A significant chapter begins in the restoration of Sacramento’s downtown and the primary focus of leadership on its continuance, though buffeted by the uncertain economic times, will prove key to its success; not necessarily the hallmark of past generations of Sacramento leadership.
However, one hopes for the best, and celebrates this new beginning in the railyards, as eventually, the work will do wonders for the lower Parkway, so troubled by illegal camping, crime, and environmental degradation over the past few decades.
“For years, it seemed nothing would happen in the barren space that is the downtown railyard. Today, Sacramento finally sees the launch of a much-awaited makeover of the massive downtown railyard site.
“Crews begin laying the base for three major roads and two bridges in downtown Sacramento's northwest corner, setting in motion what developers say will be the biggest urban infill project in the country.
"This is a historic moment," said Suheil Totah, the Sacramento head for Atlanta-based railyard owner Thomas Enterprises. "This is the beginning of the future of (downtown) Sacramento."
“But, in keeping with the project's history of fits and starts, today's launch remains shadowed by financial uncertainty.
“To start construction, the Thomas development company was forced to front funds by leveraging some of its properties in other parts of the country, representatives said.
“But it's counting on tens of millions of dollars in promised state infrastructure bond funds to keep the project on track, and more in city and federal funds this year.
"The sooner, the better," Totah said Wednesday after a nail-biting winter when the state, in a budget crisis, froze funding for this and other projects.
“State officials recently began selling bonds to finance projects. The railyard was identified Wednesday among the California projects that will receive their promised funding; however, state finance officials said that money won't start flowing for at least a month.
“The Thomas company will host a formal groundbreaking ceremony today for what is expected to be a 20-year community-building project.”