DEL PASO HEIGHTS – Allen Wayne Warren is a busy man. Not only is this former professional baseball player a community leader and businessman, but he is also a highly active Sacramento City Councilman representing District 2 as well as a seasoned residential housing developer.
The busy Warren is a doer — a tough taskmaster — not afraid to take on challenging projects, especially in the north area of Sacramento.
Aside from his political career that started five years ago, Warren has built an effective and lucrative career as a developer for nearly 30 years. Yes, he has had his challenges, fought battles in the courtrooms, and survived a downturn in the local housing market.
But through it all, Warren has remained a smooth operator who provides the American dream to many potential homeowners in the Sacramento area. For the most part, Warren’s successes have been in North Sacramento, where he grew up and vowed never to leave behind.
Business and politics are separate entities, but with homeless people in his district and the city at large, Warren’s efforts have provided a temporary roof and health, social and medical services for the needy.
The former athlete, who was once a center fielder in the New York Yankees organization, said it’s only a start and permanent housing for the city’s homeless is the ultimate goal.
Warren also states that helping the homeless will also enhance the lives of every Sacramentan.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to do something right now to improve the quality of life for the people who are forced on the streets,” Warren told The OBSERVER.
“Also, we want to improve the quality of life for the surrounding communities — the homeowners, renters, and people who are paying taxes. This should be a win-win situation,” he added.
The area in question is just west of the Johnston Community Center on the footsteps of Steelhead Creek’s ridge. A homeless camp already exists there, but up to 200 people could get the services they need through the summer. The cost is estimated at $100,000. Warren’s efforts stood out against a city ordinance that bans camping in public places.
Over the next few weeks, the City Council will be reviewing proposals that would address the needs of the homeless. Warren is leading the charge.
“After several months we can do analysis to figure out what the real impact has been and if it’s part of a broader solution that we should be trying to implement in the city,” Warren said.
“It’s going to serve as a model. So we can analyze it and figure out if this is one of the potential options for dealing with people that are chronically or temporarily homeless.”
As he works with the city, Warren has been able to equally balance activities as founder of New Faze Development Corp. and his political office at City Hall.
First elected to his council seat in November 2012, beating an established candidate, Warren said his only focus as a councilman, was “doing the people’s business.”
“I’m going to continue to do the work for my constituents as I said I would when I first ran for office,” Warren told The OBSERVER.
“There are a lot things that need to be done in terms of creating small businesses, jobs, public safety, helping the homeless, and creating programs for the youth. I’m really going to focus on these things and more for the community,” he added while standing in the parking lot of Carol’s Books on Del Paso Boulevard.
“One of the biggest things that I have tried to do is to help people understand that this community needs to speak with as much of a unified voice as possible. That has allowed me to have a bigger platform to move with a larger group of people who are saying, ‘We’re ready for change,’” Warren added.
Those who really know Warren say that his role as a politician has humbled him.
Warren earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration from California State University, East Bay (formerly CSU-Hayward).
Warren rose his company from the ashes after the downturn in the economy to open up two developments. And he’s about to put the shovel in the ground for another project.
Warren says that as the housing market improves in the Sacramento region, so will New Faze.
During nine months of sales, New Faze Development closed out with Park Place East, which is an enclave of 33 single-family, detached homes just a couple of minutes from UC Davis Medical Center in Oak Park. The three-bedroom midtown homes range from 1,335 to 1,407 square feet.
New Faze hit its stride when construction started on Renaissance Park a few years ago. Located at El Camino and Erickson Street, Renaissance Park is a community within a community and is definitely the ideal place for first-time home buyers and career-oriented Sacramentans.
“We’ve sold every house,” Warren said of Renaissance Park while giving The OBSERVER an outdoor tour of 53 detached homes. Each residence is pre-wired for solar and electric vehicle chargers with innovative building standards.
Another New Faze project, Dry Creek, which will have 53 homes and 10 halfplexes, will soon be underway.
A friend of Warren’s, Michael Williams, who is a realtor for Coldwell Banker, has known Warren since they played for California State University, East Bay’s baseball team. Williams was a Major League Baseball scout before he turned to real estate.
Williams recalled a story that pilot Lincoln Ragsdale tells people when he took Warren on a flight.
On the flight, the pressure gauge began to experience difficulties, but Warren didn’t flinch in the eye of danger.
Williams — who, like many other longtime Del Paso Heights residents, refers to Warren as “Wayne” — said that Warren seemed to be in control.
“While the pressure gauge was doing whatever, Wayne looked over and told Ragsdale, whose father is a Tuskegee Airman, ‘Man, you better handle it,’” Williams said.
“He was calm, cool and not even nervous,” Williams said.
“He’s a man of strong faith. Of course, everything turned out OK,” Williams added.
Derrell Roberts, another friend of Warren’s, and co-founder of the Roberts Family Development Center along with his wife Tina Roberts, has worked closely with Warren over the years, especially in District 2.
Roberts says, respectfully, that Warren is a “complex man,” but a “true leader.”
Warren worked with the Robertses and others to promote the north area Martin Luther King Holiday March. Over the years, they worked on many other programs.
“What people have to understand about Allen,” Roberts pointed out, “is that he is extremely busy.”
Roberts said that Warrren is definitely sincere and appreciative of efforts community leaders make in his district.
“He’s always been supportive of all we do here at Roberts Family Development Center,” he added.
Warren, a lifelong resident of North Sacramento who graduated from Grant High School in the 1980s, says whether through a political career or through development efforts he will remain committed to the area.
Warren’s vision for his district and the city at large is to continue to serve the people and to help them realize the American dream.
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer