A plan for a large infill project is now before the Sacramento City Council.
The Railyards would include a minimum of 6,000 homes and condos and nearly 4.5 million square feet of office and retail space.
This is the third time a developer has presented a project for the Railyards. Richard Rich is Project Manager for the City of Sacramento's Community Development Department.
"It keeps improving with each iteration. So, we are just at the doorstep of being able to provide entitlements for somewhere between 14 and 17 million square feet of transit-oriented, mixed-use, urban environment."
The Railyards project would roughly double the size of Sacramento's downtown, while adding at least 6,000 homes and condos.
There is a provision for 600 affordable housing units to be part of the project, or the developer could dedicate land for the construction of such units.
A new city ordinance requires projects include all levels of housing affordability, but does not require a certain percentage for any type of housing.
The project (by Downtown Railyard Venture LLC) would also include a Kaiser Permanente campus and a storm water drainage system that would empty into the Sacramento River.
Rich says flooding from the waterway is not a concern, though it was in the 1840's when debris from foothill mining was settling in the river.
"Central Pacific at that time did not have 14 agencies to go through, simply took a giant dredge and dredged the Sacramento River and pumped all of those spoils onto the Railyards' site, elevating it to what now turns out to be about the 200-year flood level."
He says the project would also include the nomination of the Railyards' old water tower as a historic landmark in the Sacramento Register of Historic and Cultural Resources.
"They're visible from a long distance. We don't make them really in this way. Sacramento doesn't have a big history of these sorts of water towers. So, it's a unique element of the story of the Railyards."
The project would include the space between the I Street Bridge and North B Street.
It would also include 14.6 acres for a new soccer stadium north of Railyards Boulevard if Sacramento is awarded a Major League Soccer franchise.
The city council will review the project and discuss it November 10.