Sacramento developer Michael Heller plans to turn old Crystal Ice plant into shops, restaurants

Cavernous and decrepit, the century-old Crystal Ice and Cold Storage plant in midtown Sacramento is a key piece of the city’s efforts to turn the once-gritty industrial corridor of R Street into a thriving arts district.

But for the past 20 years, plans to tear the plant down or renovate its buildings, which take up most of the two blocks between 16th and 18th streets, have fallen to official opposition or a sinking economy. The plant remains a prominent eyesore.

Now, Michael Heller, a local developer experienced in the creative reuse of older structures, believes he has a solution that will preserve the best of the plant’s aging industrial character while creating a modern mecca for shoppers, diners, office workers and a slew of new residents.

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