The future of a blighted stretch of K Street in downtown Sacramento goes to the city council Tuesday night. The council will pick from among four different redevelopment proposals for the 700 and 800 blocks. As Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports, conflicting recommendations from City Hall are setting the stage for a showdown.
One recommendation comes from a city council committee with three council members and Mayor Kevin Johnson. They’re endorsing an ambitious proposal called “The AuthentiCity.” And since that’s four of the five votes needed for a council majority …
Paino: “We’re encouraged, but we know there’s a long way to go and we’re not counting our chickens.”
J-E Paino is with Rubicon Partners. That’s the firm that reworked the Citizen Hotel at 10th and J Streets. It’s leading the push for the AuthentiCity. The proposal includes a new entertainment venue and a year-round outdoor marketplace promoting local agriculture. It would be built in four different phases and encompass two square city blocks.
Paino: “We need a bold and very clear plan that highlights high-density housing over retail, civic amenities and entertainment, and we need to remove the blight. That’s where we started; and that was our goal all along.”
But a “selection committee” with city staff and outside experts prefers two different developers. For the 700 block, D&S Development. They’ve worked on a similar project at 14th and R streets. And for the 800 block, a group that includes high-profile Sacramento developer David Taylor. The Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s board reached the same conclusion. Executive director Michael Ault says the AuthentiCity has too many unanswered questions:
Ault: “We just didn’t really know how some of the future phases yet at this point were gonna be funded and where the city was going to be at. And so with that information we had at that point, we thought D&S and David Taylor gave us the best chance more quickly to move forward at this time.”
Taylor couldn’t be reached for comment. But Bay Miry with D&S Development says he’s frustrated with the council committee’s process.
Miry: “Frankly, we feel that the ad hoc committee should’ve had a little bit more time with each of the development teams and didn’t have all of the finances and information in front of them.”
The next step after Tuesday’s vote is exclusive negotiations between the city and developers. Those might not start until September.
But city officials want to move as quickly as possible. Take a look down K Street and you’ll see why.