POV: Another win for the Central City

Last Friday, the City of Sacramento reached a settlement with the State’s Department of Finance on the 700 block of K Street, clearing the path for development of this critical block.

To say the least, it has been an eventful month for downtown – the culmination of many years of focused dedication to enacting change by both the public and private sectors. Of our 5 top development priorities identified in our 3-point plan, we’ve made major progress on 4 of them. And, DSP has been at the forefront serving as the voice for Downtown.

·     April 29 – Hotel Marshall: The conversion of the SRO units was approved by City Council initiating the process to transform a dilapidated blighted property into an asset by restoring one of Sacramento’s significant historical structures.

·     May 20 – Downtown Arena: The project’s term sheet was approved by City Council allowing the development process to begin.

·     May 29 – 1000 Block of J: Earlier this week, the purchase and sale of 921 10th Street to Saca was approved by City Council signaling the first step in land assembly for this critical block of downtown.

·     May 30 –  700 Block of K: The city reached a settlement on ownership of the 700 block of K Street, eliminating a major obstacle for development.

All of these milestones combined with the recent uptick in development interest with projects are a clear sign of change in the urban core. New residential projects including Sacramento Commons and i15 apartments have been proposed and we are seeing renewed interest in sites such as 555 Capitol MallCalifornia Fruit Building601 and 301 Capitol Mall. Major civic projects like the Powerhouse Science Center and Community Center Theater are gaining more attention and momentum. And also, the B Street Theater recently received approval of an $8.4 million loan from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank Board.

When our board adopted the 3-point plan strategy in 2013, many of our goals seemed aggressive and with respect to development activity beyond our control. At the same time, many of the projects and initiatives have been our organization’s list of priorities for more a decade – and for good reason. They are essential to the growth and vitality of our urban core. Laying a strong foundation in the heart of the region is integral to ensuring growth and fiscal sustainability for Sacramento to move forward.

For many of us, this is a long time coming. We’ve been involved in countless attempts to move the arena project and have advocated tirelessly for these opportunity sites and positive change in downtown. It is through leadership and dedication of our board and both our public and private partners, that we are moving the needle, which continues to move Downtown forward. Commitment to the growth and economic viability of Downtown is an investment that will produce significant dividends and support Sacramento’s ability to provide public safety, education, civic amenities, and other public services for future generations.

While there is still a long road ahead, I think we all need to pause and savor this moment. This is HUGE. Join me in congratulating and thanking our public and private partners who have helped make these achievements a reality.

Michael Ault
DSP Executive Director