Policy Update | Downtown Housing and the Downtown Specific Plan


As 2016 comes to a close, we’ve seen significant changes and updates related to local policy and its impact on downtown Sacramento. From parking changes around the Golden 1 Center to greenlighting the transformation of the Community Center Theater, we’ve seen how policy makes differences, big and small, within downtown.

As momentum in downtown Sacramento continues to grow, housing will be a central issue in the years to come. Creating a viable and balanced housing market in the city’s core has long been a top priority of Downtown Partnership. This emphasis was echoed during outgoing-Mayor Johnson’s 2015 Downtown Housing Initiative, which promised to bring 10,000 new places to live in the central city within the next 10 years.

The city has already made great strides in accomplishing the first steps in the plan. This summer the first entirely privately financed project in decades – the MAY building – began leasing 22 market-rate units on K Street.

Meanwhile, key projects are now under construction, including 700 K which will open 137 mixed-income residential units and 60,000 sq ft of retail next year. These high-density, high-quality and diverse projects are the types of projects we want and need downtown. As the city moves towards its goal of 10,000 new places to live, it’s critical that the process is guided by a plan.

Wisely, the city manager has implemented a plan that will guide this process as it moves forward. The Sacramento Downtown Specific Plan launched earlier this year and will continue through early 2018. The project’s environmental analysis will determine how long it will take the team of city staff to complete.

The Plan will provide greater detail for where housing will be located, what it will look like, integration with transit and other mobility options, needed infrastructure improvements, the desired amenities to support additional residents, and how the infrastructure will be paid for. By removing barriers to housing development, the plan will also streamline the development and environmental review process. This month, Downtown Partnership staff will be attending a stakeholder meeting where the project team will facilitate a discussion on potential urban infill housing, community amenities, and other specific elements that may contribute to a healthy business district.

Downtown Sacramento is ripe for residential and commercial investments that will fuel our city’s economic growth. Downtown Partnership is committed to working with the City and all of our partners to ensure this shared vision for a vibrant and diverse selection of housing exists within our downtown core. To learn more about the Downtown Specific Plan, visit this website and look out for updates from Downtown Partnership in early 2017.