Midtown’s fast-growing Ice Blocks is getting another trendy new tenant: West Elm, the international home decor store, is opening Thursday.
The company features pieces with a clean, sharp, modern aesthetic. Near the middle of the store, there is a coffee table that embodies the store’s design credo – it’s a simple, rectangular pieces made of light wood, with the grain variations still clearly visible. It sits on top of thin rods of blackened steel, giving it an industrial feel. But it’s practical, too – the top of the table pops up to reveal ample storage space, and doubles as a tabletop to work or eat on.
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The once-sleepy government town is attracting a rush of buyers and flurry of development near its Golden 1 Center, a new NBA arena.
By Candace Jackson
Price cuts have been replaced by bidding wars. A once-sleepy downtown is flush with urban-renewal projects. A luxury condo tower with penthouses priced over $4 million is under construction. Sacramento, Calif., long seen as a fairly bland government town, is in the midst of a real estate boom.
When Suzanne Greer listed her six-bedroom home just outside of Sacramento last month, so many potential buyers showed up to the three-hour open house that her real-estate agent had to extend it by two hours. Offers started coming in that evening. Eight buyers entered a bidding war.
“We’ve been here 17 or 18 years and have never seen it like this,” says Ms. Greer, who, with her husband, owns a commercial air conditioning business. She sold the home for $40,000 over the $799,000 asking price—plus two months of free rent so she doesn’t have to move out right away while she builds a new home nearby.
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BY CATHIE ANDERSON
Developer Mike Heller will announce Monday that his Ice Blocks project in midtown Sacramento has signed on a signature retail tenant: West Elm, the contemporary home furnishings store owned by Williams-Sonoma, is set to open in mid-2018.
“Not only is West Elm a great fit for Ice Blocks and all the housing projects under construction in this neighborhood,” Heller said, “it’s also a huge win for Sacramento in general. Along with Urban Outfitters coming to (Downtown Commons), this marks the beginning of a new era of shopping on the grid.”
West Elm will be the largest tenant at Heller Pacific’s Ice Shops, occupying 10,992 square feet. The $80 million, mixed-use Ice Blocks project covers three blocks along the R Street corridor between 16th and 18th streets in midtown Sacramento. There is 30,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level with 100,000 square feet of office space above it.
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By Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak
It is one of midtown Sacramento’s quietest corners, a world away from the hopping nightclubs, restaurants and stores of J and K streets. The industries that once occupied the blocks along Q, R and S streets east of 15th Street mostly departed long ago, leaving a legacy of weedy vacant lots and train tracks.
Now this overlooked part of the central city is about to get a major influx of development. If all goes as planned, it will emerge as one of Sacramento’s most densely populated neighborhoods.
More than 650 apartments and town homes are either under construction or in final planning stages within three blocks of 19th and Q streets. The wave of housing construction – much of it to be offered at upper-end rents and prices – represents the larges concentration of new housing injected into Sacramento’s central city in decades, and promises to turn the area surrounding the midtown Safeway into a teeming village of 1,200 or more residents within the next couple of years.
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After plans for a massive upgrade to the historic Crystal Ice and Cold Storage building went up in smoke, Mike Heller and his team were forced back to the drawing board – here’s how they forged ahead
By Russell Nichols
Nov. 7, 2015
The morning air smells like burning wood.
It’s just after 5 a.m. on a Saturday. Yellow tape blocks off the area between 16th and 18th streets. Mike Heller is sitting by the train tracks on R Street, watching the century-old Crystal Ice and Storage building get burned alive with his dream inside.
No one died. But as fire crews battle the blaze, Heller thinks of his team and the time lost on this project: Two years, 89,000 square feet with 40 percent of tenants ready to move in, a vision for transforming the historic ice plant into an urban hotspot for retail and business – all shot to hell.
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