Sacramento Chooses Practical Over Transformative in Downtown Revitalization

Spurning an elaborate but costly proposal to transform two blighted blocks of Sacramento's ailing downtown K Street mall the city council chose a less costly, mixed-use plan restore the blocks sooner with four story buildings and 256 housing units.
July 16, 2010, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"Today may be the most significant moment for K Street since the day 41 years ago when automobiles were taken off the mall. Tonight (July 13), the City Council decides which development proposal it prefers out of four submitted for the rundown 700 and 800 blocks of K Street."

The article continues, "Council appears poised to embrace a big, bold plan despite a significant financing gap – rather than a more modest proposal from downtown's most dependable developer."

However, by a 5-4 vote (with Mayor Kevin Johnson in the minority), council did the opposite, choosing the less elaborate, less costly project that may not have the 'transformative' effect on the blighted street the Mayor had hoped for.

Nonetheless, what one councilman called the more 'practical' plan will result in "more than 200 housing units, shops and restaurants" built with less city debt, and sooner (by 2012) according to developers D&S Development and David Tayor.

Did the city council miss a 'golden opportunity'? The Sacramento Bee believes so.

"(W)hat developers may take away is that the council does not share a vision for downtown, and is unwilling to think big. That is an unfortunate message."

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Published on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 in The Sacramento Bee - Sacramento City News
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