Bob Shallit

Oak Park nursery to offer mellow vibe with drought-resistant plants

Sacramentan Angela Pratt says she’s always felt “at peace” wandering through nurseries.

She’s hoping her customers get the same happy vibe at Plant Foundry, the “urban” nursery she’ll be opening in mid-August as part of the Broadway Triangle mixed-use complex in Oak Park developed by Ron Vrilakas.

Pratt’s business will occupy a 12,000-square-foot space, the current site of a tire store, on the opposite side of Broadway from the Triangle’s main buildings.

Pratt, who worked previously for Talini’s Nursery in East Sacramento, said her shop will be a “modern spin on your typical neighborhood nursery.”

The focus: Certified organic plants, soils and fertilizers with an emphasis on drought-tolerant ornamentals.

“I don’t think we’ll have any Japanese maples or hydrangeas anywhere on the premises,” Pratt said. “With the drought, I feel it’s important to offer an alternative.”

But this place will be about much more than plants. Pratt plans to offer artisan pottery, chicken coops, botanically inspired jewelry, colorful garden furniture from French manufacturer Fermob – and a small bistro area where patrons can sit, bring a coffee from the Old Soul shop across the street, listen to soft music and soak in some of that peaceful feeling that Pratt treasures.

“We’ll have books, coffee, music, plants and gift items all in one place – all the things I love.”

Pratt, an inveterate visitor of different nurseries along the West Coast, said she’s been “itching” to open her own place. She looked around midtown before discovering Oak Park and connecting with Vrilakas.

She turns 50 next month. That was one factor in her decision to go out on her own.

“I’ve been saying I wanted to do this,” she said. “When you get a little older, you say, tick tock, it’s now or never.”

It’s down to one

For a couple of dreary years, Tapestri Square was a symbol of the region’s housing meltdown, with dismal sales and a halt to construction. Now the row-house complex in midtown Sacramento exemplifies the market’s rebirth.

Only one home, priced at $790,000, remains to be sold at the project, which takes up a full block at 21st and T streets. The progress is a marvel to Madeline Noell, who has led sales efforts for developer Metro Nova for the past four years.

“This started in 2008, can you believe it?” she said. “This has been a project in the making for a very long time.”

She said a party is planned for later this year, when the last of the project’s 58 brownstone-like homes is likely to be sold and the 10 houses now under construction are completed.

A big turnout is expected. Noell said the community has gelled as houses have filled in, landscaping has matured and neighbors have become friends.

Some residents are young professionals with jobs downtown. Others are empty-nesters who traded in large houses with yards and pools in the suburbs for a simpler urban lifestyle.

As Noell put it, “we have a lot of first-time homebuyers and last-time homebuyers.”

Seller turns buyer

Sacramento broker Ken Turton estimates he’s been involved in the sale of nearly 400 commercial buildings over his 20-year career.

Recently he bought one for himself. After renting midtown space for five years, the owner of Turton Commercial Real Estate spent just over $1 million to buy a two-story, 6,000-square-foot building at 2409 L St.

He has tenants on the ground floor. Five members of his seven-broker team occupy the extensively renovated second level.

Why buy? Turton said he was drawn to the building’s location, large windows and its potential to become the sort of “creative” space he likes marketing to his corporate clients.

He also concluded, as a building owner, he could count on Turton Commercial to be a good enough renter.

“I did a credit report on myself,” he said with a laugh, “and I figured I’d be an OK tenant.”

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