Councilman Steve Hansen: ‘Renaissance’ in midtown has driven up housing costs
Marco Babich, 57, is one of 11 soon-to-be residents of 20PQR, a 32-unit project nestled in Sacramento’s midtown neighborhood.
Currently living in Davis, he and his wife were looking to downsize after their youngest child left home for college last year. The town houses at 20PQR, one of many projects being built in the area, were an attractive option given their proximity to local shops and the home’s urban design.
But it was the project’s rooftop balconies, which are included in most of the 20PQR units, that added the finishing touch to what will be the site of his future home, he said.
“I can see myself sitting there with a cup of coffee in the morning,” Babich said. “You can see the entire city.”
Babich was one of dozens who attended a showing of a 20PQR model home on Saturday, with a mix of soon-to-be residents, curious neighbors and prospective home owners stopping by 20th and Q streets, where the project is taking form.
The block party-style grand opening was meant to give attendees a feel – and taste – of the neighborhood, said Nichole Mifsud, a sales agent with The Grupe Company, one of the project’s developers.
So far, 11 of the 32 homes slotted for the project have been sold. Babich and a few others will begin moving into the townhouses in October and all homes, which are down 20th Street along P, Q and R streets, are expected to be sold by mid-2018.
Prices for the remaining units start at around $610,000, though buyers at that price range won’t get a roof-top deck, Mifsud said. The most costly homes are being sold at almost $700,000. Most of the homes range from about 1,720 square feet to about 1,950 square feet.
On Saturday, free treats from local vendors like Locos Tacos and Eatuscany Cafe were available for those attending the event. Zuda Yoga, located just a few blocks away from the 20PQR housing development, hosted a yoga class on 20th Street, which was closed to traffic.
“Almost all of my homebuyers right now, they’re very active and involved in the yoga studios around here,” Mifsud said. “It was just very fitting.”
Jenny Yun, 38, is a lawyer for the state of California who was attracted to the home’s modern style, something that is not typically seen in Sacramento, she said. Though she liked that she could bike or ride public transportation to work, she was wary of the project’s proximity to train tracks and a nearby bar. She said the price tag for the homes was also more than she would want to pay.
“It’s nice, it’s kind of a sign of what’s to come development-wise,” she said.
The town home prices exceed the median home value in the city by about more than double, with Zillow, the online housing database, estimating the median home value landed at $305,200 for all of Sacramento at the end of July. The median listing price for homes closer to the housing project was higher, ranging from about $567,500 to almost $744,500, according to the housing website.
“The residential market has been very strong in Sacramento, particularly in the central city,” said Jeffrey Michael, who runs the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific.
What makes the area surrounding the 20PQR project appealing is its access to nearby amenities and a shorter commute for those working in Sacramento, Michael said.
The 20PQR project is one of a handful housing developments that are being constructed nearby. Sotiris Kolokotronis, the developer behind the 20PQR project, will break ground at the site of The Sacramento Bee parking garage on Nov. 1 to begin building a 250-plus unit apartment building lined with storefronts and restaurants, he said Saturday. That project has been dubbed The Press.
Construction for Q19, a 68-unit apartment building at 19th and Q streets, is also underway, he said. The first residents of the 142-unit Ice Blocks apartments, on R Street between 16th and 18th streets, began moving in last month.