City officials hope a soccer stadium proposed for Sacramento’s downtown railyard will kick-start development in the long-vacant site. Sacramento Republic FC
City officials hope a soccer stadium proposed for Sacramento’s downtown railyard will kick-start development in the long-vacant site. Sacramento Republic FC

City Beat

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City Beat

Downtown Sacramento ‘entering a new era,’ Mayor Kevin Johnson says

By Ryan Lillis

rlillis@sacbee.com

February 10, 2015 12:21 PM

Downtown interests celebrated the rebirth of Sacramento’s central core Tuesday morning during the annual State of Downtown address at Memorial Auditorium. And as usual, that celebration focused on the impact professional sports is having on the area.

Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, told a crowd of 700 that his organization receives inquiries from investors every week seeking information on vacancies and lease rates of properties within a small radius of the new Kings arena under construction.

Ault also said a proposed soccer stadium for Sacramento Republic FC would kick-start development in the downtown railyard, a 240-acre site that would roughly double the size of downtown once it’s developed with housing, offices and retail space. “If Sacramento Republic has shown us one thing, it’s that this town wants more,” Ault said.

He also mentioned a housing and retail development underway on the 700 block of K Street and the planned renovation of the old Hotel Marshall on Seventh Street as signs of downtown’s progress.

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“Things downtown have changed in a lot of ways,” Ault said.

Mayor Kevin Johnson addressed many of the same issues in his remarks during his State of the City address last month. He highlighted his vision for “Sacramento 3.0,” a city focused on innovation and technology. The mayor also repeated his call to add 10,000 units of housing to downtown.

“I think we’re entering into a new era,” Johnson said.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at www.sacbee.com/city-beat.