“You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from,” Joan Didion once wrote. For dozens of Sacramentans, that’ll be the building named after the bestselling author and Sacramento native under construction near the corner of 25th and J streets.
The Didion will house 12 condominiums above a 4,000 square-foot ground-level bakery at 2417 J St., developer Julie Young said. She declined to identify the baker, but said they already have a shop in the greater Sacramento area and would move all production into the midtown building.
Each of the three residential floors above the bakery will have four condos spanning 800 to just over 1,000 square feet, Young said. They’ll be priced between $495,000 and the mid-$600,000s, with four parking spots also available for purchase.
“We see it more for someone who already has their head wrapped around what an urban environment is about,” Young said. “I hope we’re right about Sacramento being ready for something that’s a little different.”
All units will have east-facing balconies spanning their full length and large windows designed to let natural light in, Young said. Each will have an open floor plan under a ten-foot ceiling, with bathrooms varying between units.
Didion was born in Sacramento and grew up to achieve international recognition as a writer, including the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction for “The Year of Magical Thinking.” The White House awarded her the National Medal of Arts in 2013 shortly after she received honorary doctorates from Harvard and Yale universities.
Younger audiences might know Didion as the woman who said “anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento,” which opens St. Francis High School alumnae Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated film “Lady Bird.” Naming the building after Didion rather than, say, the cross streets, served as a way to anchor the project as Sacramento-born, Young said.
“When you think about someone from Sacramento who’s gone out to the world and done great things, you feel this surge of pride, like with Greta Gerwig and ‘Lady Bird,’” she said. “It was a way to pay tribute to somebody who, in my mind, is a real gift to Sacramento and a really talented writer.”
Construction on The Didion is expected to wrap up around November 2019, Young said. Contact Mollie Nelson at (916) 718-4377 or firstname.lastname@example.org to join the wait list for the condos.