Groundbreaking at last!

ground02 ground01

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Roem Property/Southern Pacific Right of Way

Two addresses are associated with this property:

602 N 7TH ST and 340 E TAYLOR ST

But nobody is there yet to pick up mail.

Although it has been idle for a long time, its development appears to be on a somewhat faster track than the other two properties that we are mostly interested in here. The current owner of the property is the Roem Corporation.

The original plan was called Sakura Village – suggesting cherry blossoms. Its design was the result of a collaboration between Roem and architecture students from California Polytechnical University, sponsored by the Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge.

http://planning.calpoly.edu/planning/sites/wcms.calpoly.edu.planning/files/projects/documents/BofA/SakuraLIHC_2012_Calpolyecho.pdf

However the name “Sakura Village” doesn’t appear in any city planning documents, nor does its “90 units” signature. It may have been just an exercise.

The name of the new design is Ajisai Gardens. “Ajisai” is Japanese for Hydrangea. It looks like they are trying to appeal to local sensibilities.

Ajisai: “Podium construction”, which I assume means that the car parking will be in the basement. It looks like the plan for Sakura was to have the separate car ports acting as acoustical buffers from the train.

Specs for Ajisai (as near as I can tell):

130 for-sale condominiums with 11,400 sq/ft office/retail.
or:
126 condos and 7,500 sq/ft of office/retail space.

These conflicting figures are from the same source:

http://www.roemcorp.com/homes/coming-soon.cfm

Or 103 units, according to the city (memo dated November 6, 2012)!

I am also guessing that the switch in design created a delay in start date.

At any rate, as of August, 2013, they have installed two portable toilets on the site, probably the first structures there for decades. It’s a sign that something is going to begin soon, I think.

Filed under PDA04-076-02 as Ajisai Gardens Apts on 12/16/11, and approved in June of 2012.

According to the Jackson-Taylor Long-Term Revitalization Program the plan is to eliminate the SPRR spur in the future. But that was back in 1987.