SACRAMENTO-David S. Taylor Interests has signed tenants for 40% of the company’s planned 25-story, 356,000-sf office building here. Set to get under way later this month, the $125-million development is the first private office building constructed on Capitol Mall in more than 10 years.

The building will be located at 621 Capitol Mall, a few blocks from the state capitol. The full-block site has been a parking lot for the past decade. David S. Taylor Interests acquired the land from the city several years back. The office building will take up about 60% of the block.

The anchor tenant will be Downey Brand, a local law firm that signed a long-term lease for 85,000 sf. The namesake tenant will be US Bank, which preleased 34,500 sf in the building, including 4,500 sf on the ground floor for a retail banking center, and is the construction lender for the project. When US Bank Tower is complete in early 2008, the bank will relocate its current downtown office space and retail banking center from the US Bank Plaza building at 9th and J streets. Also signed up is the California Restaurant Association, which has leased a full floor, or about 19,000 sf minus common areas.

David Taylor tells he expects to have several law firms in the building, which is why the naming rights were offered to US Bank as opposed to the largest tenant. The asking lease rate is for space in the building ranges from $3 to $3.50 per sf per month on a full service basis, depending on how high in the building the space is located. Taylor says the building should be close to fully leased by the time construction is completed or shortly thereafter. Bill Swettenham of CB Richard Ellis has the leasing assignment.

“The track record is that new buildings get leased up pretty well because they are not added to the market that often,” he says. “We’ve done two other Downtown office towers; the first was 91% leased by the end of construction and the second one was 75% leased at completion and 100% leased within 12 months.”

The other 40% of the block is currently slated to hold a 38-story luxury residential condominium tower designed by international architect Daniel Libeskind. Taylor says Denver-based developer Craig Nassi has optioned the land for the project, which is being called Aura. Nassi has the entitlements but still needs permits. All of the planned units have been reserved with refundable deposits; the plan is to turn those into binding contracts next month. “If he can convince us [of his ability to build it], then we will sell it to him,” Taylor says.

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