By Ed Goldman
The goal was both simple and monumental: Rejuvenate Sacramento’s moribund downtown while developing the five blocks where the Golden 1 Center would be built. Oh, and try to do it as simultaneously as possible.
While the process might have seemed interminable to eager locals and skeptical out-of-town watchers, to the development community and urban planners, the majority of the project came together at warp speed.
Just three years after JMA Ventures and its development partner, the Sacramento Kings, bought the dying Westfield mall, the developers, designers and dreamers created most of a new city-within-a-city: The expansive Downtown Commons entertainment complex is home to the 16-story Sawyer Tower, which includes the luxury, 250-room Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, 45 condos (branded as The Residences and ranging from $600,000 to more than $4 million for one of the six already-sold penthouses), along with retail shops, restaurants, bars, ballroom, commercial offices, an outdoor pool, lounge and meeting rooms.
The tower is connected via a series of walkways and open-air plazas to Downtown Commons, where there is a movie theater, a growing number of retailers and eateries and, of course, the jewel in the crown: the tech-forward Golden 1 Center, home of the NBA’S Sacramento Kings.
The Kimpton Sawyer Hotel condos are on the top floors of the tower, providing a near-panoramic view from one side of the Railyards project, two rivers and I-5 — and from another, the state Capitol and newly bustling downtown. Among the amenities that accompany all of the condos are 24-hour security and, since the homes sit atop the elegant Kimpton Sawyer hotel, valet parking and room service.