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Michael F. Malinowski FAIA
President, Applied Architecture, Inc

President, Streamline Institute, Inc 501c3
ICC Existing Building Code Committee 2018-2023
2016 AIA California President
2012-2014 AIA National Director
2008 President AIA Central Valley
2007 Chair Sacramento Development Oversight Commission

2550 X Street Sacramento CA 95818
916 4562656
www.appliedarts.net <www.appliedarts.net>
41 Years of Sensitive and Sensible Architectural Solutions

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Michael F. Malinowski FAIA
President, Applied Architecture, Inc

President, Streamline Institute, Inc 501c3
ICC Existing Building Code Committee 2018-2023
2016 AIA California President
2012-2014 AIA National Director
2008 President AIA Central Valley
2007 Chair Sacramento Development Oversight Commission

2550 X Street Sacramento CA 95818
916 4562656
www.appliedarts.net <www.appliedarts.net>
41 Years of Sensitive and Sensible Architectural Solutions

Not the best way to get into the news …

What crisis? Lawsuit claims urban Sacramento has enough housing, seeks to block apartments

From the Sacramento Bee today …

BY THERESA CLIFT

JANUARY 22, 2021 05:00 AM, 

UPDATED 8 MINUTES AGO

Claiming that new rental housing is not “much needed” in Sacramento’s pricey central city, a midtown property owner is suing the city to block the construction of a six-unit apartment building proposed for a lot that has been vacant for decades.

R. Michael West filed the lawsuit against the city and its preservation commission, which gave the project the green light last month. It seeks to void the city’s approval of a three-story six-unit rental apartment building planned for the corner of 21st and T streets in midtown’s Poverty Ridge neighborhood. West owns a century-old home next to the empty lot through a family trust.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Sacramento County Superior Court, claims the project would “disrupt the architectural character” of the neighborhood and violate federal and city standards for historic areas. It alleges the building would be taller and closer to the street than other buildings in the area. It also claims the infill project should not be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act and that it should include off-street vehicle parking, per city code, because it is not within a quarter mile of a light rail station.

“This proposed building can’t even come close to fitting in,” Catherine Straight told the preservation commission Dec. 16, representing West during an appeal hearing. “It’s grotesque.”

The property owner worked with the city and the neighborhood to revise the design of the building, which does indeed match the character of the neighborhood and is a quarter mile from a light rail station, Matthew Sites, a city urban design staff member, told the commission. The building will be 32 feet tall, which is four feet lower than the historic rules allow, Sites said. The lot has been vacant for 60 to 80 years, Sites said.

The commission denied the appeal, finding the project followed all relevant historic and environmental regulations. Commissioner Ryan Miller recused himself and Commissioner David Lemon was absent. The denial prompted the lawsuit.

The city declined comment on the lawsuit because it has not yet been served, city spokesman Tim Swanson said.

Bottom of Form

The lawsuit comes as Sacramento is experiencing a severe housing crisis, which could worsen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. To keep up with demand, the city of Sacramento would need to issue permits for 45,580 new housing units by 2028, according to an estimate by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

Housing in the central city is especially “much needed,” according to a city staff report. Sacramento has seen some of the largest rent increases in the nation, and rents in the central city are among the highest in the region.

“The project will activate a vacant lot and provide much-needed new housing in the central city, carrying on the positive momentum of development and investment in the city,” the staff report read.

The lawsuit argues that housing is not “much needed” in the area. “There is no evidence that this statement is true, and in fact, such is not likely true,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit claims about half the units are not rented in a new large apartment complex, The Press at Midtown Quarter, three blocks away at 21st and Q streets.

As of this week, 39% of the units at The Press are occupied, according to data from SKK Developments. But the units have only been available since the summer – months into the coronavirus pandemic – and there are 277 units total, meaning about 108 are now occupied.

Mulugeta Ghile, part-owner of the vacant property at 21st and T streets, bought the land in 2019 and filed plans with the city to build a duplex, he said. He worked with the city and amended his plan to a six-unit building.

Ghile, who lives in the Bay Area, was planning to move to Sacramento to live in one of the units and rent the rest out. But the experience so far has been “a nightmare,” he said.

A Grand Facade is Glowing Again

Bel-Vue Downtown Sacramento 1117 8th Street

Over 100 years ago, the Bel-Vue on 8th was among the very first ‘mixed use’ buildings in downtown Sacramento, with comfortable apartments above American Cash, a ground floor grocery + hardware store.  Designed by California’s first state architect, this was a gem honored on the National Historic Register – but it’s better days were a distant memory as it slipped into decay, an abandoned wreck filled with bat, pigeons and rot.

Today it’s glowing again, full of tenants who enjoy the historic restored interior down to the claw foot tubs and  rich moldings, and the lobby fitted out like an elegant library.  Applied Architecture was proud to have assisted young developer Ali Youssefi on this adventure, completed six months after he was tragically lost to cancer. 

The Bel-Vue has regained its spot among Sacramento’s treasures.

Michael F. Malinowski FAIA Architect

So nice to get those pats on the back from our customers

ADU projects are small … but just as complex as a complete new home. This Elk Grove customer appreciated our help in making his dream ‘small home’ a reality!

Applied Architecture Inc

Congrats! You just got a new review

*****

Mike and his team are very diligent and professional. I hired them to design our ADU. Mike took the time to meet with us and listened to our wants and needs, then incorporated them into the design. He educated us on what could be done and why some things we wanted cannot be done. The use of space is perfectly designed. The communication throughout the wntire process was clear and concise. We are almost finished with the construction phase of our project and could not be happier. We definitely would recommend Mike and his team if you are planning a custom home.

Reviewed by Lawrence Tom on Google

The Million Dollar Bus Stop

Million Dollar Bus Stop Friday, March 29, 2013 _____ A single pole and sign simply can’t compare to a new million-dollar bus shelter in Arlington, VA. With its heated concrete floor, stainless-steel benches and architectural glass and steel canopy, the so-called ” Super Stop” at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive is the future of bus-stop design in the Washington D.C. suburb. Officials have 23 more stops planned. Arlington County Arlington County Arlington County officials say the $1 million bus stop is the first of many. But, as one might expect, the public is not too thrilled. “Is this made of gold?” one commuter wondered to the Washington Post. Besides the exorbitant price tag, the lavish Arlington County prototype has seats too cold to sit on and offers little shelter if the wind or rain blows in the wrong direction, reports say. Officials Defend Project Officials say the actual construction and fabrication of the stop cost $575,000, while $440,000 was spent on construction management and inspections. Federal and state transportation money paid 80 percent of the tab. County officials have defended the stop, saying it was an investment in infrastructure to support the area’s renewal and anticipated growth. The new stops will also accommodate streetcars planned for the area, but the rest of the stops won’t hit the million-dollar mark, officials say. “Our goal, if at all possible, is to do it for less,” Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director told the Washington Post. When prototypes are involved, Leach said, “you end up heavily front-loading on the costs.” The rest of the stops are expected to run about $904,000 each. NO . this is NOT an APRIL FOOLS joke . sadly this is a real news item. Your tax dollars at work.