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K Street Mall Needs More Housing-Obviously

K Street Mall - Sacramento, California

Pedestrians malls haven’t seemed to work in the United States. Ask Fresno and its Fulton Mall. Sacramento leaders have desperately tried for decades to make the K Street Mall work.

Recent openings of new restaurants and bars have somewhat revitalized K Street Mall and nearby Downtown Sacramento. It is encouraging to see pedestrians out and about after business hours on weekdays or any non-Second Saturday. But more is needed.

According to a recent Sacramento Business Journal Business Pulse Survey, K Street needs more residential development than either a renovated Westfield Downtown Plaza, more restaurants and entertainment, or a return of vehicular traffic. I agree.

Sure, Sacramento has increased the number of residential units within downtown, but as I understand it those units are market-rate and not selling well. The area needs additional housing options and diverse residents.

K Street Mall Survey

Interesting none of the survey commenters suggested a downtown sports arena. Yes, homelessness is problematic. Frank Casanova is correct that the area needs a more coherent mission; a “Concept Plan” or Specific Plan would be beneficial to better focus efforts to revitalize the area (instead of some hodgepodge of redevelopment activities). Surprisingly the Central City Community Plan does not discuss the K Street Mall in detail. Ironically, the Community Plan’s cover displays a full page photo of K Street.

UPDATE: Official unscientific survey results are in.

[photo via PublicCEO | image via Sacramento Business Journal (29 June 2011, 5:28PM PST)]