Category: ICE Block

Industrial building sells on Sacramento’s suddenly hot R Street

Another industrial building has sold on Sacramento’s R Street, setting the stage for more
redevelopment in what is becoming one of the city’s trendiest commercial districts.

Michael Heller, president of developer Heller Pacific Inc., said Friday his firm purchased
the former Capital Wholesale Electric building at 12th and R streets for an undisclosed

Heller said he and his partner in the project, a company called Ridge Capital, have
already lined up two office tenants and hope to attract a restaurant to fill out the rest of
the 25,000-square-foot building. Capital Wholesale, which owned the property, has
relocated to a spot off Bradshaw Road.

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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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Heller reveals vision for redeveloping Crystal Ice plant in midtown

Sep 19, 2014, 7:30am PDT
Ben van der Meer Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal

Developer Mike Heller of Heller Pacific pulled back the curtain Thursday on future plans for one of midtown Sacramento most visible – and visibly underused – properties.

The former Crystal Ice plant — three separate parcels on either side of R St. between 16th and 18th streets — will have some residential, retail and office components. Heller discussed the plans Thursday to participants in the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s “Development 2015” event at the Crest Theatre.

“I’m very determined to preserve each and every aspect of these old buildings that I can,” Heller said. He said the project wouldn’t be possible without the help of partner Mark Friedman who, like Heller, is known for adaptive re-use of older properties.

Ice Blocks I, the building on the southeast intersection of R and 16th, would become a three-story mixed-use building with large first-floor retail spaces, including outdoor patios. Two floors above would be office space, Heller said, adding, “I’d call it MARRS on steroids.”

Block 2, in the building to the east of Ice Blocks 1, would become a mixed-use project with 150 residential units across two buildings. If it pencils out, Heller said, there’s the possibility of a pool deck on an upper floor in the second block, as well as an outdoor area in the middle of the project.

The last block would be on the property directly north of the Block 2, across R Street and backing up to the Regional Transit light-rail line. Called The Orchard after the chemical company that once operated out of the site, the building would have a preserved façade and a cluster of businesses in smaller spaces.

In all, the project would have 60,000 square feet of retail space, Heller said.

Ben van der Meer covers real estate, development, local and regional planning, construction, transportation, agriculture and water for the Sacramento Business Journal.