CVV News l August 9, 2023
SACRAMENTO – It was announced today at a press conference that the Department of General Services (DGS) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) have selected McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. (MBS) as leader of the developer team to redevelop three state office buildings along Capitol Mall in Sacramento into affordable housing.
Why it matters: In 2019, to help address California’s Housing crisis, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-06-19 to make excess state properties available for conversion to affordable housing. The three Sacramento buildings could transform to upwards of 400 new homes with a range of affordability right in the heart of downtown Sacramento.
What Governor Newsom said: “We need to build more housing, faster. Everyone in California deserves to have a home and in just a few years we’ve made significant investments and progress to address the state’s housing crisis. Projects like these are reimagining what our cities look like – creating more housing near transit, work, and shops – all while increasing affordability and fighting climate change.”
Governor Newsom has prioritized affordable housing redevelopment for underutilized state properties. This award will explore the adaptive reuse potential of some of those properties and could serve as a model for projects across the state. Uniquely located steps from the State Capitol where there is already high frequency light rail and bus service, walkability to jobs, services, and amenities—this climate-smart community could serve as an example of infill infrastructure investments that build more housing faster and help more people be less reliant on cars to get where they need to go.
In January, in keeping with the Governor’s Executive Order, DGS and HCD issued a Request for Qualifications for the headquarters of the Employment Development Department (EDD) at 800 Capitol Mall, the EDD Solar Building at 751 N Street, and the State Personnel Board Building at 801 Capitol Mall, all located in downtown Sacramento. The guidelines set a priority for project visions that had adaptive reuse but allowed for alternative development scenarios.
“Post-pandemic, we have a new group of state buildings that can be put to vital use providing housing for Californians who need it,” said California Government Operations Secretary Amy Tong. “The selection of a developer for this special Sacramento site is an exciting milestone in our ongoing effort to increase the supply of housing in our state.”
“These three state buildings along Capitol Mall show the great potential of the Governor’s Executive Order to transform underutilized state properties in partnership with local governments,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “These buildings are in downtown Sacramento, in a walkable neighborhood, close to light rail and bus lines and near jobs, shopping and health care. We look forward to the development team’s concepts and working closely with the city of Sacramento.”
“Adaptive reuse is a tool that can revitalize downtown areas impacted by hybrid work, and we have been looking forward to putting forward a demonstration project for the concept in our excess sites program,” said DGS Director Ana M. Lasso. “We are hopeful that this will be just that project. To be working on a project like this, so close to the Capitol, with our partners at HCD, the City of Sacramento, and the MBS team, is an extraordinary opportunity.”
“The re-envisioning of these office buildings will reinvigorate a downtown that is walkable and close to transit, services, and amenities, and will create more climate-friendly housing for all,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “This project will assist hundreds of working families struggling with housing security and will attract new businesses while giving a boost to existing businesses.”
“The transformation of these large office buildings on the Capitol Mall into housing will help Sacramento achieve two important goals: Bringing more residents downtown and creating more places where people can afford to live,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We are eager to partner with Governor Newsom’s administration on this project and many others.”
The development team selected for the project is led by MBS, a firm that – over the past 50 years – has completed more than 200 projects, built more than 25,000 homes and 1.6 million square feet of retail and commercial space, and has created innovative and economically sustainable communities in over 48 cities across 25 states and territories. They are joined by a strong group of partners, including Perkins&Will, Paulett Taggart Architects, Page & Turnbull, PAE Engineers, Vanir Construction Management, Inc., SCA Environmental, Inc., Holmes Structures, Urban Strategies, Inc., Klein Hornig, and McCormack Baron Management.
MBS’ vision for the site includes 400-800 homes across all three sites. The homes will come in various sizes, from studios to three-bedroom homes, and serve various incomes, with approximately 370 affordable homes, 170 of which will be reserved for very low-income households. The project also envisions amenities including community rooms, a large roof deck, and a mixed-income childcare center.
The Department of General Services acts as the business manager for the state of California. DGS helps state government better serve the public by providing services to state agencies including procurement and acquisition solutions, real estate management, leasing and design services, environmentally friendly transportation, and architectural oversight and funding for the construction of safe schools.
HCD helps to provide stable, safe homes affordable to veterans, seniors, young families, farm workers, tribes, people with disabilities, and individuals and families experiencing homelessness so that Every California resident can live, work, and play in healthy communities of opportunity.
In The News: Venus Williams On Homelessness And Health Care In Los Angeles
By Madison-June 21, 2022
Venus Williams is using her platform to help those in need of healthcare, education and homes in the city she was raised.
“It’s so important to talk about these topics because if we’re not talking about them, then we can’t address them,” Williams told Los Angeles. “So we have to have these conversations and then we’re able to start to have action.”
That action includes partnering with Blue Shield of California to help bring attention to the bias that exists today in healthcare. Williams wanted to work with the organization in order to spread awareness on a variety of issues including her auto-immune disorder Sjorgren’s Syndrome, mental health, black maternal health, fitness and wellness.
“It’s so important to service the use of the community. I’ve worked with Blue Shield on the ‘Hear Me’ campaign recently and it highlighted people whose voices haven’t been heard, which is disproportionately women and women of color,” Williams said. “I want to make sure these voices are heard and that we’re serving a community — and this is my community, I was born right here in Southern California.”
LAMag talked to the tennis champ on the blue carpet at the 6th Annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodgers Stadium. The sold out, star-studded evening featured sets by award-winning celebrity DJ D-Nice and an exclusive concert from global superstar, Jennifer Lopez. A record-breaking $3.6 million was raised to support the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation in their mission to improve education, health care, homelessness, and social justice for all Angelenos. Williams believes the annual gala is a great celebration because it gives more athletes the opportunity to use their platform to help others.
“I think you realize as your life goes on and your career goes on, ‘Wow, I’ve been so blessed to have this opportunity of a lifetime, so now I have to give back to others.’ There’s nothing more exciting than that,” she said. “Mentoring for me has just been so rewarding, helping the community has been so rewarding and makes me feel good. It’s not even about feeling good, but that feeling of realizing you can be a part of something so much bigger than yourself brings overwhelming joy.”