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Old 01-04-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,094 posts, read 16,134,638 times
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Sacramento has a myriad of problems.

1) Downtown in, largely, uninhabited. The remaining population after all the schools were shut down and middle-class driven out to the suburbs by bad policy was simply evicted to make room for office space, predominantly government office space. Downtown needs people but lacks the amenities that people who live in a neighborhood, as opposed to just visit it for entertainment, want.

2) Housing: There isn't anywhere near enough housing sufficient to make downtown vibrant. It's a dead-after-5 zone mostly since everyone gets off work and bogeys on out. The problem is there's also no room for new housing that isn't at least mid-rise or preferably high-rise and the surrounding housing is very inexpensive. It's very difficult to build up when building out is cheap.

3) Transit: The majority of people working downtown, who are by and large the only people in downtown, drove there. It's difficult to have a vibrant street scene when everyone gets everywhere by car. But where exactly are all the downtown workers supposed to live? Not downtown (depopulated). Which leads into the development, or lack there of, the areas surrounding downtown. That said, Sacramento's done a good job with their bicycle infrastructure. Natomas is generally about as good as it gets for conventional suburban development with lots of bike lanes and separated MUPs and cut-throughs. There's the 10 mile northern bike trail which runs through the "charming" Rio Linda. Nice trail, bad area.

4) Surrounding areas
Undeveloped, underdeveloped, stupidly developed, nicely developed... as suburbs 80 years ago. There's just no where for a sufficient number of people to live in the vicinity. The Railyards is empty, been empty for years. North of that is mostly half abandoned warehouses, empty lots, a few land-inefficient government buildings. Where they cleared out areas and redeveloped them, they built these stupid '60s-style massive public housing projects. Even the affordable housing they built in El Dorado Hills, a sprawling car-only exurb with miles of uninterrupted suburban housing, has higher density than the projects outside downtown.
At build out, the Railyards alone should provide housing for 20,000 or more as currently envisioned which is heavy on the retail and office space. Township 9's (a 65 acre hole in the ground north of the Railyards) first building starting construction late last year should house another 6-7000. Projected density for these areas are quite high (~50-60,000 per square mile). There's at least double the area in warehouses still remaining although that probably wouldn't see the same densities as it's farther from transit. Lots of potential room for development along the Del Paso light rail blue line, just challenging to get development to occur in such a crime-infested and blighted area.

4) Proximity to San Francisco would likely ultimately put a lid on downtown Sacramento ever becoming a world-class city.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:01 AM
 
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Sacramento's the capital of the largest state in the union, which has something like the 7th largest economy in the world. It should be an important place. It's close to San Francisco, but Philadelphia is as close to New York. Philadelphia may not be world class, it may not even want to be world class, but it's a great city with a really great downtown. San Diego isn't that much farther from LA than Sacramento from San Francisco. Again, maybe not world class, but definitely a fine downtown.

You're spot on about the housing, though. Almost all the other big city downtowns in California have gotten a lot of housing, but Sacramento hasn't.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:34 PM
 
630 posts, read 842,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Sacramento's the capital of the largest state in the union, which has something like the 7th largest economy in the world. It should be an important place. It's close to San Francisco, but Philadelphia is as close to New York. Philadelphia may not be world class, it may not even want to be world class, but it's a great city with a really great downtown. San Diego isn't that much farther from LA than Sacramento from San Francisco. Again, maybe not world class, but definitely a fine downtown.

You're spot on about the housing, though. Almost all the other big city downtowns in California have gotten a lot of housing, but Sacramento hasn't.
What other cities' downtowns got alot of housing? Give some more examples
Oh, I disagree that Philly has a great downtown. It's an ok but boring downtown that needs more stuff.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foo cities View Post
What other cities' downtowns got alot of housing? Give some more examples
Oh, I disagree that Philly has a great downtown. It's an ok but boring downtown that needs more stuff.
In the 2002-2007 boom, a lot of housing was added in numerous downtowns including Philadelphia, Chicago, New York (Wall Street), Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Oakland.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,326,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
By "live their lives" I meant doing such things as going to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Denver Art Museum, and the like, as well as living there.
I think downtown Denver has a lot going for it. We went to the Christmas parade in late Nov. and you would have thought you were at the Macy's parade in Manhattan. So much going on, tens of thousands of people, etc.

I know many other cities would like to recreate what Denver has, but there is room for improvement. Still plenty of surface lots (especially on the immidiate N/NE side of downtown) that need to be developed, and I'd like to see more highrise condos/apartments downtown to really turn it into a 24/7 downtown. Plus a new signature tower to help distinguish the skyline from others. But overall, it's a very nice downtown.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:30 PM
 
9,524 posts, read 14,881,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foo cities View Post
Philly again: the Gallery, rowhouse in the middle of downtown west, surface lots and relatively small and few blocks of urban activities like Walnut and some side streets. The vast open park space also need to go. Parks are nice but in a right size and careful thought will do the trick. The rest needs to be highrise areas.
What??? The vast open park space is a long distance from anything considered Philadelphia's "downtown" -- either the office area (roughly clustered around City Hall) or the areas where there's things to do at night (around 2nd street, much of South Street). It's not hurting anything.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:38 PM
 
9,524 posts, read 14,881,852 times
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And now that I'm in this thread: As for the downtown of the nearest real city to me -- Newark, NJ -- sorry, it's had its day and nothing will save it now. Run into the ground for decades by utterly corrupt Jersey politicians, now sporting a population consisting almost entirely of criminals and the impoverished, the only thing Newark has left is a few businesses given enormous tax breaks to keep them there and some state-sponsored circenses. The downtown is a ghost town at night, and if you're in any other part of the city you're probably looking nervously for the exit.

And even if it somehow overcame all those problems, it would still be lost in the shadow of New York.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,744,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
And now that I'm in this thread: As for the downtown of the nearest real city to me -- Newark, NJ -- sorry, it's had its day and nothing will save it now. Run into the ground for decades by utterly corrupt Jersey politicians, now sporting a population consisting almost entirely of criminals and the impoverished, the only thing Newark has left is a few businesses given enormous tax breaks to keep them there and some state-sponsored circenses. The downtown is a ghost town at night, and if you're in any other part of the city you're probably looking nervously for the exit.

And even if it somehow overcame all those problems, it would still be lost in the shadow of New York.
I don't know. I live in Oakland and level of improvement in downtown over the last 10-15 years is ridiculous.

I do think Oakland is a bit wealthier though. Poverty is pretty concentrated to certain areas of the city. But with the right leadership almost anything is possible.

The past 4 have also been huge. This year already we have had 4 bar/restaurant openings downtown. And I know about at least 4 more planned between now and march. December had another 3.

[and there have been about 8 openings that I am aware of in neighborhoods within 3 miles of downtown since December. 2 more I know about planned in the next few months.]


I am on my phone, please forgive the typos.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,009 posts, read 10,464,425 times
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San Diego's downtown is hindered by the large numbers of homeless clustering down there. The homeless act as a deterrent to more people moving downtown. It hasn't stopped people entirely, but it is a hindrance. Here's hoping the new homeless shelter that has actual rooms will clean up the streets some.

The other problem is that downtown needs to develop an additional high paying industry cluster to drive employment into the core, along the lines of high tech in Sorrento Valley/Mesa, and defense tech in Kearny Mesa. Yes, downtown owns legal and government, but that alone isn't enough.

Less of hindrance, but still needed are more available locations for necessities like grocery stores, and more park space. Not big parks, just plazas with plants and a little bit of grass.

People often say that San Diego could use taller buildings that make more of an architectural statement. While that is true, that isn't what is holding back downtown.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:15 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,545,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
San Diego's downtown is hindered by the large numbers of homeless clustering down there. The homeless act as a deterrent to more people moving downtown. It hasn't stopped people entirely, but it is a hindrance. Here's hoping the new homeless shelter that has actual rooms will clean up the streets some.

The other problem is that downtown needs to develop an additional high paying industry cluster to drive employment into the core, along the lines of high tech in Sorrento Valley/Mesa, and defense tech in Kearny Mesa. Yes, downtown owns legal and government, but that alone isn't enough.

Less of hindrance, but still needed are more available locations for necessities like grocery stores, and more park space. Not big parks, just plazas with plants and a little bit of grass.

People often say that San Diego could use taller buildings that make more of an architectural statement. While that is true, that isn't what is holding back downtown.
Is Downtown San Diego being held back? I just visited and saw an astonishing amount of construction, like happy days were here again.
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