Showtime for John Saca


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His family has Sacramento in its DNA.  He went to Sacramento State.  His family’s “Filco” stores has been a part of Sacramento for decades.

He’s ambitious, a formative salesman and for a brief moment, he was the prince of Sacramento.

His project “The Towers on Capitol  Mall with two, fifty three story condominiums would have Image result for Northwest corner of 10th and j sacramento  changed the face of and quite possibly the image of  Sacramento.

 This massive  (500 million dollar) project would have been the most expensive in the city’s history.   In contrast, the Golden 1 Center was less than 600 million.  Before one support piling was shoved into the ground, one tower had completely sold out.    Financing for the project collapsed and CalPers reportedly the giant lot at 3rd and Capitol.

The collapse of the Capitol Tower, may have been a good thing for Saca. As the nations real estate market south, selling out the second tower and the rest of te complex would have been a challenge.   Less ambitious projects in midtown struggled for years.

In 2014, nearly seven years after the Capitol Towers project. John Saca said he would build the another Condominium/Hotel project at 10 the J Streets. “The Metropolitan” like the Capitol Towers project,  would be the largest and tallest building of its kind in the city .

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While this is John Saca’s vision for 10th and J Streets

This is what it looks like today

The block on J Street between 10 and 11 is arguably the worst block in downtown Sacramento.  As both sides of the street is filled with vacant boarded up buildings.

One side of the street is Saca’s property on the other side is the former Copenhagen Furniture Store and several other closed and boarded up stores. Copenhagen closed after a fire in the ninties and relocated across town.

Thirty to forty percent of first time visitors to Sacramento, travel down J street to the Convention Center or the Memorial Auditorium. Visitors staying at the popular Citizen Hotel pass by those empty boarded up buildings on route to the convention center.   Finally, after more the twenty years, the city has said enough to the owners of those properties.

Last week the City told Saca, he had until July to move forward with his project or he risks losing his rights to build on that site.   In other words, he would have to start over and reapply.

There are many of us rooting for John Saca, the local boy with a dream.

A former Sacramentian, now living in San Diego resently said about her home town.

 I think it’s safe to say Sacramento is the single most stagnant city on Earth. If New York City is “The City that Never Sleeps,” Sacramento is “The City that Only Gets Up When it Has To.”

Julianna Ress

The tallest single use condominium in Sacramento is the 14 floor Capitol Towers built in the sixes.    While there are several condo projects  on the drawing boards, none are under construction.  Including a smaller mixed used project on the site of  former Saca project at third and Capital.

The newest project atop the new Sawyer hotel adjacent to the Golden One Center has has sold more than half of the condominiums in less then four months.  The units are range in price from $600,000 to 4.1 million. The first homeowners should move in a few weeks

Other cities similar in size to Sacramento have several projects in the sky.  Our leaders in Sacramento, often get it wrong.   They propose expanding a convention center that has never been profitable.   Many cities planted seeds to get the first large projects off the ground.  They saw the benefits of bringing  empty nesters and the well healed back downtown.  Sacramento’s leadership isn’t quite there..

While is original vision did not come to fruition.   To his credit, Saca convinced quite few hundred people in a city with low aspirations. to share his vision.    That says a lot about his abilities as a salesman.

Despite his best efforts, he fouled out.  Locating a lender willing to take a risk on a large project could be daunting.

I am unashamedly a fan.   There are a quite of few of us ,who wants the local guy to put his signature on Sacramento’s bleak skyline.  To believe in Sacramento and people here.  But, everyone starts from START.  I hope he pushes ego aside and secure financing on a smaller project,say,  20 story condo on that site.

If he is the salesman he was in 2006, he will have his sky shattering building in the sky in few years.    The city will work with him, he still has few fans in high places in the city but they are waning.  The Sac Bee reports, neither he or a representative attended the zoning meeting last week  We are  often judged is by our actions.  Can he bring this project forward or is he man with dreams and renderings?

News At 11

CityFella

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LadyBird, LadyBird, LadyBird -(Miscellaneous Ramblings on a well received movie)


 

The little indi movie with the big voice shot in Sacramento* broke wide last weekend expanding to nearly 900 theaters in the US and Canada.

I was interested in Ladybird before I knew what it was.  I assumed it was a movie about the former first lady, Ladybird Johnson.

I’ve seen the movie twice.  Once with a fellow babyboomer and again last Tuesday with five girls who ranged in age , from 17 to 23.    With the one exception everyone has seen the movie before, one girl has seen the movie five times.

 It was interesting seeing the movie from their perspective. Initially I thought the appeal was seeing their hometown, but as I listened to their comments and reactions it was very interesting. the some of the scenes resonated with each lady differently.  There was one scene that moved all of us.  It happened at Terminal A.  Some of the ladies prepared themselves for the scene.  But I was the most surprised by my reaction. Our entire row was a lake of tears, five girls and the giant.  Thankfully they  had ample tissue.

Some of the girls want to see again next Tuesday.   I didn’t commit although they “DO” have the snacks.

  1. It’s a good thing it’s an independent film.  This coming of age film, is honest, and extremely intelligent,    The big studios would have ruined this gem, by adding cliques and touches to appeal to the masses.
  2. Who in the Hell is Saoirse Ronan. She is a fucking force as Ladybird.  The 23 year old has been nominated twice. A Best Supporting Actress nominee for Atonement, and a Best Actress nominee for Brooklyn.  Critics believe she is a shoo in for Ladybird.
  3. Speaking of Buzz there is Oscar buzz for Laurie Metcalf in what some are saying is her role of a lifetime as Ladybirds, hypercritical mother.  Her role is complex, she isn’t a monster, I believe Ladybird gives her oxygen even though she is carrying the entire world on her shoulders .
  4. This movie is the best reviewed movie of 2017.  Don’t take my word for it.  Simply Google “Ladybird” the movie.  The life force behind the movie is first time writer director and former Sacramento resident Greta Gerwig! There isn’t a villain here (sorry Hollywood) simply regular people.
  5. Sucks to be Greta Gerwig, hitting a home run the first time at bat. Expectations for the next film will be high.  There is a small part of me that she would use Sacramento in all her future films like Woody Allen who uses New York as his back drop.

 

CityFella

A series of bad decisions


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I’m in the Wally Mart parking lot . A man who looked like he was going to ask me for money, asked me for money saying he ” Keeps making a series of bad decisions which leaves him without money, like now!   I immediately reached into my pocket to give him money, but all I had was a twenty.  He smiled as he walked away.   As I was walking into the store, I wished I had five dollars to give him.  Who knows what bad decision he made to get him in today’s predicament, drugs, drink or like the rest of us a simple bad decision.

Its often fifty fifty, our decisions.  Will it work, its it a good idea?   Of course there are perfect individuals around us, these people are flawless and very judgmental of others.  These people are delusional and sometime dangerous (45) because some of them are in influential positions. Parents, teachers, members of the clergy who will demand perfection from others when they are flawed.  Damaging some innocents for decades.

I try to avoid perfect individuals. As I am flawed.  A broken egg is a broken egg, I will handle the next egg with special care.  There was a lesson there.   My prayer is to make new  mistakes and not repeating old ones.

Unlike perfect people, I am able to laugh at myself.  I’m human, my fall was stupid, I saw the banana on the ground and I stepped on it anyway.  Now my big ass is on the ground, and my lunch is paste.  NEXT!

The guy in the parking lot will haunt me for a while, but for a good reason.  With so much deceit in the world, the truth is often like a drop of rain in the desert.  It’s soo refreshing but it was only a drop.

CityFella

Big Man Rides @ 2017 Sacramento International Auto Show


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You asked for it and were back “Big Man Rides” and we’ve  invaded the 2017 International Auto Show, a great venue to see what fits a Big Man or plus woman.

Just as a reminder I stand 6.4 and weight over three hundred pounds(a big man!)

The Sacramento International Auto Show is a third tiered auto show.  Its not New York ,Detroit or Los Angeles No new or innovative models No unavailing’s. and many of the manufactures present were not staffed. which is unfortunate.   Missing in Action in Sacramento was Land Rover, Jaguar, Genesis,Mini, Volvo,Mercedes, Cadillac, and Tesla.

Also missing was some new models from Ford and Lincoln.  Ford new Ecosport SUV and the new for 2018 Ford Expedition and Lincoln’s Navigator was shut tight.  The New Buick Regal was missing .

The Good The Bad,  The Ugly and Surprises from the 2017 Sacramento International Auto show

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Crowd Pleasers

People waiting to sit in these vehicles 

1.  Lexus LC5000

2. Acura NSX

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3. Lincoln Continental

4. Chrysler Pacifica

 

For the second year in a row. More people wanted to test drive Fiat/Chrysler Vehicles *

People waiting in lines to test drive the Charger, Challenger, Chrysler 300,Pacifica and Durango

*However, there was no waiting for any of the Fiat’s

The Good

You get for what you pay for and Chevy, Ford and Toyota brought their A game!

America’s Three best selling car makes had professional representatives to answers any and all questions.  With tablets in hand, the representatives could direct show attendees to a dealership near their home.

 

Ford had a giant display and a drive simulator.  At Toyota,well dressed professionals were available to answer questions.  But the nod goes to Chevrolet, the representatives unlike Ford and Toyota were well spaced all over there floor readily available to answer questions about every Chevy on the floor.  I wish they would have featured the well received Bolt.

 

The Bad

White or Grey?

The worst exhibitor by an Elk Grove inch was the local dealer Niello .   The Audi/BMW dealership shared a room with Roseville Infinity.   None  of the vehicles  had power with made seat adjustments impossible.   Neither dealership staffed the exhibit (11am) no one was available to answer questions about these fifty to seventy thousand dollar vehicles.

 

The Ugly

 Alfa Romeo has returned to the american market after a 20 years absence.

These sexy beasts were left in the lots at Niello

 Someone at Niello,thought randomly placing a bland white Giulia with an Irish leaf on the Italian car near the Honda exhibit, was a good idea .

“Surprises” 

Honda introduced an all new Odyssey for 2018.  But if Sacramento is an indication, the year old Chrysler Pacifica was the clearly the crowd favorite.

 

 

Family Wars 

All new Honda Accord vs Toyota Camry

 

 

 

Both cars are handsome. Cost cutting is more evident in the Accord, it seems narrow. While the Camry has more front seat room, leg and width, the Accord has more rear leg room.  Camry’s Interior is absolutely un Camry, its sexy.  (did I say that?)

 

Lil Sleeper 2018 Honda Fit

 

I didn’t!    you might.  I was able to get in this tiny car and close the door.  That says a lot.   If your a big guy and not 6.4, this car may be worth a look.   Inside with the rear seats down is amazing.

 

Biggest Surprise

2018 Subaru Impreza 

Subaru?  The 2018 may not look much different than the 2017. However its all new on a new platform.  I was very surprised by the front leg room (Sorry Accord) and the room overall. The build quality is German like and for 2018 Subaru offers Apple car play and Android Auto.  When you factor in all wheel drive 38 on the highway and Subaru’s reputation for safety for less the 25K  and its good looking.   For singles and small families who occasionally travel to Tahoe or Reno.  This is da Stuff!

 

“No dark Interiors”

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

 

 

Clean lines, roomy, and no dark boring interiors

 

Volkswagen Up’s its the ante 

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2018 Tiguan

 

They may have a winner in the 3 row midsize SUV  The 2018 Atlas is extremely roomy.  My 6’1 friend sat in the third row and lived.

 

Takeways 

Room to Spare

Cars made by General Motors ( Buick Cadillac Chevrolet GMC)   Hyundai (Kia)  Volkswagen ( Audi Porsche Volkswagen) on average seem to have a bit more leg/ hip room then the other automakers

 

Interiors (Something other than Black) 

BMW  Hyundai (Kia)  Lexus  Volkswagen  General Motors

 

“Big Man Rides”

Were back, we will be testing cars beginning with The Chevy Bolt.

 

 

 

Sacramento: The Best Place to Stay when you want to get your Party On!


 

 Long lines down 15th waiting to enter Midtown’s “Ultra Lounge

18 Blocks Long (10th to 28th)

5 blocks wide (I to Capitol)

Its the weekend, and your looking for grown up entertainment, in most cities San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland if you want to change to a different venue say classical to rock.  It means you must drive across town.

In midtown Sacramento, Moroccan Belly Dancers are a block from LGBT dance clubs, a block from Beer Gardens, Live Rock Venues, Country, Sports Bars, Cigar Bars, Wine Tasting Rooms  Blues Clubs. and Restaurants.

Sacramento?

The Best Place to Stay in And Get your party on?

Residence Inn Capitol Park


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The Residence Inn Capital Park is the ONLY hotel in Sacramento that has six restaurants, two dance clubs and four bars on the same block!  

If you have a fear of crossing streets this is your place in Sactown!

 The hotel has its own a bar and grill called ” The HOTEL Bar .  

You literally do not have to leave the block!

Should you cross the street…..

There are nine more restaurants and two of dance clubs and of course the State Capitol

The Ultra Lounge is directly Across the Streets as is Cafeteria 15L

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Drink and Ride

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Sactown’s Midtown is lively, surprising, with a variety of restaurants and venues. Park you car, you’ll find something in Midtown.

Note: This is not a paid advertisement for the Residence Inn Capitol Park.

 

He Urinated on the Deputy


 

Placer County Deputies noticed ,Sacramento resident, Steven Holley was acting strangely around the Miners Ravine Natures Preserve in Granite Bay on Thursday..

In a short struggle with the deputies, the 55 year old’s dingy sprung a leak and he urinated on the Deputy.

The Deputies found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, on the moist suspect.

Perhaps, Holley will used the patent”I was looking for a rest room and how did those get in there?”defense.

CityFella

 

Fully Employed and Homeless


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Photo\Sacramento Bee

No they’re not colorful mirage’s lining the streets of Sacramento.  Camping tents are nightly homes for some of the thousands of homeless individuals in Sacramento. The fortunate have tents and sleeping bags the majority sleep on the city streets without shelter sleeping directly in elements

Many of the homeless are fully employed . Living in cars, other in tents.  Trying to save enough to move into an apartment.   Some have been displaced by rising rents. There are jobs in Sacramento, most paying less than $16.00 an hour.   To afford an apartment in the city, you need to earn nearly $32.00 an hour.

I recently met a family living inside a shell of a relatively new truck at a downtown park.   In July, this family of four received a notice that their rent would increase by $600 on a home they have lived in four years.   Three members of the family are  fully employed, the youngest is in middle school. Every morning they drive him to school every morning.

The family meals are prepared in local parks.  At night they sleep in the bed of the truck and shower at a near by truck stop.  The family is relocating to Woodland next month ,downsizing to a two bed room apartment.  The relocation mean two members of the household  will have to find new jobs.

In much of the state renters are more than concerned as rents are increasing at high rate, displacing thousands of Californians. While there is some resistance in government to implement rent control. it’s difficult to justify rent increases of 30% or more with out capitol improvements or tax increases it is simply a form of gouging

This form of gouging will add  to homeless population and have a negative effect of the cities funds . In 2015, the city said it spends more than $13.6 million annually to address homeless.  The homeless population has increased by 31% in the last two years.

According to the 2015 Point-in-Time Homeless Count for Sacramento County, on any given night,approximately 2,650 people throughout Sacramento County experience homelessness. Over the course of a year, it is estimated that over 5,000 people will be homeless for one or more nights in Sacramento. While the majority of these people are sheltered, just over one third (predominantly single adults) are unsheltered, typically sleeping in their vehicles, an encampment, or another outdoor location.

????? If your rent increased  by 40% or more. Could you absorb the cost or would you relocate?

CityFella