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Sacramento artist lofts draw an early crowd

About 150 to 200 applicants showed up by early Wednesday morning at the offices of the Capitol Area Development Authority to apply for spaces in the affordable Warehouse Artist Lofts, a new affordable arts community on R Street in midtown Sacramento.
About 150 to 200 applicants showed up by early Wednesday morning at the offices of the Capitol Area Development Authority to apply for spaces in the affordable Warehouse Artist Lofts, a new affordable arts community on R Street in midtown Sacramento. Capitol Area Development Authority

By early Wednesday morning, about 150 to 200 people had lined up to try to score one of the 86 affordable apartments in the Warehouse Artist Lofts, a new 116-unit community aimed at low- and moderate-income artists on R Street in midtown Sacramento.

Some had camped out since Tuesday at the offices of the Capitol Area Development Authority at 14th and P streets, where applications were taken starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Others trickled in during the night. A sizable crowd had gathered by the time the doors opened.

“It was pretty chill,” said painter Jose Di Gregorio, who spent part of the night sleeping on a long couch cushion he’d brought from home. One young man blasted techno music from a boom box for hours, but other artists eventually told him to quiet down around 7 a.m., Di Gregorio said.

Late-night pizza and musicians playing banjos helped pass the time, he said.

The lofts, still under construction, are a first for Sacramento. Built from a renovated historic warehouse and an adjoining new structure, the lofts will provide upscale housing in a prime location for artists who make from 30 percent to 60 percent of the area’s median income.

That means, for instance, that a family of four earning about $21,000 a year could rent a three-bedroom apartment with soaring windows for $535 a month. The complex also has market-rate studio apartments going for $1,100 to $1,250 a month.

The community is planned as a place where artists can socialize, collaborate and display their work at the center of the R Street corridor, a once-gritty industrial area being turned into Sacramento’s primary arts district, with shopping, dining and living spaces.

Ali Youssefi, vice president of lofts builder CFY Development, said that 149 applications had been processed by lunchtime Wednesday. Representatives were on hand Wednesday at the CADA offices to take in paperwork.

“It’s sort of a one-day thing,” Youssefi said.

An office will be set up in the coming weeks at the lofts on R Street, between 11th and 12th streets, to accept further applications, he said. More information can be found at www.rstreetwal.com.

“It’s exciting that once this building is full, the energy and creativity that’s going to come from it,” he said.

Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

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