• Monday, May 1, 2017


  • Builders and developers line up to take advantage of the new ordinance, but a new BIA member was first in line

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  • By North State BIA Staff

  • Recently, the Sacramento City Council unanimously approved a new fee deferral program that North State BIA advocates initiated - the fee deferral is one part of the city's new Citywide Development Impact Fee (CDIF) program. The ability to defer fees until final inspection will allow builders to pull more permits at a time, reducing costs and increasing the rate of construction. This is, without question, a significant development for our members that will have a long-lasting, positive impact on their ability to continue to help Sacramento grow.

    Coincidentally, one of the newest member of our association also became the first one to test out the new fee deferral ordinance.

    Meet Nikky Mohanna of the Mohanna Development Company.

    We recently had the opportunity to speak at length with Nikky about her background, why she joined the BIA and what the fee deferral means to her business.

    How did you get into the homebuilding industry?
    The lack of urban housing affordability for my own generation led me to design my first project. After living in urban hubs in Europe and the Middle East, I realized that many cities in the U.S. are lacking access to the most simple and sustainable forms of urban living that I had grown to love. I wanted to provide a lifestyle of minimalism in the heart of the urban grid throughout my projects, from a perspective of both affordability as well as philosophy.

    Tell us about your company and some of your projects.
    Mohanna Development was founded by my father, Moe Mohanna, in 1974. He was one of the early investors in downtown Sacramento during an era of suburbanization. Although some of Mohanna Development’s earliest projects were focused on land development in newly emerging cities, such as Rocklin, our passion has always been rooted in urban growth and value creation. We believe that our region can only be as strong as its core. We are currently working on three high-rise/mid-rise mixed-use projects in the urban grid, with a focus on urban housing throughout all. One that we are breaking ground on in the coming weeks is 19J in midtown, an 11-story, 175 unit mixed-use project that will provide “small and smart” units for the millennial workforce population.

    What compelled you to join the North State BIA?
    The North State BIA’s pro-active presence in housing supply discussions throughout the city compelled me to join. The BIA’s relentless effort to provide tangible solutions to complex issues through a collective voice is unparalleled.

    Since you joined, you have been active in the BIA’s Urban Infill Working Group. Can you describe that experience?
    It has been instrumental to bring developers with various backgrounds together to advocate for smart policy with our city leaders and policy-makers. Establishing a collective voice when it comes to the challenges of urban infill is the first step towards implementing effective policies. Through the urban infill working group, we have been able to represent a common vision to our local officials as we address shared challenges and advocate for sustainable methods to overcome obstacles that prevent urban growth.

    One of the most recent policy victories for the BIA is the city of Sacramento’s new fee deferral ordinance, of which your company will be one of the first to benefit. Can you elaborate on how it will impact your business?
    BIA’s advocacy to implement the fee deferral program with the city’s leadership will help projects tremendously on the upfront costs associated with development. Paying fees upon certificate of occupancy, instead of upon issuance of permits, provides the most efficient utilization of funds. Another great step forward with BIA’s leadership is the revised Park Development Impact Fee schedule, which 19J will also be one of the first to utilize. The new park fees are based on rentable square footage, instead of a flat fee per unit, which is beneficial for smaller units in the urban grid.

    Based on your experience thus far, what would you say to a company considering joining the North State BIA?
    The North State BIA provides a unique opportunity to be part of a collective vision that advocates for the strength of our entire region through smart policy and forward-thinking. In these challenging times for housing production, it is crucial for the development and building industry to come together and have a unified voice, and there is no better representative than the BIA.

    Sounds like a safe bet that we will be hearing a lot about Nikky in the near future (and beyond).

    To find out more about Nikky and the exciting work she is doing with her father at the Mohanna Development Company, visit their website. Also, if you would like to learn more about Sacramento's fee deferral ordinance, please contact BIA Legislative Advocate, Rob Smith.