Staff Writer-Sacramento Business Journal
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A downtown Sacramento building at 419 J St. best known recently as the former home of the Zokku nightclub has sold, with the new owner getting plenty of interest for new retail uses.

Curtis Smith of Silver Lining Properties said he bought the three-story, 12,825-square-foot building last month for $2.1 million and put up a sign for leases about a week ago.

“We’re looking to get good exposure on it,” said Smith, who bought the building fromEthan Conrad Properties. “Primarily, it’s the location, but the building itself has a lot of history.”

Kitty-corner from 419 J, demolition is underway on the eastern half of Downtown Plaza for what will be a new arena for the Kings, and several parking lots and garages expected to serve the arena also are nearby.

So far, Smith said, his company has gotten five inquiries from potential tenants, and reached out to five more through other channels. Among the discussed uses are a nightclub, restaurant, sports bar and coffeehouse, the latter taking advantage of interior courtyards next to the building. There also have been some inquiries about office space, though Smith said he’s banking on a use to be complementary to the future arena.

Though Zokku didn’t last, retail can work in the building, Smith said. The nightclub’s owners told him their business closed only because of internal disputes, and at one time was making about $150,000 a month.

“The concern is securing the well-being of the building itself,” he said. “But demolition going on right across the street doesn’t hurt.”

Because the building is near one of the main entrances to downtown off Interstate 5, so it suffers from no lack of visibility even while the arena is still a couple years away, he said.

Previous owner Ethan Conrad looks to have done well with the sale, after buying 419 J St.from Wells Fargo in 2012 for a reported $705,000, after it was foreclosed on. At the time, he said he’d spend another $200,000 in building improvements and look to lease 419 J St. for a similar nightclub or restaurant use once those were done.