Real Estate News

Court gives go-ahead to controversial 15-story condo project on J Street in midtown

A 2016 rendering of the Yamanee project shows a 15-story tower proposed for midtown at 25th and J streets.
A 2016 rendering of the Yamanee project shows a 15-story tower proposed for midtown at 25th and J streets. CMS Architecture and Design

A state appellate court on Wednesday gave developers the go-ahead to build the tallest building in midtown Sacramento, a 15-story condominium project on the southeast corner of 25th and J streets.

The Yamanee project, which would include 134 residences, had won City Council approval three years ago, but was challenged in court by a neighborhood group opposed to the project’s height.

In its lawsuit, a group called Sacramentans for Fair Planning argued the building is taller than city rules allow at the site, and is inconsistent with population densities in the neighborhood. The group also said the city did not do adequate environmental review under state law.

The building is proposed to be 174 feet tall, much higher than the city zoning maximum for that block of 65 feet. It was first proposed at 13 stories. It would sit across the street from a nine-story senior residence.

In a ruling published on its website, the state Third District Court of Appeal upheld the city’s process and its approval of the building. The city argued the state environmental law allows less-detailed reviews for residential, mixed-use projects such as this when near transit services.

City officials agreed to allow the over-height building despite the concerns of some neighbors as part of a city effort to create more dense housing in the central city, allowing for shorter work commutes, and more non-car commutes. City planning staff expressed enthusiasm for the project in a report to the City Council, saying it offered several community benefits, including good design, more home ownership opportunity and pedestrian connectivity.

Ryan Heater, the developer of the project, could not be reached for comment Wednesday on whether the project has a construction date. One of his attorneys, Jim Wiley, said he did not have a time schedule for construction.

“We’re pleased the court upheld the city’s approval,” Wiley said. “We look forward to the project moving forward.”