Bob Shallit

Upscale housing complex powers up on 16th Street

Some of the penthouse units at 16 Powerhouse are as large as 1,600 square feet.
Some of the penthouse units at 16 Powerhouse are as large as 1,600 square feet.

The “for rent” signs have just gone up at 16 Powerhouse, the new upscale apartment complex at 16th and P streets in midtown Sacramento.

But that sort of marketing may be superfluous. Half of the 50 units already are occupied and the rest are likely to be filled soon – signage or not.

“Word of mouth,” said Bay Miry, one of the project developers, explaining interest in the six-story building, the latest addition to the red-hot 16th Street residential and retailing corridor.

Powerhouse joins Legado de Ravel and the just-started Eviva Midtown apartments as new CADA-sponsored projects in the area. But this one stands out. It’s pricey, for one thing.

One-bedroom units start at about $2,000 a month. The largest penthouses, with two bedrooms, two baths and a mezzanine, go for up to $4,500.

Miry, a partner in the 16 Powerhouse Investors LLC development team, said the point all along was to build a luxury property for an elite clientele.

“This is definitely (aimed at) bringing some spending power to the grid,” he said.

Unlike some CADA projects, this one was done without any sort of subsidies.

The upscale elements include spacious units – ranging from 825 to 1,600 square feet – with large covered balconies and multiple walk-in closets to accommodate downsizing empty-nesters who don’t want to get rid of everything.

“You don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, ‘We want to live downtown, but where are we going to put our clothes?’ ” Miry noted.

Other amenities include Bertazzoni and Bosch appliances and high-end kitchen and bathroom fixtures, ornate staircases, individual-room heating and cooling systems along with enough sustainability elements to make 16 Powerhouse a candidate for top-level LEED Platinum designation. (Among the latter: Big things like a rooftop solar system and small touches like tables and railings in the ground-floor eateries crafted from three 100-foot redwood trees that were once at the project site.)

Another cool feature: a space-saving Klaus auto stacking system – a Sacramento first – that moves parked cars vertically and sideways in a fashion that local real estate blogger Abby Friedman likened to “Tetris but with parking spaces.”

Bay Miry suspects this may be one of the nation’s only unsubsidized apartment projects to win a LEED Platinum designation

On the ground floor, three food spots – Orchid Thai, Insight Coffee Roasters and Sun & Soil Juice Company – already are open and doing well, Miry said. A fourth, Magpie Cafe, is scheduled to open July 8.

The restaurants are part of a three-pronged pitch Miry uses to seal the deal with prospective renters.

He first points out the restaurants, then Fremont Park, directly across the street. Finally, “we show them the units and they’re blown away,” he said.

Among those impressed were Tony and Cheryl Panariello, who were looking to downsize from their 3,500-square-foot home in a gated, golf course community near Roseville.

They looked at several downtown locations but chose 16 Powerhouse because of the neighborhood and the building’s upscale features.

“It feels more like a condo than a rental,” said Tony, an executive with Rabobank in Roseville. The couple’s biggest challenge has been unloading a lifetime of unnecessary possessions.

“We’ve taken seven trips to Goodwill, which is a good feeling,” he said.

16 Powerhouse was truly a collaborative effort by the developers, lender F&M Bank, contractor Tricorp Hearn and CADA, Miry said, adding: “It takes an army to put a project like this together.”