I attended a Panel Discussion Moderated by Randy Getz of CBRE at the Sutter Club in Downtown Sacramento this week.  Chuck Trainor, Managing Partner of Trainor Fairbrook, introduced David Taylor.  David Taylor humbly recounted his first development projects. Taylor has arguably had the most impact on Sacramento’s Skyline, developing The Sheraton, 1201K Street, 1215 K Street, Sacramento City Hall, 621 Capitol Mall.  But David doesn’t just build buildings; he creates a sense of place.

David highlighted some interesting facts that illustrate how far Sacramento has come.   Notable points include:

  • In 2015 Bloomberg ranked Sacramento #6 as the most affordable fun city.
  • Before counting the expense of the arena, in the recent past, over one billion dollars has been spent downtown on new developments, of which 58% are privately funded.
  • Since 2014, 25 properties have traded hands valued at over $538 million.
  • Of 900 people surveyed, 1/3 say they would like to live downtown, and 2/3 of the millennials surveyed want to be in the Grid.

Following Taylor’s introduction, a diverse group of panelists came up on stage.  The panelists included:  Denton Kelley, Partner with LDK Ventures, oversees the Railyard Development; Sandy Sharon, SVP and Area Manager for Kaiser; Ron Vrilakas, a prolific Central City Architect; and finally Ali Youseffi, Vice President of CFY Development.   Randy Getz led an insightful and interactive discussion with an audience of about 150 commercial real estate experts.  Each panelist shed light on their optimistic view of downtown Sacramento’s future and the developments that they have been involved with.

Downtown Sacramento is the Ultimate Corporate Campus

What surfaced from all the comments is that the game – and the players – have changed.  Downtown’s value proposition has risen (Sacramento Delivers, Private Sector Grows), with an abundance of new amenities including health clubs, bars and restaurants.    And all the development would not be sustainable without the good paying Jobs being created downtown (Kaiser Hospital took down 18 acres in the Railyard for a future hospital and they bought 501 J for a new medical office building.)

With this momentum, it is just a matter of time until companies like Facebook, Salesforce or Linkedin establish a presence in Downtown Sacramento.  Just this week the Bay Area Tech Company, Support Pay, announced it was moving into Sacramento.  SupportPay expects to grow in Sacramento, in a big way.

As David Taylor said in closing, Downtown Sacramento is the Ultimate Corporate Campus with everything right there for employees to work and play.  It’s just a matter of time.