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Sutter Street to get jolt

New Electric and Power Lighting Co. building to offer retail, restaurant space
By: Brad Smith, Telegraph Correspondent
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Doug Scalzi, president of SAC Commercial Properties, smiles as he watches workers moving about his latest project, the Folsom Electric and Power Lighting Co. Building. Located at the corner of Sutter and Scott streets, Folsom Electric towers over the old town district. “This,” he said, pointing at the building, “is going to be something special.” Folsom Electric has been a passion of Scalzi’s for some time. “I’ve always wanted to have something like this for Folsom: A place that offers a lot to the community, something that also fits perfectly into my hometown’s ambiance,” he said. Scalzi envisioned the Folsom Electric and Power Lighting Co. as a place with an upscale restaurant, plenty of parking space and “lots of room for other retail businesses and offices.” He said that the building consists of four levels, with more than 55,000 square feet of space. “The basement level and part of the ground floor will be public parking spaces,” he explained. Also on the first floor is Folsom Electric’s anchor business, the Sutter Street Steakhouse. “I tell you, the quality of food coming out of the steakhouse will be outstanding,” Scalzi said. Beside the steakhouse, he said there will be spaces for some “high-end retail shops.” The next two floors have been set aside for retail and office space, the top floor sporting spacious lofts and skylights. Scalzi’s very proud of the building’s exterior design. “Yes, we used the original Folsom Powerhouse and late 19th century architecture as sources of inspiration. I wanted the building to compliment the others built up and down Sutter (Street),” he said. Scalzi reported that most of the primary exterior work will be completed by September this year. “Sutter Street Steakhouse will open Nov. 1,” he added. Which is fitting, since ground was broken on the project in November two years ago. Teresa Yost, owner of As Time Goes By on Sutter Street, said she hadn’t known much about the Folsom Electric building. “In the beginning, I didn’t know what to think,” she said. When she learned of the steakhouse, the public parking and other potential businesses that would be going inside, she was optimistic. “It’s going to be a good thing for Sutter Street,” she said. “I think that having something like Folsom Electric will be a big draw for all of us. People will come to see the new building and – and if they’re newcomers to Sutter Street – they’ll want to explore, check things out. It’ll be an economic boost for us.” Brenda McGourty, who manages the Hacienda Del Rio, feels that the new building “will be a big draw” as well. “It’ll be nice to have (it) here with the other businesses. The Folsom Electric will be something new and different,” she said, “and that in itself will draw folks to Sutter Street.” As with Yost, she wishes the venture the best of luck. He said public response to Folsom Electric has been positive. “People are excited about new businesses coming to Folsom. A new business means more jobs and more money boosting the local economy,” Scalzi said. He indicated some of the men working on his building. “Look, if it wasn’t for this project, those contractors might not be working now. As it is, they’re working and their families and others are benefiting from it. That, I think, is a good thing,” he said.