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B-Street Nears Financing Plan and K St Update

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  • Bruce Holmes
    From Today s Sacramento Business Journal B St. Theatre sets stage for final financing of new complex It’s showtime for the B Street Theatre, which is trying
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 5, 2010
      From Today's Sacramento Business Journal

      B St. Theatre sets stage for final financing of new complex



      It’s showtime for the B Street Theatre, which is trying to raise $10 million to complete the financing for its planned midtown theater complex at 27th Street and Capitol Avenue.

      The $24 million project has been in the works for about five years, with various revisions and downsizing along the way. Plans now call for two theaters, with project review by the city starting next year and ground breaking slated for 2012.

      The theater company is counting on raising the $10 million from individual investors via naming rights for the theater and seats — the latter for $2,500 each. It’s also selling ceramic stars for $5,000 a pop that will be used to decorate the buildings’ interiors.

      “We’re doing campaigns with seats, bricks, stars. You name it,” said Bill Blake, B Street Theatre’s managing director.

      B Street plans to finance an additional $5 million through seat charges — a facilities fee that’s added to ticket prices.

      Although fundraising is difficult in this economy, the theater is trying to raise far less money than when the plan first materialized five years ago. The company pared about $10 million from its initial plans.

      To help attract investors, the theater is touting the economic impacts of its expansion. Constructing the theater will create 120 jobs, and the expanded theater will hire another 76 employees. In addition, it should help generate business for nearby restaurants.

      “There are no restaurants within a half-mile of the current location. There are more than 50 within a half-mile of the new location,” said Jamie Romas, capital campaign manager with B Street.

      The theater currently is at 27th and B streets, adjacent to the main north-south line of the Union Pacific railroad. It’s at the edge of midtown in a residential neighborhood nestled against a levee protecting the central city from the American River.

      “If you are really thoughtful about it, you don’t put a theater next to a railroad track. You don’t put a theater next to the California National Guard. You don’t put a theater in a primarily residential neighborhood,” Blake said. “You do put a theater in a place where people can park one time and have an evening.”

      The theater began in 1986 when brothers Tim and Buck Busfield started Fantasy Theatre, a professional theater group performing for children at schools. They launched B Street Theatre in a former roofing supply warehouse in 1991. The theater features professional actors in original plays, but it does have a funky vibe, especially given its location.

      “The new location makes a huge difference. This will be a new world for the people who go to B Street,” said Randy Paragary, restaurateur and owner of four restaurants in the neighborhood around the new B Street location.

      Having the new theater amid the string of restaurants along 28th street in midtown “will be a more complete experience and it will be a lot more fun” for theater-goers, he said.

      Fundraising for the theater has been complicated by the many changes in the project’s design. At first, it was slated to be a stand-alone theater. Then there was a plan calling for a mid-rise condominium complex with the theater at its base. The condos would have subsidized the construction of the theater’s shell.

      When the housing market collapsed, the condo component briefly was envisioned as apartments or office space, but that didn’t work out either.

      “It’s always good when you dream big, and it’s better when you can come up with something that is feasible,” said Richard Lewis, executive producer of California Musical Theatre, which puts on shows in Music Circus, the Broadway Series and the Cosmopolitan Cabaret.

      The simpler plan is more appealing to long-time patrons who have grown fond of the current venue, Romas said. “The theater we are going to get now is more designed with B Street DNA.”

      The new adult theater would contain 250 seats, just 50 more than the current theater. But the children’s theater would grow from 112 to 365 seats, possibly becoming a statewide destination rather than just a regional draw.

      “The economy is tough right now and it is difficult, but we can’t just wait until the economy is better. This might be the new normal,” Romas said. “We’re not looking for one big donation. We would like to see a lot of donations.”

      Sutter Health got naming rights for the children’s theater because it donated the land. But there are still naming rights available for the B Street stage as well as the entire complex.

      Although the Sacramento region has had a reputation of being a difficult place to raise money for arts, that has changed in the past decade.

      Several large projects have been funded, not just by large donors, but by small, individual donors as well. These include the $61 million Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2002 at the University of California Davis; the California Musical Theatre, which opened its $12.5 million, 2,200-seat Wells Fargo Pavillion in 2003; and this year’s $100 million expansion of the Crocker Art Museum.

      Still ongoing is a fundraising campaign to build the $25 million E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts at 13th and H streets.

      It will house offices and rehearsal space for the California Musical Theatre, Sacramento OperaSacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sacramento Ballet.

      The project got a $9 million contribution from the city, a $5 million city loan, and has raised about $8 million, including $5 million donated by local philanthropist Joyce Raley Teel in memory of her mother. It has another $3 million to go.

      “It is a very difficult time to raise money,” Lewis said. “First of all, the Crocker Art Museum got out there and collected a lot of money in this community — and rightfully so,” and second, real estate developers who typically make up much of the philanthropic base locally are not in a position to give right now.


      manderson@... | 916-558-7874


      K St Update

      Developer proposes music venue to anchor K Street’s 700 block

      Premium content from Sacramento Business Journal - by Michael Shaw

      Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 6:30pm PDT
      Rendering courtesy of D&S Development

      The music venue on the 700 block of K Street will be on the former site of the Men’s Wearhouse.

      A music venue for 500 people will anchor the revamped K Street Mall, say developers designing mixed-use projects on the corridor long considered ground zero for the rebirth of downtown Sacramento.

      The multi-tiered concert space will sit on the corner of K and 7th streets, alongside local retailers and restaurants with a “Main Street” feel of second-story apartments inside K Street’s historic shops. That’s according to D&S Development, one of the partners negotiating with the city to remake the 700 block and enhance nightlife along the corridor.

      The urban renewal can’t come soon enough for Sacramento, which will have invested more than $60 million in remaking two blocks of K Street if projects proposed there are built. While the city is looking to complete these deals, it also is examining the post-recession course for infill and redevelopment.

      There has been $617 million invested in downtown over the past five years in 22 projects and all but five were to have been public-private partnerships. The K street projects on the 700 and 800 blocks also will be public-private partnerships that rely on subsidies.

      “The project addresses a lot of the concerns about K Street,” said Bay Miry, a principal of D&S Development. “It has significant housing, diverse and predominantly local retail, and removes blight.”

      The development team on the 800 block, headed by David S. Taylor Interests Inc.

    • Matthew Piner
      I saw they posted a sign at the site at 27th and Capitol with a nice rendering of the Theater to B ... MP
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 5, 2010
        I saw they posted a sign at the site at 27th and Capitol with a nice
        rendering of the Theater to 'B'...

        MP

        On Nov 5, 2010, at 12:21 PM, Bruce Holmes wrote:

        >
        > From Today's Sacramento Business Journal
        >
        > B St. Theatre sets stage for final financing of new complex
        >
        >
        >
        > It’s showtime for the B Street Theatre, which is trying to raise $10
        > million to complete the financing for its planned midtown theater
        > complex at 27th Street and Capitol Avenue.
        >
        > The $24 million project has been in the works for about five years,
        > with various revisions and downsizing along the way. Plans now call
        > for two theaters, with project review by the city starting next year
        > and ground breaking slated for 2012.
        >
        > The theater company is counting on raising the $10 million from
        > individual investors via naming rights for the theater and seats —
        > the latter for $2,500 each. It’s also selling ceramic stars for
        > $5,000 a pop that will be used to decorate the buildings’ interiors.
        >
        > “We’re doing campaigns with seats, bricks, stars. You name it,” said
        > Bill Blake, B Street Theatre’s managing director.
        >
        > B Street plans to finance an additional $5 million through seat
        > charges — a facilities fee that’s added to ticket prices.
        >
        > Although fundraising is difficult in this economy, the theater is
        > trying to raise far less money than when the plan first materialized
        > five years ago. The company pared about $10 million from its initial
        > plans.
        >
        > To help attract investors, the theater is touting the economic
        > impacts of its expansion. Constructing the theater will create 120
        > jobs, and the expanded theater will hire another 76 employees. In
        > addition, it should help generate business for nearby restaurants.
        >
        > “There are no restaurants within a half-mile of the current
        > location. There are more than 50 within a half-mile of the new
        > location,” said Jamie Romas, capital campaign manager with B Street.
        >
        > The theater currently is at 27th and B streets, adjacent to the main
        > north-south line of the Union Pacific railroad. It’s at the edge of
        > midtown in a residential neighborhood nestled against a levee
        > protecting the central city from the American River.
        >
        > “If you are really thoughtful about it, you don’t put a theater next
        > to a railroad track. You don’t put a theater next to the California
        > National Guard. You don’t put a theater in a primarily residential
        > neighborhood,” Blake said. “You do put a theater in a place where
        > people can park one time and have an evening.”
        >
        > The theater began in 1986 when brothers Tim and Buck Busfield
        > started Fantasy Theatre, a professional theater group performing for
        > children at schools. They launched B Street Theatre in a former
        > roofing supply warehouse in 1991. The theater features professional
        > actors in original plays, but it does have a funky vibe, especially
        > given its location.
        >
        > “The new location makes a huge difference. This will be a new world
        > for the people who go to B Street,” said Randy Paragary,
        > restaurateur and owner of four restaurants in the neighborhood
        > around the new B Street location.
        >
        > Having the new theater amid the string of restaurants along 28th
        > street in midtown “will be a more complete experience and it will be
        > a lot more fun” for theater-goers, he said.
        >
        > Fundraising for the theater has been complicated by the many changes
        > in the project’s design. At first, it was slated to be a stand-alone
        > theater. Then there was a plan calling for a mid-rise condominium
        > complex with the theater at its base. The condos would have
        > subsidized the construction of the theater’s shell.
        >
        > When the housing market collapsed, the condo component briefly was
        > envisioned as apartments or office space, but that didn’t work out
        > either.
        >
        > “It’s always good when you dream big, and it’s better when you can
        > come up with something that is feasible,” said Richard Lewis,
        > executive producer of California Musical Theatre, which puts on
        > shows in Music Circus, the Broadway Series and the Cosmopolitan
        > Cabaret.
        >
        > The simpler plan is more appealing to long-time patrons who have
        > grown fond of the current venue, Romas said. “The theater we are
        > going to get now is more designed with B Street DNA.”
        >
        > The new adult theater would contain 250 seats, just 50 more than the
        > current theater. But the children’s theater would grow from 112 to
        > 365 seats, possibly becoming a statewide destination rather than
        > just a regional draw.
        >
        > “The economy is tough right now and it is difficult, but we can’t
        > just wait until the economy is better. This might be the new
        > normal,” Romas said. “We’re not looking for one big donation. We
        > would like to see a lot of donations.”
        >
        > Sutter Health got naming rights for the children’s theater because
        > it donated the land. But there are still naming rights available for
        > the B Street stage as well as the entire complex.
        >
        > Although the Sacramento region has had a reputation of being a
        > difficult place to raise money for arts, that has changed in the
        > past decade.
        >
        > Several large projects have been funded, not just by large donors,
        > but by small, individual donors as well. These include the $61
        > million Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2002
        > at the University of California Davis; the California Musical
        > Theatre, which opened its $12.5 million, 2,200-seat Wells Fargo
        > Pavillion in 2003; and this year’s $100 million expansion of the
        > Crocker Art Museum.
        >
        > Still ongoing is a fundraising campaign to build the $25 million E.
        > Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts at 13th and H streets.
        >
        > It will house offices and rehearsal space for the California Musical
        > Theatre, Sacramento Opera, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and the
        > Sacramento Ballet.
        >
        > The project got a $9 million contribution from the city, a $5
        > million city loan, and has raised about $8 million, including $5
        > million donated by local philanthropist Joyce Raley Teel in memory
        > of her mother. It has another $3 million to go.
        >
        > “It is a very difficult time to raise money,” Lewis said. “First of
        > all, the Crocker Art Museum got out there and collected a lot of
        > money in this community — and rightfully so,” and second, real
        > estate developers who typically make up much of the philanthropic
        > base locally are not in a position to give right now.
        >
        > manderson@... | 916-558-7874
        >
        > K St Update
        >
        > Developer proposes music venue to anchor K Street’s 700 block
        > Premium content from Sacramento Business Journal - by Michael
        > ShawDate: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 6:30pm PDT
        > Related:Retailing & Restaurants, Travel Industry
        > Enlarge Image
        >
        > Rendering courtesy of D&S Development
        > The music venue on the 700 block of K Street will be on the former
        > site of the Men’s Wearhouse.
        >
        > A music venue for 500 people will anchor the revamped K Street Mall,
        > say developers designing mixed-use projects on the corridor long
        > considered ground zero for the rebirth of downtown Sacramento.
        >
        > The multi-tiered concert space will sit on the corner of K and 7th
        > streets, alongside local retailers and restaurants with a “Main
        > Street” feel of second-story apartments inside K Street’s historic
        > shops. That’s according to D&S Development, one of the partners
        > negotiating with the city to remake the 700 block and enhance
        > nightlife along the corridor.
        >
        > The urban renewal can’t come soon enough for Sacramento, which will
        > have invested more than $60 million in remaking two blocks of K
        > Street if projects proposed there are built. While the city is
        > looking to complete these deals, it also is examining the post-
        > recession course for infill and redevelopment.
        >
        > There has been $617 million invested in downtown over the past five
        > years in 22 projects and all but five were to have been public-
        > private partnerships. The K street projects on the 700 and 800
        > blocks also will be public-private partnerships that rely on
        > subsidies.
        >
        > “The project addresses a lot of the concerns about K Street,” said
        > Bay Miry, a principal of D&S Development. “It has significant
        > housing, diverse and predominantly local retail, and removes blight.”
        >
        > The development team on the 800 block, headed by David S. Taylor
        > Interests Inc., has not revealed more concrete plans than when it
        > was selected to negotiate with the city in July.
        >
        > At the time, it proposed 120 housing units, including renovation of
        > the Bel-vue Hotel and 20,000 square feet of retail.
        >
        > Signature projects such as these could be the last of their type for
        > awhile.
        >
        > In a meeting with the Urban Land Institute last week, Leslie
        > Fritzsche, Sacramento’s downtown development manager, said the city
        > will no longer focus on a few small areas or wait for big projects
        > to arrive. At that same meeting, an executive from a major national
        > firm described how redevelopment will be far more challenging in a
        > post-recession world.
        >
        > “Those days are over,” said Mike Daly, a senior vice president of
        > development for Forest City Enterprises Inc., speaking of a time
        > when developers fronted the funds for infrastructure improvements on
        > big developments. “You need to get creative to bridge that gap.”
        >
        > Forest City is a publicly traded real estate firm that has tackled
        > some of the country’s largest projects, including building thousands
        > of housing units at Denver’s decommissioned Stapleton Airport.
        >
        > Daly said it takes 5,000 rooftops to create sufficient demand for
        > one grocery store. Downtown housing falls far short of that.
        >
        > Developer Kipp Blewett, part of the team that created The Citizen
        > hotel, noted that if Sacramento had built all the high-rise
        > condominium towers proposed prior to the recession and real estate
        > crash, it still wouldn’t equal 5,000 rooftops.
        >
        > Blewett, who had pitched a more ambitious concept for K Street, said
        > downtown needs to concentrate on projects that make it a
        > destination, such as The Railyards, a refurbished Downtown Plaza
        > mall, a revamped J-K-L corridor and a new sports and entertainment
        > complex.
        >
        > “If we wait for housing, we’ll be waiting for the next 20 years,” he
        > said.
        >
        > Meanwhile, Fritzsche acknowledged the city needs to advance projects
        > already under way, such as “The Warren” — a 117-condominium project
        > with ground-floor retail on 16th Street proposed by Sacramento-based
        > Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund and Em Johnson Interest of San
        > Francisco. The project needs to pre-sell units to receive financing.
        >
        > “I don’t think we do a good job of marketing and promoting,”
        > Fritzsche said. “We don’t focus our attention as effectively as we
        > can.”
        >
        > On K Street, the D&S and Taylor projects will bring the first new
        > housing to the urban core in years. Development teams expect to
        > complete the deals in the spring and start construction immediately
        > afterward.
        >
        > After touring the buildings on the 700 block, D&S Development
        > dropped the number of proposed apartments there from 136 to 125 and
        > increased the retail space to about 60,000 square feet.
        >
        > The team has a nonbinding letter of interest from the owners of the
        > Shady Lady restaurant — Alex Origoni, Jason Boggs and Garret Van
        > Vleck — to operate the 12,500-square-foot music venue proposed for
        > the buildings now occupied by Men’s Wearhouse and Joe Sun. The venue
        > would include a restaurant and bar.
        >
        > The smaller Shady Lady has a stage for musical acts, and the owners
        > are “plugged into the music scene,” Miry said.
        >
        > He and his partners have identified users for about 70 percent of
        > the retail space. They have nonbinding letters from local retail
        > operators including De Vere’s Irish Pub, Kru and Red Lotus
        > restaurants, and Tuli Bistro. Miry also plans to bring in a clothing
        > boutique and a bakery/diner concept.
        >
        > “We have found a significant amount of potential basement retail
        > space where the original elevation of K Street was,” Miry said. “We
        > have also found potential roof-top retail spaces.”
        >
        > mshaw@... | 916-558-7861
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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