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Anthem Properties submits plan for site near R Street Corridor

Sacramento Business Journal
Ben van der Meer

Canadian homebuilder and developer Anthem Properties is taking a swing at developing a spot near the R Street Corridor in Sacramento, one where previous attempts went nowhere.

The builder submitted plans this month for an eight-story, 137-unit project at 1500 S St., the southeast corner of 15th and S streets.

“This site is the ideal kind of thing where we can create new homes, new businesses in that area,” said Riaan De Beer, Anthem Properties’ vice president of development.

As soon as a year from now, construction could start on the project, which would replace an empty office building and a couple unoccupied homes there now. In addition to housing units ranging from 500-square-foot studios to 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom apartments, the project would have about 8,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

De Beer said the commercial layouts would tilt toward several smaller users rather than larger ones, with spaces of 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. The ground floor would also have parking for about two-thirds of the apartments, behind commercial spaces facing onto the street.

For residents, amenities would include an 80-by-80-foot deck on top of the building’s two-story concrete podium, facing toward the south. With that size, De Beer said, the deck would be big enough for a variety of outdoor activities, with plans for plants, exercise equipment and furniture for gathering.

Though the current Covid-19 pandemic casts a pall over processes of all kinds, he said, Anthem hopes to get approvals by year’s end, and then start work next spring. On that timeline, the project would be completed by summer 2023. De Beer said he couldn’t share an estimated project cost.

Since 2014, the property at 1500 S St. has traded hands several times as various players got as far as approved plans but never pulled the trigger. Last October, entitlements expired for a five-story project on the site of 75 to 123 apartments.

On a faster track and also by Anthem is a similar project at 1030 J St. in Downtown Sacramento. Anthem Cathedral, as it’s called, would have 153 apartments above about 10,000 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story building.

Sacramento’s planning commission is tentatively scheduled to review Anthem Cathedral next month, which would presage demolition of existing buildings on the site as soon as this summer, De Beer said. Vertical construction would follow this fall.

Known mostly in recent years for residential land development in suburban areas, including its local office in Roseville, Anthem Properties made a conscious pivot about two years ago toward also doing for-rent projects, De Beer said.

“We’ve been having a foothold in the Sacramento area for six years, but we’ve never looked at downtown Sacramento or vertical development here,” he said. Heartened by a positive response to the idea, he said, the company targeted both the K Street area downtown and the R Street Corridor south of downtown for projects.

“It’s part of a commitment on a long-term basis in Sacramento,” he said.