Sunday, April 22, 2007

Updated railyards plan

The City of Sacramento sent out this early notification about the latest revision of the Railyards plan. Along with this map, they sent along a list of bullet points, including:

* A mix of housing types and affordability ranges--between 10,000-12,000 units, 25 du/ac to 300 du/ac.

* About 1.4 million square feet of mixed use retail, 2.5 million sf of office space, about 500,000 sf of cultural/entertainment, 1100 hotel rooms and the Railroad Technology Museum. In addition, a school, 40 acres of open space, pedestrian/bike linkages, and some kind of national monument along the riverfront. All this, plus a solar co-generation plant.

* Extension of downtown grid pattern for walkability and seamless transition

* Intermodal facility and transit hub

* Light rail extensions, both Sacramento Valley Station and the south end of what will eventually be the DNA line

* Public infrastructure funding mechanisms

I'm most curious about the last bullet point, as it seems like it would be the driving force behind the rest of the bullet points. One semi-troubling thing about the new map is that it doesn't clearly delineate which of the historic Shops buildings, if any, are explicitly part of the Railroad Technology Museum--one of the more interesting upcoming discussions will be how State Parks and Thomas Enterprises come to terms over what will belong to Parks (ideally, the majority of the Shops buildings, if not all of them) and what will be restored by Thomas (hopefully at least a small part like the Paint Shop, for use as a public-accessible market building.)

They got rid of the silly canals idea. Not sure how I feel about the parkway--if they're just green strips they will wind up being dead space like Capitol Mall. If they can make those parks usable (with shade, walk/bike paths and recreation facilities)they could be pretty cool. They're keeping the Fifth Street "armature" and the Seventh Street underpass, although it isn't clear how light rail will run.

They're still keeping their options open, arena-wise. Apparently they're sticking to the story they gave me this winter--if they can do an arena, cool, if not, still cool, but in a different direction.

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