Sacramento’s River District-Railyards neighborhood at the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers is transitioning into one of the largest mixed-use in-fill opportunities in the country. Developed to support the booming 19th century rail industry, the area declined at the end of the 20th century. At its heart was Twin Rivers, a 218-unit public housing complex built in the 1940s that had become obsolete, isolated, and distressed.
Sacramento’s Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) engaged in years of outreach, planning, and design with other public agencies, community-based organizations, and area residents to develop a new vision. In January 2012, McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS) and the Sacramento County Housing Authority secured a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative planning grant and, in 2015, a $30 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant.
The grant enables creation of a transit-oriented mixed-use urban environment including 8,144 dwelling units, 4 million square feet of office space, 854,000 square feet of retail/wholesale, 1.5 million square feet of light industrial, and 3,000 hotel units.
The key transit feature will be a new Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail Blue Line Station made possible by a California Strategic Growth Council grant and complemented by sidewalks and bike lanes and physical connections across the American River to Downtown. The entire District will be bordered by a ribbon of parks at the river’s edge.
Across from the station will be Mirasol Village, replacing the Twin Rivers public housing project with 489 affordable, workforce, and market-rate units, including one-for-one replacement of the previous public housing units, a new 1.6-acre public park and a community garden.
Urban Strategies, Inc. will oversee intensive case management for residents in coordination with citizen-directed planning and resident engagement.
The River District is becoming the best of Sacramento urban living with access to natural settings and healthy activities and proximity and transportation to Downtown and employment centers.