Dedeveloping K Street and the Railyards?

Sacramento’s quest to revive downtown K Street and develop its northerly neighboring railyards may be facing a setback suddenly, now that millions in redevelopment money is at risk. The Bee published a collage of reactions yesterday from developers and city officials commenting on last week’s Supreme Court ruling that eliminates redevelopment and, possibly, subsidies that were counted on to redevelop the 700 and 800 blocks of K Street, and provide infrastructure, utility hookups, and affordable housing to support the Railyard project.

Sandwiched between the State Capitol building and thousands of yearly hotel visitors, and linking, by what seems an awkward geographical accident, a destination Convention Center on 13th Street to the tumbleweed-strewn Westfield mall on 7th, K Street remains Sacramento’s breakout on prom night. I wish we could do something to at least fix the desolate 700 and 800 blocks.

The Railyard represents another massive un-seized opportunity for Sacramento, bogged down in a web of regulatory complexities and, yes, also a Sisyphean burden of attracting investors to an undertaking that seems to resist the intrusion of any long-term certainty in its vision.

City officials appear stubbornly optimistic that the Supreme Court ruling won’t affect these immediate projects in K Street and the Railyard. But, even in a best-case scenario, the disappearance of redevelopment means Sisyphus’ boulder is about to take another tumble down the mountain and we don’t have much of a net to catch it.

Sacramentans may have to wait a bit longer for the vibrant, attractive, mixed-use K Street and Railyards we’ve been hearing about. Unless city officials can pull a rabbit out of their hat.

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