Railyards Project Wins Unanimous Approval

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It’s about 10:30 on a weekday morning, and a long, silver Amtrak train with red and blue trim is just departing the Sacramento railroad station. A passenger on the train can look out one window and see Sacramento’s downtown. But out the other are 240 acres of barren, abandoned property with several old Southern Pacific Railroad buildings. And it’s this property that the city of Sacramento and the developer, Thomas Enterprises, want to transform into a thriving neighborhood known as the Railyards.

Bertolani: “It’d be good to get rid of all this junk out here.”

Cathy Bertolani is taking the train to San Francisco with her husband and their friends. She wants to see more parking and a nicer train station.

Bertolani: “It’s just an embarrassment when you go to these other towns and you see that they have these very nice depots.”

“This will be a bustling intermodal transportation facility.”

Suheil Totah is a vice president with Railyards developer Thomas Enterprises. By 2025, he says, 15 million people will take light rail to the airport, or hop aboard a train to the Bay Area – or even the East Coast. Totah’s even more excited about the other side of the tracks.

Totah: “A fabulous mixed-use development with housing, with exciting ground-floor retail spaces, with a public market, museums, cultural facilities and a new downtown that brings people back downtown from the suburbs.”

And not just for the occasional night-on-the-town, says Mayor Heather Fargo. She points to the 10,000 new housing units.

Fargo: “Being able to have people live within walking distance of their jobs and their playgrounds and their schools. And I think that’s something we haven’t had enough of in sac and it’s gonna be a great addition.”

The developer plans to open the Railyards’ first retail shops in 2012.