Monday, April 27, 2009

Fix the Center

In the endless drama and periodic discussions of what to do about K Street, continued in this article from the Sacramento Bee, it is often remarked that part of the importance of fixing it up is that K Street is the center of Sacramento.

Actually, the real center of Sacramento should be the two rivers that frame the city and as those rivers are continually developed, that will ultimately create more momentum to solve the great K Street conundrum than any specific plans directed towards K Street itself.

Beatifying and developing the riverfronts of the Sacramento and the American River will create a adjacent recreational destination for downtown visitors that currently does not exist, primarily due to public safety and maintenance issues caused by illegal camping and the resulting crime and environmental degradation.

Examining other river cities, such as Portland, reveals the tremendous magnet developed riverfronts create for a city’s downtown.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

"Over the past decade, public and private investors have poured more than $170 million into the K Street Mall.

"Results have been mixed for the six-block pedestrian strip between Downtown Plaza and the Sacramento Convention Center. In the 700 and 800 blocks, 14 empty storefronts face K Street. Most evenings the street is empty.

"There are signs of improvement. Work has begun on a nightclub, bar and gourmet pizzeria between 10th and 11th streets, and a 409-room hotel has been proposed for the vacant lot at Eighth and K. The city is about to begin a $4 million streetscape project.

"But success remains elusive."