Developer Connections Fall 2020

An update from your SMUD Commercial Development Team

As your community-owned, not-for-profit electric utility, we’re committed to supporting and encouraging regional economic development. Improving the economic vitality of our region is a key priority for SMUD, and in support of this, SMUD's Commercial Development Team is helping to accelerate development throughout the Sacramento region through building strong relationships with developers, home builders and brokers. Commercial Development Director Shari Little says, “As we navigate through the unexpected challenges of this year together, SMUD remains committed to delivering reliable and affordable power to you and all our business partners, with high-quality services from start to finish.”

We're here to support and advance your projects from concept to implementation and encourage you to contact us early in the design phase of a project. We're pleased to say that that despite the current circumstances, we are at our busiest with over 183 active commercial, residential and mixed-use projects underway. We're encouraged by the continued magnitude, pace and volume we see from the development community, including our most recent completion with the featured California Fruit Building. We look forward to a bright and prosperous future for all of you and the region.  

For questions regarding development projects, please reach out to the SMUD Commercial Development Team at

A milestone Downtown project: California Fruit Building

California Fruit Building project
California Fruit Building project

Local developer, Dale Investments, LLC and Development & Management Company American Hospitality Services, Inc. are wrapping up an ambitious and exciting Downtown Sacramento hotel project. The California Fruit Building, which dates back to 1914, is undergoing a significant transformation. The future Exchange Hotel, a Hilton Curio branded building, is nearing completion and consists of 100 unique rooms and three specialty restaurants. It’s located on 4th and J Street, next to the DOCO (Downtown Commons) shopping area and one block from Golden One Center, and represents a significant redevelopment milestone in Downtown Sacramento.

Early in the development process, SMUD worked collaboratively with the development team to identify locations for SMUD’s vaulted infrastructure. As with all infill areas, Downtown Sacramento requires creativity and ingenuity to meet utility needs, with infrastructure running through streets and alleys, limiting room for SMUD equipment. Our Downtown Network team working on the Fruit Building was able to identify a suitable location for the equipment, without jeopardizing SMUD employee safety or our ability to deliver reliable power.  



New projects in the Railyards

Railyards building project

Railyards project concept illustration

LDK Ventures and USA Properties are co-developing The AJ, a 345-unit mixed use project located in the Railyards. The development of The AJ is a significant milestone as the first vertical construction project to commence there. The project broke ground in August 2020 and is anticipated to be complete in the first quarter of 2022.  

This fall, the California Judicial Council is expected to start construction on the long-awaited Sacramento Courthouse project at the corner of 6th and H Streets on the southernmost side of the Railyards. The 18-story structure will house all criminal court proceedings and will replace the current Sacramento Courthouse at 9th and H streets. The project in expected to be complete in 2023. 

Also underway at the Railyards, is Sacramento Republic Soccer Club’s new stadium and future home of Sacramento’s first Major League Soccer Team; and Kaiser Permanente’s 1.3 million square foot medical center campus.  

These projects represent an exciting transition in the Railyards. In the coming years, the Railyards site will see a significant transformation that will shape the look and feel of Downtown Sacramento.

More about the Railyards

The Railyards development site represents one of the largest and most unique urban infill sites in the United States. The project is a natural extension of Downtown Sacramento to the North and includes a wide variety of potential development uses. In 2016, the Sacramento City Council approved the project to include 6,000+ residential units, 5 million+ square feet of retail, 700,000+ flex mixed-use spaces, 2 million+ square feet of office space, 1.2 million+ square feet of medical office space, 1,000+ hotel rooms and a 19,000+ seat soccer stadium. The overall 244-acre Railyards site is led by LDK Ventures, a local Sacramento development firm.  

Upcoming industry workshops

Architecture as a catalyst for change

Thursday, October 8, 2020 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Online workshop

Marsha Maytum, a founding principal of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) in San Francisco, will discuss how architecture can promote a regenerative future and be a catalyst for positive social change. Since 2001, LMSA has focused its practice on mission-driven projects that advance the integration of environmental sustainability and design excellence, support social equity and make positive contributions to their community. 

Register now

Designing with Title 24 in mind: Non-residential applications

October 15, 2020 | 9:30 a.m. – noon | Online workshop

The 2019 Standards have tight lighting power allowances but with LED technology, designers can still achieve a good-looking project at reasonable cost. James Benya, Principal of Benya Burnett Consultancy, will discuss controls, daylighting and both indoor and outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting will also include a quick review of CALGreen and the additional challenges it presents.

Register now

Designing with Title 24 in mind: Residential applications

October 15, 2020 | 1 to 2:30 p.m. | Online workshop

The 2019 Title 24 Standards didn’t change very much from 2016 but there are many important tweaks and tricks that designers will need when working with this new version. Jim Benya, Principal of Benya Burnett Consultancy, will address how the changes affect multi-family and senior living facilities. There will be a special focus on the challenges that Title 20 and JA8 bring to projects as well.

Register now

Commercial battery energy storage

October 29, 2020 | 9 to 10:30 a.m. | Online workshop

Is buying a commercial battery storage system cost-effective? Will it provide back-up power and demand charge reduction? This workshop, taught by SMUD’s battery storage experts, will cover the many facets of battery storage such as energy consumption, upfront costs, bill savings and payback.

Register now