All posts by Jeremy Bryne

Helping Families in Need

First 5 California and Supply Bank are making sure families are covered no matter what the need. The First 5 Diaper Kit Pilot Program which provides 100 diapers and 200 baby wipes to families to help relieve some of the financial stress they may be dealing with.

Working together and having a sense of collaboration $50-70 in the store could be pennies on the dollar. Instead of 25 cents for a diaper, it’s a dime. The kits are being provided to families for free or reduced prices to homes based on needs.

Recent Local Business Expansions

Expansions are underway by Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center via the Downtown Commons (DOCO).  It is hoped that these endeavors will be beneficial to local businesses with the opening of a variety of pop up shops.  This is a relatively new idea for the area and could result in something more permanent, should success ensue.

Meanwhile, the City Council is looking to expand the Sacramento Convention Center and renovate the Community Center Theater.  It is likely that locals will be hired to better ensure project on time completion.  In addition, with the agreement in place it is less likely that strikes will occur resulting in delays.  And of course you have the added benefit of enhanced construction careers for locals while establishing “lucrative business opportunities for local companies.”

Woodland based Amos Metz Rentals has just been sold to Sacramento based investors.  According to one of the former owners, Joe Metz:

 “Amos Metz has been in business since 1945 and is a staple in its marketplace. We are very pleased to have sold our business to Sacramento-based investors who know our business very well. We had several options after our long-time manager, Willie Truitt, retired and selling to this group was a natural fit for both parties. Willie, who owned a portion of the business, had a wonderful career in rental for over 40 years and we appreciate all of his hard work and efforts.”

Upcycling Sacramento

There is an empty spot at 3rd Street and Capitol Mall. If the CIM Group development firm from LA and CalPERS have anything to do with it, it will  not remain that way for very much longer.

The plan – which has been in the works for over a decade now – is the erection of a 550 foot tower there for offices and some residential units. Initially known as “Towers Project” the area was to be turned into a 53-story hotel and condo towers. But it never happened.  According to Kelly Brothers, a KCRA financial expert:

 “2007 was a very tough time to begin building. It was right at the peak. In other respects, it’s just been demand. It’s been very, very simple. You can’t just put up a 15- to 20-story building — or even higher, a 40- or 50-story building without knowing you’re going to be able to fill a certain number of slots.”

Brothers believes that this development is a good idea and that it’s great to “Sacramento-based CalPERS investing at home.”

Brothers said developing the empty lot is a good project, and it’s good to see Sacramento-based CalPERS investing at home. He said he has faith that this plan could get off the ground.

 

California Community Colleges in Sacramento

This video is the entire meeting of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges in Sacramento. The President, Cecilia V. Estolano welcomed everyone to the “momentous occasion,” that being the first organized meeting of the new California community online college.

Agenda presented by Vice President Epstein:

  1. Overview (board of governors which is a known entity à to be becoming the board of trustees which is newer and which will be elucidated in this meeting).
  2. Establish executive committee of the board of trustees.
  3. Provide authority to the chancellor to conduct managerial and administrative functions of the online college until a CEO is appointed.
  4. Give Chancellor some contracting authority

Bolstering Employment

The city of Sacramento has taken a variety of initiatives recently in order to bolster employment opportunities.  Here we look at three examples.

The first, is a collaboration between UC Davis and Kindred Healthcare.  An additional hospital will be built at the downtown campus area.  Its main goal is to offer additional impatient rehab services in the area.  But the result will be the creation of an additional 200 jobs.  As well care will become more convenient for patients and their families and treatment availability for the neurological needs of the community will be doubled.

The second is the construction of an aerial target drone.  This will bring 20 to 50 jobs annually for many decades. So far, 50 jobs have been added for work needed on the first part of new drone contract production. The contract was received from the US Navy and has been valued at $37 million.

Following the tragic murder of Stephon Clark earlier this year, one step that is being taken is gang prevention.  To accomplish this, job creation is key as one part of investment in the neighborhood.  One of the key focuses of the Black Child Legacy Campaign is youth employment.  This initiative – a combined effort between the Sierra Health Foundation, 7 target neighborhoods where black kids die more than twice the rate of their white peers, the county and city.   The Sacramento Kings are also lending their support. According to director of Research and Policy for Equity at UC Davis Vajra Watson:

“The only way to expand what it is that young people conceive of for their future is to get them more opportunities to see new places, meet new people, and dream bigger than their parents have dreamed.”

As such, Sacramento is distributing $900,000+ in funding to groups offering entrepreneurial opportunities in low income neighborhoods. The hope is to create 500 new jobs this year.

Sac City Council: Post Clark Shooting

Following the shooting by local police officers of Stephon Clark, the Sacramento City Council has taken action.  One possibility currently being debated is the prohibition against entrance of “abusive/threatening” protestors in all council meetings. Tension has risen since the shooting and activists have had to be accompanied out of meetings.

Quite simply, Councilman Steve Hansen said to one such activist: “Because you broke our laws we are asking you to leave.”  Some speakers have claimed that what has transpired in these meetings is not only “unfair,” but actually even illegal.

The establishment of Black Lives Matter occurred five years ago.  A “cease and desist” order was submitted to the council by Ben DeBerry for Brown Act violations protecting the public’s right to participate in council meetings.  On March 22, a protest was held at Evergreen State College and further events have been planned on the matter of inclusion and the problem of racism on campus as a response to the cancellation of this year’s “Day of Absence.”

 

Sacramento: Solving the Housing Shortage

More housing is being built in various parts of Sacramento by the UC Davis Medical Center which already has a property near completion.  The trend is only looking to continue according to Sacramento Business Journal’s Scott Rodd. He believes it’s really the up-and-coming “hot spot for new home construction,” pointing out that:

“It’s where the proposed Aggie Square project is going to be, which is a partnership between UC Davis and the City of Sacramento to create a kind of technology hub. And usually, when you see projects like this, you’ll also see interest from developers in developing land around it.”

Sacramento Commons Project – if it goes ahead – is a multi-phase housing project in downtown Sacramento that will be around 218 units with ground floor retail. The current high rise apartments there will have to be torn down for the project and it is expected that construction will begin very soon, maybe even before 2019.

Fairgrounds Drive also has major construction, including the last phase of a 44 unit project as well as plans by Western American Properties to build up to 70 single family homes.

And SKK Developments is planning to build 737 units (which will be in two stand alone complexes) next to the Arden Fair Mall.  The idea behind this is to create more affordable housing for young professionals.

Construction and Business in Downtown Sacramento

Infrastructure is being changed by updated construction in downtown Sacramento that would seem to be a good thing until one sees the negative impact it has on businesses.

Due to a large sewer upgrade taking place on 9th Street (that is not due to be finished now until the middle of September), businesses are, well, loosing business.  Who wants to sit and have a “relaxed” dinner at one of the nearby eateries with a dental drill type sound banging in their ears.  As well, 9th Street has anyway been closed for the last 6 months between H and L.  So even those who were willing to put up with it, actually can’t.

Those most affected include: Andy’s Candy, Capitol Mini-Mart, La Cosecha, Temple Coffee Roasters and Wayside Noodles.  According to Sonya Sorich, Digital Editor at the Sacramento Business Journal, they have already encountered a variety of negative impacts from the project, including a reported 20-25 percent decline in sales (from Andy’s Candy).  Capitol Mini-Mart have claimed an even larger drop, with a loss of 90 percent in business.

However, the city recognizes the issue and there have been promises from Sacramento’s Department of Utilities to earmark $60,000 to the 12 businesses most affected.

Return of Electronic Trolleys/Streetcars?

Many people in Sacramento have been trying to get the federal government of $100 million to enable the $208 million streetcar system in.  Donald Trump may now make that happen as he recently sent officials to the region to conduct a “risk analysis” of the project.

There are still hoops needed to get through, primarily fiscal related.  As such, Sacramento city officials have agreed to give a large cash advance and if approved by city council votes, the money Sacramento and West Sacramento needs will be put in place.

There are many benefits to implementing a streetcar system for modern cities. But many remains a problem as Jeff Harris, City Councilman for Sacramento and streetcar proponent board member has found.  He said that there are too many continuous requests for additional money to fund it.

But still, if the people of Sacramento are willing to pay then surely the large expense is a non-issue.  Indeed it was found that people who own property who live close to where the downtown Sacramento line is proposed actually voted to tax themselves $50 million to for operational costs. In addition, once the Trump administration coughs up, the SacRT will add $25 million to the venture.