Year in review: Up-and-coming R Street

The R Street streetscape improvement project that broke ground in 2010 finished in the fall, and several other changes to the R Street corridor signal it as an up-and-coming district heading into 2012, with more improvements on the way. Improvements to R Street between 10th and 13th streets came in at less than the allotted funding, allowing the city to add a few more amenities, including 13 more benches for pedestrians. Other improvements included creating uniform sidewalks, new pavement and new streetlights. Rail lines were left in place in a nod to the area’s history. The construction stayed on schedule, coming to a close in the fall. Completion of the first phase is just one step in the process that includes more than 20 blocks of improvements, and The Sacramento Press took a look at what else is in line for the area, including the R Street Market Plaza. It wasn’t just government-funded infrastructure improvements that brought changes to R Street over the past year. A popular local eatery, Shoki Ramen House, opened a second location near 12th Street on R Street. The owners told The Sacramento Press that they had always liked the R Street area, so when the space became available, it was a natural choice. The Fox and Goose Public House, a longtime business at 10th and R streets whose owners applauded […]

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New mayoral candidate plans to bring ‘fresh leadership’ to Sacramento

The 2012 race for Sacramento mayor just gained another candidate: Edgar Hilbert. Hilbert, a tax preparer in Oak Park, said Wednesday that he was motivated to run for office by a desire to serve the Sacramento community in a meaningful way. “It will be my duty and goal to not just protect the quality of life in Sacramento, but to improve it,” he said in a press release Tuesday. Hilbert, 45, is married and has three children. He was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States in 1993. He has lived in Sacramento since 2001. Hilbert’s wife, Leticia, ran for City Council District 5 in the 2010 election, and Hilbert acted as his wife’s campaign manager. One of the biggest issues that Hilbert said he sees in local government is the need for “fresh leadership” and leaders who listen to the ideas of the people more than simply doing things their own way. “It is clear to me that the need for a new leadership focused on people is more important now than ever,” Hilbert said. The city budget, economic development and infrastructure are the three big-ticket items that Hilbert said he wants to focus on as mayor. Hilbert said his experience on the Oak Park Redevelopment Advisory Committee has given him a good perspective on housing issues in the area, as […]

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The Time is now for Your Input about Utilities

City Utilities is looking for customer input as it faces challenges with aging pipes, increasing regulations The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities, the City’s water, sewer, drainage and solid waste service provider, is seeking residential and commercial customer input on a set of guiding principles that will guide the department’s future services, programs and priorities. Through the initiative called Your Utilities. Your Voice., the department is educating customers about the challenges it faces as well as gathering their opinions about how the department moves forward. “Choices have to be made as we look to the future of the department,” said Dave Brent, Interim Director of the Department of Utilities. “We are facing challenges. Our sewer and water system, pipes and water treatment facilities have been around for nearly 100 years. Maintenance, repairs and replacement costs are increasing. We need our stakeholders and customers, the real owners of our utility system, to be a part of this important discussion and decision making process.” Customer feedback will help Utilities prioritize a set of guiding principles. These principles focus on the department’s goals which include responding to customer needs, balancing those needs with departmental mandates and services, and, ultimately will be used to analyze rates. If you are a Sacramento city business or residential customer, complete the survey by visiting YourUtilitiesYourVoice.com by October 3, 2011. Utilities will […]

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Inland to present plans to council

The new owner of the historic railyards will roughly outline plans for the site Tuesday. Representatives for the Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, a Chicago-area real estate investment firm, are scheduled to appear before the Sacramento City Council for the first time since taking over the defaulted property Oct. 22. They will briefly discuss their approach to the project and what may be the focus in the future, as well as give a quick update on infrastructure work taken over from Thomas Enterprises and other issues they're focusing on in the transition, said Assistant City Manager John Dangberg. "I think they've gotten their bearings and just want to share with the public where they're at," Dangberg said. Thomas Enterprises was developing the site as the Railyards, but defaulted on loans from Inland in June. Inland representatives have engaged in "a tremendous amount of coordination" with city, state and federal agencies for more than a month to ensure infrastructure work and its funding continue, said Dean Stermer, who heads up Inland's team on the project. "Our primary job is to complete the work that's ongoing right now," Stermer said Friday from the company's offices in Oak Brook, Ill. "That's 110 percent everyone's focus right now." The council agenda also contains a consent calendar item authorizing Interim City Manager Gus Vina to appropriate $7.5 million in […]

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Council OK’s infrastructure study

The Sacramento City Council agreed to fund a $150,000 study of downtown’s infrastructure Tuesday night. The purpose is to collect up-to-date information about the core’s aging and sometimes outdated infrastructure and identify improvements needed to eliminate obstacles to the kind of infill development outlined in the city’s 2030 General Plan and the Downtown Activation Strategy. It was adopted by the council in January. The study is needed to make sure downtown is primed for the development and investment that’s expected as the economy picks up. The data also will help the city apply for state and federal funding. An R Street infrastructure study done years ago has been used to get funding and begin infrastructure work to encourage development there, said Sheri Smith, senior project manager with the Economic Development Department. "When you have some downtime and in a down economy, it’s a good time to prepare yourself for the future," Smith said. "Right now is the time to do the study. Then it becomes a really useful tool for potential projects as the uptick happens." The need for infrastructure upgrades can turn out to be a costly obstacle to redevelopment. Detailed, current data is crucial to developers in the early stages of planning and financing, especially for projects in downtown Sacramento. Getting financing is easier if developers know what kind of infrastructure work is […]

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Bikeramento Week Launches on the Pedals of the Amgen Tour of California

SACRAMENTO, Cal. – FEBRUARY 9, 2009 – A local group of bicycle advocates launch the 1st Annual Bikeramento Week from Feb. 9-14, culminating on Valentine’s Day with a race day watch party at 18th and L on the patio of the Buckhorn Grill during the Amgen Tour of California, the largest bicycle race in the United States. Each day this week, the team offers a different bicycle-friendly event to highlight Sacramento’s potential as a bikeable community to both visitors and locals alike. By attending events, participants can win a pair of tickets to the Bikeramento Patio during the Amgen prologue on Saturday. The group wishes to raise awareness of bicycles as a transportation norm. “This is a great way to connect to the average Sacramentan about harnessing bicycle culture to create a strong and green Sacramento economy during this difficult downturn,” says co-founder Lorena Beightler. From Monday’s Bicycle Safety Night at the Bicycle Kitchen in Midtown to Tuesday’s Bike Crawl to 5 different night spots on the grid, Bikeramento invites active participation to show people how easy it is use the bicycle as core transportation for everyday life. “Our goal is to educate by connecting bikeability to having fun,” remarks co-founder, Brian Fischer of midtowngrid.com. “However, the larger intention is to introduce two core ideas, Sac Sunday Streets and the Velobahn.” “It’s all about making […]

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New Jobs Coming to Sacramento Railyards

Given the state of the local economy, I wanted to share a press release regarding some encouraging news about The Railyards project.  Sacramento, CA – (Dec 3, 2008)  The developer of the 244-acre Sacramento Railyards project announced today that approximately 3,000 new jobs will be created in 2009 as a direct result of voter passage of Proposition 1C, the $2.8 billion Housing and Infrastructure Bond and Proposition1B, the $19.9 billion Transportation Bond as well as other local and federal infrastructure funds. The announcement comes as the Obama administration considers a federal economic recovery plan with a national infrastructure investment component and the Sacramento region copes with an unemployment rate of 7.9% and one of the worst mortgage foreclosure rates in the nation. To date, The Railyards has been the recipient of millions in Proposition 1C and 1B bond awards to build bridges, roads, overpasses, bikepaths and underground utilities at the historic location which is the largest urban infill site in the country. According to Suheil Totah, vice president of development for Thomas Enterprises, surveyors, engineers, planners and architects are already at work and construction teams will be visible on the urban infill site within the coming months. “These jobs demonstrate that investing in infrastructure is an important and necessary step for our economic recovery,” said Totah. “We’re grateful for Governor Schwarzenegger’s leadership as an advocate for infrastructure […]

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