Inside WAL

WAL-pre-construction-EDITEDYou’ve probably heard the buzz around town about the new Warehouse Artist Lofts (WAL) on R street – a mixed-use development that provides a community where Sacramento-area artists can live, work, and play. We’re pretty excited about it and decided to reach out to Ali Youssefi, of CFY Development, for the inside scoop.

WAL celebrates the historic, industrial character of the Lawrence Warehouse of the R Street Corridor. Built in 1914, the iconic Warehouse is located in what once was a thriving industrial district for Sacramento’s first commercial rail line. In February of 2013, CFY Development and Applied Architecture broke ground to transform the historic building, along with adding a new adjacent four-story structure, into what is now a creative space for artists.

The Warehouse is home to 116 rental apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units, as well as ground floor retail space. Not to mention a performance hall, dance studio, rooftop picnic area and community garden complete with panoramic views. That’s not all, each of the Warehouse’s community spaces have been filled with gorgeous local artwork created by some of the region’s most creative minds. Among them are Dana Iske, Jose Di Gregorio, Micah Crandall-Bear and LC Studio Tutto.

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Photos courtesy of Nick Wray

For Youssefi, the purpose behind this design was clear – to encourage community gathering and collaboration. “It meant creating spaces that are flexible; that way the tenants can help determine what types of events will take place inside of them… WAL’s future will be driven by the artists living inside of it,” he said. Resident “artists” include dancers, musicians, painters, poets, designers, photographers – anyone who promotes or creates visual, performing, literary or new media art. With all those creative minds in one location, you can imagine the potential.

WAL offers something this city has never seen before – unique and diverse housing options available downtown. With more and more people moving to the urban core, Sac needs a wide range of living options that meet the diverse needs of its residents. WAL provides just that with an affordable community for the creative class to live near jobs, businesses and public transportation.

Mayor Kevin Johnson recognized this need with his housing initiative for 10 thousand units in 10 years. Downtown is primed and ready for a vibrant urban population and WAL will contribute to that. Furthermore, Youssefi is hopeful that WAL will serve as a “catalyst for more artists and art businesses to locate in the Historic R Street District and Downtown Sacramento, helping us create the density and critical mass required to transform Sacramento into a hub of culture and creativity.”

Can you feel the momentum?

Get the first look inside Warehouse Artist Lofts at the Grand Opening Celebration this Thursday, April 9th, at 4pm.