Developer Sotiris Kolokotronis is adding The Sacramento Bee’s parking structure in midtown Sacramento to a group of properties he’s accumulating for a multiblock retail and housing complex that could ultimately have as many as 500 living units.
Bee officials announced the “purchase agreement” with Kolokotronis on Monday, saying the deal followed five years of discussions with groups interested in acquiring the two-level structure. No price was disclosed.
Pam Dinsmore, The Bee’s director of community affairs, said the company originally built the parking structure with the hope that it could some day “reach its true potential” as a mixed-use development.
“We are pleased to see a significant step is being made today,” Dinsmore said.
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Kolokotronis, one of the region’s top urban developers, was not available for comment about the deal for the garage, which takes up the full block bordered by Q, R, 20th and 21st streets.
But he is expected to build on top of the parking structure, putting as many as five additional stories above the existing ground floor and basement parking levels.
That midrise building would join others with rental and for-sale housing units planned on three other large parcels he has recently gone into contract to buy in the same neighborhood.
All told, the new Kolokotronis buildings will include about 200,000 square feet of housing and retail space spread over several blocks, said Ken Turton, a commercial real estate broker who has been involved in some of the recent acquisitions.
“This is going to be one of the most iconic development projects in Sacramento,” Turton said Monday. “Who else has built a multifamily housing project this big in downtown or midtown? Nobody.”
Emily Baime Michaels, executive director of the Midtown Business Association, said her group is “completely supportive” of the development plans and of Kolokotronis’ involvement.
His developments, including two major housing projects built a decade ago on the 1800 block of L Street, are “true to the integrity of our neighborhood,” she said.
In a memo distributed Monday to employees, Bee publisher Cheryl Dell said development of the garage site won’t happen immediately but said Kolokotronis will “provide us with replacement parking while the structure is being constructed.”
Dinsmore added that the newspaper will be guaranteed more than 100 parking spots in the new building, which will retain parking underground and possibly at the ground level.
In her memo, Dell said the The Bee has been fielding inquiries about the parking structure for about five years.
One of the first companies to express interest in the site was the Whole Foods grocery chain, according to Turton. Later, Raleys also entered into negotiations for the property, he said, but no deal was made.
More recently, developers with plans for housing have expressed interest in the structure, which is considered particularly valuable because it takes up a full city block.