You know that food truck park on Rainey Street across from Banger’s? It’s an awfully large undeveloped space considering the hotness of the area, occupying multiple lots from 78 to 84 Rainey Street.
The rough value of the assembled lots is about $3.6 million, and hey, whaddaya know — they’re all owned by LLCs associated with developer Sackman Enterprises, the firm behind the 70 Rainey condo tower rising only a few blocks over. The blue house in the center of the photo below is 84 Rainey Street, which Sackman uses as office space next door to the food truck park:
This information alone isn’t news, mind you — but last week I noticed the assortment of food trucks parked on the lot slowly disappearing, leaving the space clearer than I’d seen in a while. At first, I thought this represented the first step towards preparing the site for development, but then it turns out it was just to make room for an event last weekend giving out free donuts to advertise Google Home. And to make matters worse, I missed it!
So, maybe the space isn’t being cleared for development after all — although the lot’s still looking pretty empty as of this evening. Either way, all the action reminded me that there actually is a mixed-use building project destined for this site, although we’re still in the dark regarding its timeline. Let’s remind everyone, including ourselves, what this thing looks like.
Or looked like, to be precise — I originally learned about this development, which appears to be called Rainey Street District, about a year ago from a brochure prepared by Viceroy Realty Advisors, a commercial brokerage in the city working with Sackman to market the project:
Designed by Sixthriver Architects, a prominent local firm you might remember from projects like the Littlefield Lofts, the Rainey Street District mixed-use building looks a lot like a barn. But in like, a cool way, you know?
What was fascinating about these plans when I found them last year was the elegant combination of typical Rainey Street food and bar options with office space and retail — potentially bringing a far more diverse mix of uses to the district than we’ve seen in other nearby projects.
But what really had me intrigued was the notion of an underground music venue, which was a brilliant way to address agent of change concerns in an area with plenty of nearby residents ready to be annoyed by loud music. Bury that sucker underground and turn it up to 11, right? It’s genius. Sure, excavation is expensive — but so is getting repeatedly sued. More venues should try this approach.
Unfortunately, all the stuff I’m waving in your face here about this project is more than a year old at this point, and we haven’t seen much progress beyond the site being cleared for a completely unrelated event.
We got in touch with C.J. Sackman, director of development at Sackman Enterprises, to see if he’d cut through the fog of development a bit and let us know when we can expect Rainey Street to receive its hipster barn. We were mostly unsuccessful, but he certainly didn’t deny the project was moving forward — in fact, he provided us with an updated rendering from the one we saw last year:
If you look at the older renderings, the most obvious change is the planned building’s height — Sackman confirmed that this latest design is nine stories tall. That’s taller than before, and we like tall, especially when it’s part of an interesting design like this. The project’s definitely got a lot more character than your average mixed-use mid-rise, and if we’re building them all over the city we might as well make them look nice.
Our communication with Sackman gave no confirmation of a timeline for development, but his willingness to send over this new rendering isn’t a bad sign. In a city with plenty of vaporware to call its own, I hope this project breaks ground soon.
One last thought: as neat as the underground venue sounds, I wouldn’t hold my breath on it showing up in the final product. The coolest details are always the first to go, and I would hate to bum anyone out, ever.