Old Sac Waterfront revitalization gathers some serious steam. Which projects made the cut and which didn’t?

Big changes are coming to the Old Sacramento Waterfront.

The City Council on Dec. 10 approved nearly $175,000 for the design of two projects that City officials hope will revitalize the Old Sacramento Waterfront. One project will build event spaces and structures along Front Street and the other creates a rooftop gathering space at the Sacramento History Museum.

Construction ultimately will be funded by $47 million of previously approved “transient occupancy tax” dollars, which come from visitors occupying hotel rooms within the city.

It was determined that a third project to improve the public docks along the river wasn’t eligible for funding from the tax because it didn’t create a building for public events. Staff will instead look for other sources to fund the docks project –up to $17.5 million– at a later date.

“The Trestle” as seen in a concept illustration by City design contractor, Stantec.

The Front Street project, located on City-owned property adjacent to the Sacramento River, will include a two-story building with public spaces and an event venue with views of the river, walkways and concession stands. Each would include imaginative landscaping, water features and play areas.

The event space on top of Sacramento History Museum, as seen in a concept illustration by City design contractor, Stantec.

An event deck will add seating, a conference room and historical displays on top of the currently existing Sacramento History Museum.

“Our plan epitomizes the type of new public space being developed in cities across the nation,” said project manager Richard Rich. “These are not generic, cookie cutter places. They feel authentic. They grow out of, and reflect, a city’s culture, its history, its aspirations, and the sensibility of its people.”

A recently conducted study determined that with the proposed improvements, the Waterfront could generate sales and tax dollars between two or three times what it generates now.

Work on the two projects could start as early as spring 2021 and open in 2023.