FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 21, 2014 –
By Steve Marschke
The West Sacramento City Council last week to approve spending about $2.6 million in “capital improvement project” funds toward a project designed to attract visitors to the city’s developing riverfront.
The contribution will help build a $5.6 million outdoor venue called “The Barn,” in conjunction with developer Mark Friedman and his Smart Growth Investors II, LLC. It’s to be built across Garden Street next to the Riverwalk trail along the Sacramento River.
The project is meant to “evoke the agricultural heritage of West Sacramento,” according to a city staff report. It includes a kitchen and meeting space and will also be operated as a beer garden when sufficient foot traffic is expected. It may also host farmers markets, concerts and other events. The facility will be operated by a vendor.
A city plan for its “Bridge District” authorizes up to $19.7 million in “backbone” improvements to Riverwalk, as well as another $46 million that could be spent on shade structures, piers, gardens, art and “distributed recreational elements.”
The city revenue is “derived from Bridge District development,” City Manager Martin Tuttle told the News-Ledger yesterday. It’s not “general fund” money earmarked for uses such as police or fire protection.
The partners plan to have “The Barn” open this October. They’ve booked “The Launch,” a three-day concert last year held in Sacramento, as an opening event.
The land is privately-owned, and the deal approved by the council includes a lease and lease-back arrangement for 30 years.
Mayor Christopher Cabaldon abstained from last week’s vote. He told the News-Ledger yesterday that while he had no legal “conflict of interest” to prevent him from voting, he is planning to move to a nearby development in the Bridge District.
“I thought it was better to abstain,” he said.
The other council members present – Mark Johannessen, Chris Ledesma and Bill Kristoff – authorized city staff to finalize and sign the deal for public participation.
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