Sky High


First they built the arena. Now the Sacramento Kings and their partners are bringing high-end condominiums to downtown Sacramento. The swank development is a sign of Sacramento’s maturing real estate market, but it’s also a test of whether buyers are willing to spend into the low seven digits for residential property in a neighborhood that is still in the early stages of a turnaround.

The Residences at The Sawyer is a 45-unit project occupying the top five floors of the new Kimpton boutique hotel building adjacent to Golden 1 Center and Downtown Commons, an entertainment and retail complex. Both the hotel and the condos are expected to open later this year.

Christopher Miller of The Agency, the Beverly Hills-based luxury real estate firm that is marketing the condos, asserts this is no typical urban development. “To me, an urban development is four walls and a roof and no amenities. You have to look at this as an urban resort, and that resort experience begins the minute you arrive on-site,” he says.

The package of amenities promised at The Residences is certainly of a different caliber than is typical for Sacramento. Included with their homeowner fees, residents will have valet parking, a residents-only lobby, doorman and 24-hour concierge service. Residents will also have their own lounge area in the building and access to a private entrance into Golden 1 Center, putting them steps away from sporting events and concerts. Other amenities, such as a fitness room, pool and terrace overlooking the arena, will be shared with hotel guests.

The condos come in a range of sizes, starting with a one-bedroom, 789-square-foot unit and graduating to a spacious three-bedroom, 3,323-square-foot unit. All come with spectacular views of the city. Prospective buyers can tour a mock-up of the residences at a nearby building to get a sense of the layout and finishes, which were preselected by Puccini Group, a San Francisco design firm, and include wide-plank oak floors, quartz countertops and Viking appliances.

“All you have to do is show up with your furniture and your clothes. It’s 100 percent turnkey,” says Miller.

Miller declined to divulge whether any of the units had sold as of late April, saying only, “We’ve had a tremendous response from the marketplace.” Prices start at $600,000 and are expected to top out around $4 million.

With high-end homes selling in the $1 million range in close-by neighborhoods like East Sacramento and Land Park, prospective buyers at The Residences at The Sawyer will have to be sold on the virtues of living in the heart of a downtown that hasn’t yet reached its full potential. Miller is confident they will be won over.

In addition to out-of-town investors, he sees suburban empty nesters and second-home seekers looking for a pied-a-terre in the city as potential buyers. “They may want to relive their youth down here. They’re tired of having to drive everywhere for everything. Down here, they know it’s a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle where they can be amongst the revitalization,” says Miller.

One thing is for certain: Whoever snaps up these condos will have a bird’s-eye view of a city center coming into its own—a downtown that, despite its shortcomings, finally seems to be growing up.

Sawyer Kitchen

Sawyer Living Room

The Pool at the Sawyer