Now That's Irony: Jerry Brown Lives in a Sacramento Loft Built on Redevelopment Funds
That's the message the California governor is sending to the state's fat-cat redevelopment agencies, which get the ax in his 2011 budget proposal, and the frantic city leaders who back them: I'ma cut you, but not before I get myself a piece o' you.
"The money's not there," he shrugged to the mayors of the state's nine biggest cities yesterday afternoon.
But it was certainly there when Jerry wanted a totally hip, totally urb new loft for himself and the lady!
The Elliot Building, located at 1530 J Street in Sacramento's edgy Midtown sector, was built on public redevelopment funds. (OK, like, edgy in comparison to the rest of Sacramento. So... still pretty lame. But it's just right amount of street for a geriatric Democrat).
Even more ironically, this is just the kind of "blighted" area the redevelopment agencies are getting so much flack for favoring (see: billionaire Eli Broad's $53 million gift for a snazzy downtown L.A. art museum). As described by the Elliot's current property manager:
The original masonry and concrete building was constructed in the early 1920s as an automobile sales and service facility. LoftWorks recognized the hidden value in this historic structure and, in 2003, embarked on an effort to revive it into one of the most stylish fixtures on Sacramento's urban landscape. After overcoming the building's structural challenges, Fulcrum's team opted to retain and refurbish many of its appealing exterior elements.
Those "structural challenges" must have been a real pain. Oh, the perils of white-collar blight.
The Sacramento Bee was first to point out the ridiculous irony of Brown's living sitch:
[Sacramento developer Mark] Friedman used redevelopment dollars to restore the historic Elliott Building on J Street in midtown Sacramento. The building, once a dilapidated auto dealership, now houses restaurants, Friedman's office and more.
The third floor consists of 18 loft apartments. The newest tenants: Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown.
And so, while Brown spouts code pity words like "Schools! Police! Sick children!" as an argument for abolishing California's redevelopment agencies, even he doesn't come out of this mess with his hands clean. For a loft-load more irony, scope this amusing California Watch report. At least he, uh, learned from his mistakes?