Sactown Urban Update

Sactown Urban Update

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Just 84 homes a month, that’s all we ask…

Mayor Kevin Johnson wants 10,000 housing units downtown over the next 10 years.  So we’ll need to average 84 homes a month to make that happen!

The DSP (Downtown Sacramento Partnership) also identified housing as a critical component of any effort to improve the urban core in their 2013 “3 Point Plan for Moving Sacramento Forward”, part of a broad assessment that identified the key initiatives necessary to support growth downtown.

A lot of housing proposals have come and gone and new ones are in the works; but what’s (still) missing in current development proposals are concrete plans to develop "moderately priced", owner occupied housing in mid-range price points of $250,000 to $450,000 that will attract young families and young professionals, and empty nesters that want to come back to Downtown.

Now the mayor has publicly recognized the need for housing in Downtown’s rebirth as reported by Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee recently:
Repopulating downtown
The mayor set out this ambitious goal Thursday night: 10,000 new housing units in the next 10 years. Those people, he said, will be getting around via streetcars and light rail, not so much in cars. That way, the downtown will finally become a people place again. The downtown is getting its arena, and new businesses are emerging. “Housing is the missing component,” he said.
Downtown arena
A big topic in his last two speeches, the Kings and the downtown arena got only a few mentions this time around. The mayor said ESPN plans to air a documentary later this year on how the city kept the Kings and got a new arena built.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Is a street car really desired by DT businesses?

It’s more than a streetcar:  It’s the Downtown Riverfront Streetcar Project (DRSP) and it’s about connectivity.  Connecting people to businesses and entertainment events – think baseball at Raley Field, a concert or basketball game at the ESC - be it the Kings or College March Madness! Or even an event at the Community Theater/Convention Center.

Are DT business leaders really supportive of DRSP?

So far, local business leadership – in the form of Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP) has been seen as neutral although behind the public scenes they certainly have been actively studying and discussing how the project might get financed and how it could affect Downtown property owners.

And a SACOG committee has been focusing on a detailed economic study done in 2013 that showed that the cost to affected property owners was about 1% of the value of a building or 1% of rents on an annual basis.  The benefit to property owners was 3-5 times the cost at a minimum; and that does not include potential benefits to individual retailers and businesses into the future.

It was also recently reported that the City and SACOG had hired a consultant to work on public and business outreach about the Project and outreach meetings have been scheduled.

Meanwhile, DSP staff, have been drafting guiding principles that include moving light rail off of K Street (to accommodate a Streetcar), and a cap on private property owner assessments among other issues.  These principles will be presented to the City for consideration and shows that the downtown business community does indeed support the concept of a streetcar to improve connectivity to the city’s core business districts.