Davis-based Ruebner family leading the new construction with Harrison Construction
The corner of Third and G streets will complete construction of the exterior of Sacramento-based business Temple Coffee Roastery by the end of the week.
Built a little over a century ago, the previous building did not meet seismic requirements. Anthony Ruebner, representative of the Davis-based Ruebner family who owns the building, developed the project to rebuild. Initially, Ruebner had met with his consulting engineers to consider the options of installing improvements to the original buildings, but concluded it would be more cost effective to completely rebuild the structure. The two older buildings occupied 2,475 square feet of space, while the new two-story edifice consists of 4,974 square feet.
“What we learned is that [the original edifice] was an over 100-year-old building; It had no architectural or historical relevance, and [most] importantly, when we did some structural inspections, we learned that it really wasn’t up to code from an earthquake safety perspective,” Ruebner said.
Jeff Harrison, project manager of Harrison Construction, provided a brief historical account on the site.
“I think in the 60s they added [onto the building that Tibet Nepal used to occupy] and going westwards toward the alley…toward Bistro there’s an addition there that was reframed in stucco that had a barbershop, a nail salon and a jewelry store in that spot. So there were two buildings, [the original Tibet Nepal location and the building of surrounding businesses], that were married together,” Harrison said.
The new building’s ground floor will be home to the retail Temple Coffee Roastery and the second floor will be used for office space.
Temple Coffee Roastery has a strong following, with many of its Sacramento customers coming from Davis.
According to Mike Webb, director of community development and sustainability of the City of Davis, the old building also seemed limited in its ability to attract business.
“The former building…wasn’t a building that was very engaging or interesting for the public,” Webb said.
Ike Njoku, planner and historical resources manager for the City of Davis, stated that work for the project began in early 2014.
“[The project for action] went to [the] planning commission twice…So when it went to planning commission in March, it was not approved but the [planning commission] allowed [the builders] to come back so they came back on the April 9,  agenda,” Njoku said.
Under Harrison Construction, demo for the building began in August 2014. Harrison Construction then tore down the building and began to take care of parts such as the basement.
“When we were demolishing the building, we found an old basement with all these old receipts lying around that were from the mid 50s…from…a general store called Bagley’s Market,” Harrison said.
The demolishment, backfill of the old basement and grading of the new building pad took one month to accomplish. Between the time in September 2014 that they finished demolition and the time they were granted a building permit in October, there was a month of inactivity. Construction, which involved infrastructure and public right-of-way improvements, took six months to accomplish.
Harrison explained that his company was only responsible for the exterior construction.
“It’s essentially a warm shell, so it’s not finished inside…[Temple Coffee Roastery has] their own contractor so they’re working on those improvements now…We’re not doing their interior improvements,” Harrison said.
Webb believes Temple Coffee Roastery will have a positive effect on the business in downtown.
“It’ll breathe some new life into that corner and I think that will have positive effects both for the businesses that occupy the building but also for the entire pedestrian streetscape environment,” Webb said.
Webb also said that the new project will serve as a catalyst for other building reinvestments in downtown Davis.
“It may prompt other property owners to reinvest in their buildings with improvements and upgrades,” Webb said.
With places such as Blaze Pizza and Firehouse Subs arriving in downtown, Temple Coffee Roastery will be joining the wave of new businesses in the next few months.
There is no set date as to when Temple Coffee Roastery will open its doors, but construction should be completed by the end of April.
“We hope that as the building is now reaching completion, in the coming months we’ll see businesses and office tenants opening up,” Ruebner said. “We hope that the community appreciates the new addition and sees it as an improvement to the downtown.”
Graphic by Jennifer Wu.