Monday, January 12, 2009

K Street, The Endless Punching Bag

It is inevitable that when city leadership has done such a poor job for such a long time in renewing one 10 or 12 blocks of downtown that the endless critical comments do seem just that, endless.

Here is a particularly good set of them, from SN&R.

An excerpt.

“Last year Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Bretón called it “a triumph of entrepreneurial spirit over decades of decay in the urban core of Sacramento.”

“Funny how decay always makes a comeback. The Three Monkeys Grill at the end of K Street is now closed.

“The trendy sushi restaurant and bar was touted by city development officials, armchair planners and cheerleaders of the Mikuni-fication of everything (apologies to Richard Hansen) as a diamond in K Street’s rough.

“Back in the fall of 2007, while the city was slapping around landlord Moe Mohanna with one hand, with the other it was shoveling $640,000 at the owner of the Three Monkeys building, to pay for facade improvements and structural repairs.

“Now, the spot is closed indefinitely, and the city’s Development Services Department is trying to figure out if there’s any way to put together a bailout.

“So here we are again, at the end of another year of the endless war against blight on K Street—ground zero in a “merged downtown redevelopment area,” around since 1955, having sucked up $300 million in public money. Bites is no Libertarian, and thinks government can do wonderful things to make our lives better. But when it comes to K Street, the city needs an exit strategy.

“For example, the city is spending $4 million on “streetscape improvements” to the area—which will at least make K Street the most gorgeously designed no man’s land in the city.” (Highlighting in original)