Bob Shallit

Developer scuttles plans for midtown apartments

Amid downtown’s building boom, here’s one project that’s not happening.

D&S Development had planned to build an eight-story building with 96 living units above ground-floor retail at the corner of 15th and I streets.

Company exec Bay Miry said Wednesday the firm had changed its plans. The reason: The 8,000-square-foot lot was simply too small for the mixed-use project that was dubbed i15.

“We explored various ways to make it work, but the numbers weren’t there,” he said.

D&S, which earlier this year completed and quickly filled the upscale 16 Powerhouse apartments in midtown, is now looking at other sites for similar projects in the downtown and midtown areas, Miry said. “There’s still a very good market for that type of product.”

D&S planned a joint venture on the project with the property’s owners, Jerry Martinez and Christine Kramer.

Now the couple have instead opted to put the lot – the site of a former auto repair shop – on the market with an asking price of $1.595 million.

“It’s a key piece of property that got a lot of attention over the past two years” while D&S obtained entitlements for development, said Dave Herrera, a Colliers International broker who is listing the property. “And I think it will continue to get a lot of attention.”

Herrera said it would be a good location for a developer looking to build something new, as D&S had planned. Or, he said, an investor could pursue an “adaptive reuse,” keeping the 3,800-square-foot former auto shop that’s still on the site and taking advantage of unusual features that include multiple roll-up doors.

New market in North Sac?

Is a Grocery Outlet store coming to the Del Paso area?

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Developer Paul Petrovich suggested that possibility late Tuesday night in a presentation to the Sacramento City Council. He was more guarded Wednesday, saying in an email that there is “no lease, no purchase agreement to buy the land, so no project.”

But Allen Warren, the City Council member whose district includes Del Paso Boulevard, said the long-rumored project is moving right along.

He said Grocery Outlet, a Bay Area-based chain, is planning a “cool, full-service market” near the southeast corner of El Camino Avenue and Del Paso Boulevard that would help end the neighborhood’s “food desert” designation.

Under the plans being discussed, Petrovich would acquire the land from the city, then build a market and lease it to Grocery Outlet, which has 234 stores nationally and 14 in the Sacramento area.

A spokeswoman for the grocery chain said no lease has been signed for the site but confirmed the company has the location on its list of possible future projects.

She said any new store there would not open until after 2016.

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Warren said the eventual opening of a Grocery Outlet and next month’s planned opening of a Viva Supermarket near the corner of Marysville Boulevard and Grand Avenue are critical steps for the neighborhood’s development.

“A grocery store is a foundation piece,” he said. “It’s something that’s not talked about that much because it’s taken for granted in most neighborhoods. But here it will be a huge shot in the arm.”

Masters of destruction

Sacramentan Rodd Palon is back from a gala event in Europe where his firm, Two Rivers Demolition, was up for a top international award.

The company, nominated for work it did earlier this year dismantling a five-story furnace in Modesto, didn’t win. “We were runner-up,” Palon said this week.

But the local executive said he learned a lot being around the world’s best in tearing things apart. “They’re very cerebral about what they do and they come up with the most phenomenal” solutions, he said.

Win or lose, Palon is still excited about the job that netted his company a nomination and a trip to Amsterdam.

When Two Rivers won the furnace contract, he was told his larger competitors were predicting the company would fail. “They were saying, ‘You bit off more than you can chew and you’re going to go out of business,’ ” he said.

Palon took that information back to his staff. “It fired them up,” he said.

The result: a challenging job completed on time and global recognition.