Friday, May 22, 2009

R Street vision refined, except for financing

Sacramento Business Journal
Friday, May 22, 2009

With restaurants and loft projects planned or under way on R Street west of 15th Street, the second phase of the corridor’s transformation has begun, with the city of Sacramento soliciting ideas for a public plaza in one of the more desolate stretches in town.

The two-block span of R Street between 16th and 18th streets, located near light-rail lines, now functions largely as an alleyway with some side parking. It is bordered by vacant lots and the empty Crystal Ice building as well as other buildings along a route to the Safeway grocery in midtown.

The city is looking at the plaza as a place for public art, planters and other amenities that would reshape the space with brick paving or interlocking concrete.

According to a description of the project provided by the city, details are getting more refined.

“Travel lane and pedestrian pavement will be large alternating bands of warm, earth tone colored and natural concrete,” the description says.

The challenge for the cash-strapped city is paying for it all. There is partial funding for design, and city workers are attempting to find funding for construction. The cost for street improvements west of 16th Street was about $4.5 million.

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