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Price Range: $139,999-$229,000
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S360 News & Events
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January 15th, 2010


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By Bob Shallit
It's called "Good," but business hasn't been quite that for a West Sac complex hailed as a model of eco-conscious housing. The partially completed project at Fourth and B streets recently was sold by developer Levi Benkert for an undisclosed price.
Due to falling real estate values, Benkert also has closed his trailblazing company, LJ Urban. "We had a good long run ... but things are over now," he writes in his company blog. LJ Urban, he adds, has "no book value and no future as a property development company."
Benkert pens his blog from Ethiopia, where he and his family have been living while doing another kind of good: helping orphaned kids.
The West Sac project's new owner is real estate entrepreneur Ray Sahadeo, who's been snapping up distressed properties throughout the region. Sahadeo, head of S360 Development, tells us he'll immediately finish three partly built homes at the Good site, which has five completed houses. "We'll have to get a feel for the market," he says, before starting construction on 27 additional homes planned on the site. Ultimately, he says, the project "will do well because of the "buzz" it's generated among those interested in sustainable building practices. "There's nothing else like this in West Sacramento, or even Sacramento," Sahadeo says.
Among the project's eco-friendly features: tankless water heaters, solar panels and insulation made from recycled newspapers. Its construction even utilized the wood from trees cleared on the site. The completed units "use about 40 percent of the energy of standard homes," says Brandon Weber, who handled sales for LJ Urban and now is working with S360. Weber says the Good project always had lots of interest from potential homebuyers. But after real estate values began to plummet, getting construction loans became impossible. That's when "everything just got upside down," he says.
Deck the halls
A touch of vintage business is coming to downtown's Citizen Hotel hallways: old photos of Sacramento companies that once had office space in the historic 14-story building before its recent conversion to a boutique hotel. The idea began when the Owen-Dunn Insurance Co. celebrated its 60th anniversary in August. The firm's execs, recalling
the company's start in the former Cal Western Life building at 10th and J streets, contacted the hotel's managers. Plans were made to place a black-and-white photo of the insurance company's founders on the seventh floor, where the firm was originally located. Citizen officials are now contacting other companies that were tenants in the 1925 Beaux Arts building and offering to memorialize them in similar fashion. "It's an invitation to be part of what's going on at the hotel," says Citizen developer Kipp Blewett. "And if that generates
some business, that's great, too."
Still going nuts
Our shameless promotion of a proposed Sacramento almond blossom festival has generated more debate over the correct way to pronounce California's best-selling nut.
Is it all-monds or am-monds?
The real answer, according to tons of readers: They're called all-monds while still on the tree. Am-monds after harvesting
equipment has arrived and shaken the "l" out of them.