Today, the City of Sacramento celebrated the grand re-opening of the Sacramento Valley Station downtown at 5th and I streets. The 68,000 square-foot building underwent a complete facelift including the addition of 25,000 square feet of mixed-use leasable space. The new, old station improves the experience for rail and transit users and restores treasured features of the building.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Councilmember Jeff Harris, City leaders and partners, celebrated with an event that reflected upon the station’s 91-year history.
“The historic depot is a gateway to Sacramento’s future. The restored and renovated station will serve as an important link in our transportation network, helping people access all of the exciting growth happening in our city,” said Rep. Doris Matsui.
In addition, the event highlighted the future opportunities the renovated depot brings including its connectivity to the heart of downtown and development of the Railyards and riverfront.
As part of the City’s commitment to innovation and the creative economy, McClatchy announced today that Video Lab West will be the first tenant to lease office space at the historic station. The 10,000-square-foot digital video facility and incubator space will explore the bounds of virtual and augmented reality with leading technology partners and test how people will consume video on ever-changing platforms. Google and YouTube will join as primary collaborators in the effort.
“The Sacramento Valley station celebrates and connects our rich history of innovation and hard work with the exciting growth and opportunities ahead,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “This is another great moment for Sacramento as we foster our creative economy.”
This past summer, the City completed the renovation of the Amtrak ticketing room. The new construction within the historic space allows for a restoration of the historic finishes while making the most efficient use of space. The new ticket room is now located in a more convenient location and includes a baggage check in station, and additional ticket agent windows.
“Amtrak passengers are delighted with the new ticket and baggage area,” said Jay Commer, Amtrak Vice President of Operations, West. “The new configuration allows for a better traffic flow inside the station. Passengers no longer have to wait in the elements to retrieve their belongings. We would like to thank all our partners including the City of Sacramento for this collaborative endeavor.”
In early 2016, the City completed the restoration of a mural centrally located on the wall of the station. The City received a $25,000 grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission to clean and touch up the art piece that illustrates the launching of the transcontinental railroad in 1863.
The project manager who led a 40-plus team for two years of City staff and multiple consultant experts in restoration, architecture, preservation, and construction is supervising architect Greg Taylor, seen above, second from left, in the City’s Public Works Department.
The station’s complete makeover was partially funded by a U.S. Department of Transportation’s $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program championed by U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui.
The City bought the building and 24 surrounding acres in 2006 for $52 million from Union Pacific Railroad. The total renovation cost was $36.5 million.
It’s the seventh busiest train station in the U.S. Constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1926, the station has served as the region’s main railroad station and was as an operations center for the Railroad in the northern California area from the Sierras to Sparks, Nevada.
Upon its opening, the building was seen as “state of the art” and was celebrated as one of the great stations in the west.