard and 49th Street.

She did that job for three years. These days she co-owns Dunnigan’s residential offices in Land Park and Sierra Oaks. She shows up to work daily. “I don’t do much. I just have fun,” she said.

Zimmerman is 83 – but that’s nothing. The company’s founder, the late Richard Dunnigan, put in half days in the office until he was in his late 90s.

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