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You've been to K Street in Downtown Sacramento, but have you ever been to "The Kay"?
That might be how you start referring to it soon if a rebranding effort for the stretch of K Street between Seventh and 13th streets proposed by The Downtown Partnership is successful.
Lisa Martinez with the Downtown Partnership said the inspiration for the name came from a fact depicted in a recent book on K Street by local historian William Burg: K Street was often spelled as "Kay Street" in old addresses and newspaper articles from the 1800s through the 1960s, when the street was part of a thriving downtown core.
According to Martinez, the name "The Kay" refers to that history and expresses the idea that the street is returning to its roots, but with a new style.
"We wanted to be able to express that nod back to where our roots are as a district and as a city, but also be able to move the conversation forward, because you can't recreate your history, but you can build upon it – that's what we're trying to accomplish with "The Kay," she said.
Burg concurred that the K Street’s new direction is connected to its history.
“Well, what we're seeing now is a return to that neighborhood's traditional role,” he said. “Traditionally that was not just the shopping district but also the entertainment district – where the nightclubs were, but also where the hotels were, and one thing that we've seen in the last couple of years that has been happening is the opening of a new hotel, The Citizen, and then multiple new restaurants and entertainment venues.”
The partnership has applied for a permit to put new street signs with the "The Kay” logo at every intersection from Seventh through 13th street on K Street. The application, along with the designs of the logo, made their way onto Facebook Monday afternoon.
Martinez said that the partnership’s branding committee had developed the idea, which includes business owners from K Street. She is still in the process of reaching out to more business to get additional feedback.
The rebranding will be part of a larger campaign – which is still in development – that will include profiles of business owners and entrepreneurs downtown.
The idea, she said, is to help encourage the district’s revitalization by doing a better job of telling its story.
"It's about creating a really full, vibrant neighborhood, a place where you can experience things, a place where you can meet up with people," Martinez said.
We’ll be following-up on this story as more information becomes available.
What do you think of the name “The Kay” and the proposed logo? Sound off in the conversation below.
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