No high resolution image exists...
Mayor Kevin Johnson toured the downtown railyards with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday, showing off the site of the future intermodal facility and – if all goes well for Johnson and the Think Big Committee – the site of a new entertainment and sports complex.
LaHood stopped in Sacramento on a tour of California to discuss investments being made in job-creating infrastructure projects in Sacramento and around the country, according to a press release Tuesday.
LaHood spoke to a crowd of more than 50, discussing the importance of high-speed rail in California, as well as job potential from the future intermodal facility.
“This facility is what I believe is a national model for a transit-oriented development opportunity,” LaHood said. “(It will) not only create jobs for people in Sacramento, but create an opportunity to be a magnet – to draw people to a part of the city that many people never thought would be usable.”
Johnson said Thursday that the 245-acre downtown railyards will be home to “two crucial hubs” in one location: the intermodal facility and the entertainment and sports complex.
“We believe this will be one of the busiest intermodal hubs in the country,” Johnson said. “It gets at two things at once: transportation and economic development.”
The intermodal facility will be a transit center that will provide connections between nearly all modes of transportation: bicycle, pedestrian, bus, light rail, taxi and train, according to the city website.
Work on the first phase of the transit project began in May and is expected to be complete by the end of 2013.
The entertainment and sports complex is expected to generate more than $7 billion in economic activity over 30 years and nearly 4,000 jobs to the region, according to the Think Big Sacramento website.
“We believe the entertainment and sports complex is a game-changer for this community,” Johnson said.
“We’re talking about a project that will bring 3 million people to downtown. (We’re talking about) a project that will double the size of downtown and will bring $154 million in additional revenue to our region,” he added.
If a financing plan is worked out before the March 1 relocation deadline and the project comes to fruition, it will be a 700,000-square-foot complex in the southern section of the railyards.
Representatives from the Think Big Committee planned to unveil the newest artist renderings of the entertainment and sports complex at Thursday’s event, but the plan changed at the last minute.
“(The renderings) just weren’t as perfect as we’d wanted them to be,” said Kunal Merchant, Johnson’s chief of staff.
“Really, though, people aren’t as interested in what it will look like right now,” Merchant added, “they just want to know how we’re going to pay for it. That’s the priority.”
Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCorker.