Ben van der Meer | Sacramento Business Journal
May 25, 2016, 7:02am PDT

Deacon Corp. will be the contractor for a proposed mixed-use project near Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento. But the firm’s selection doesn’t mean groundbreaking is coming anytime soon, or even at all.

The partners in the project picked Deacon to start fine-tuning cost estimates for the project, and figure out if it makes sense.

Capitol Area Development Authority Executive Director Wendy Saunders said in about six weeks, Deacon should be able to provide those estimates.

“We’re at the stage that we need better cost analysis,” she said. “If you want to do an affordable project, it’s really challenging because you still need the parking.”

CADA is a joint agency between the city and the state that manages and develops designated property in downtown Sacramento. It’s partnering with the Westminster Presbyterian Church at 13th and O streets for the project, which is also called Westminster.

Conceptual drawings by architects Ron Vrilakas and Bob Kuchman call for a five-story, 97-unit project on what’s now parking for the neighboring church.

Saunders said Deacon won the contracting bid by both being cost competitive and having past experience building an affordable housing project for Mercy Housing at 7th and H streets in Sacramento.

For the Westminster project to be viable, it will have to include a combination of affordable and market-rate units, Saunders said. But church representatives are most interested in an affordable project.

Once cost estimates are in, CADA will do its own analysis to see what tax credits and other resources are available to build, Saunders said. Westminster Presbyterian and CADA expect that by mid- to late summer, they will know if the project can fly.

“It will largely depend on the resources CADA can bring to bear on it,” Saunders said. “This will require that we all dive deep.”

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