Stockton Boulevard used to be thriving thoroughfare. But blight took over in the 1960s when Highway 99 replaced the Boulevard as the main artery linkng Sacramento to the City of Stockton. Today, it’s home to many South East Asian owned businesses, including the Lava Lounge.
Owner Bob Tran opened the lavishly decorated coffee house about a year ago. "I got the big screen over here with internet over here and sometimes we have jazz band or Vietnamese singer perform over here."
Tran says local businesses owners are hopeful that the new state loan to revitalize the Boulevard will boost the neighborhood economy. "Yeah, it’s really exciting. We are so happy we are going to have more improvement over here from the city."
The loan comes from the state’s Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (AKA I-Bank) headed by state Treasurer Phil Angelides. He says it’ll improve a unique area of Sacramento. "It’s where the South East Asian community has its businesses. It’s one of the thriving, energetic, hard-working communities of the Sacramento region and I’m proud that we could give a hand up, a boost to this very important neighborhood."
The low-cost loan has an interest rate of just under 3% and will pay for enhancements such as new sidewalks, landscaped medians and gutters. Construction is set to start in the spring.