Ice Blocks fills out retail lineup with Anthropologie, Salt & Straw


In a sign of optimism for urban retail, two new leases have taken Midtown Sacramento’s Ice Blocks project to completely full.

Soft goods retailer Anthropologie and Salt & Straw ice cream should open in upcoming months in spaces of 6,000 and 1,000 square feet, respectively, on the south side of R Street between 16th and 18th streets.

“I am not exaggerating when I say this deal literally took seven years of effort to make happen,” said Ice Blocks developer Mike Heller in an email about Anthropologie. “When you add Anthro into our mix of female-centric tenants at ICE, it really becomes a prime destination for experiencing a great day of shopping and eating in the city.”

Anthropologie will fill one of Ice Blocks’ last large retail spots near 16th and R streets, between dessert shop Creamy’s by Cayla Jordan and cosmetics store Bluemercury. In addition to women’s clothes, Anthropologie sells accessories, intimates, beauty products, home furniture and decor, according to regional brand director David Metz.

“Our store in Sacramento will be designed with special finishes and touches throughout that are sure to make any guest feel welcome,” he said in a statement supplied by Heller. “We are thrilled to join the community in Sacramento and bring our store experience to so many who travel to enjoy the Anthropologie experience.”

Brokers from Cushman & Wakefield who worked on the lease echoed Heller’s perspective on how long it took to come together.

“Anthropologie has been at the top of our target list, even before the plans for construction had been finalized in 2013,” said David Scanlon of Cushman & Wakefield, describing how he and Heller worked for a decade on a strategy to make the right tenant mix for Ice Blocks.

“Personally, I can’t wait to have them walking distance from my office,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Stevie Greiner, who also worked with Scanlon on the leasing.

The Anthropologie store at Ice Blocks will be only the second in the region, with an existing one in Fountains at Roseville.

Salt & Straw will have its first Sacramento region location at Ice Blocks, with its closest existing stores in the Bay Area. Salt & Straw’s website emphasizes the ice cream’s natural milk sources and unusual ingredients, including habanero-laced goat cheese and almond brittle, as well as community and sustainability.

Heller, who said he’s tried Salt & Straw, said he’s been struck by not only the taste but the happy demeanor of other customers.

“SS is one of those unicorn tenants that is value-add to any urban lifestyle center,” he said. “I am really excited to have them join the ICE BLOCKS community.”

Near the corner of 18th and R streets, Salt & Straw will fill a space formerly occupied by Button Up Boutique, and next to a recently opened location for See’s Candies.

The new leases come when many retailers and restaurants in Sacramento’s urban core have faced tough times in the last two years, hurt first by the coronavirus pandemic and then by a downtown daytime population that’s shrunk as many companies and employers have shifted to work-from-home models.

With the two new leases, Heller said, not only is his retail fully occupied, but so are three floors of office space and 142 apartments in Ice Blocks.

Late last year, Heller filed an application with the city for a new phase of Ice Blocks called Ice Box at 1701 R St., at what’s now a parking lot next to an earlier Ice Blocks adaptive reuse phase.

Ice Box would have 65 apartments above parking and about 1,075 square feet of retail space.