A Great Downtown


From the City Manager's budget message:

For the better part of Roseville’s first hundred years, the downtown cityscape remained constant. But for the past 15 years, changes have been profound, and they continue. Guiding development is the Downtown Specific Plan, the result of a five-year community visioning process, adopted in 2009. In 2010, Roseville City Council formally prioritized a great downtown as one of its Council Goals. Based on the specific plan, the City has completed significant projects this past year and more are underway. The next phase of transformation includes construction of a new office building, fire station, parking garage, bridges over Dry Creek, and the extension of the bike trail. Recently completed were the popular Vernon Street Town Square and roundabout at Washington Boulevard and Oak Street. Before that, Riverside Avenue and Historic Old Town debuted streetscapes, façade improvements, and public art.

316 Vernon Street Office Building—The four-story, 83,000-square-foot building will be home to City offices, retail space on the ground floor, and Sierra College, which signed a five-year lease for a floor-and-a-half of the building to bring some of its academy programs to Downtown Roseville. Adding a student mix to downtown’s visitors will help support businesses and promote a vibrant atmosphere. Owning the building instead of leasing it reduces the burden on the General Fund, as it is being repaid through tenant lease payments and a low-interest loan repaid by development fees.

Oak Street Parking Garage—With new development and visitors, convenient parking is a need identified in the Specific Plan. A seven-level, approximately 450-stall parking garage will be located along Oak Street and Washington Boulevard, behind the Roseville Theater. The project includes an architectural style consistent with the Civic Center with a variety of exterior pedestrian improvements designed to enhance visual and physical connections between the structure and Downtown Roseville. Funding for the garage comes from redevelopment bond proceeds, public facilities fee, and a low-interest loan that will be repaid by future proceeds from the downtown development-impact  fee.

Fire Station No. 1—A new fire station will be constructed at Oak and Lincoln. The structure currently housing the downtown fire station, Fire Administrative staff, and the Information Technology Department was formerly the City’s jail. Its age and location pose problems for these functions, so eventually the building will be demolished, providing a development opportunity along Dry Creek. IT and Fire Administration will move to 316 Vernon Street once it’s finished. Funding for the new station comes from development-impact fees.

Pedestrian Bridges and Bike Trails—As envisioned  by  the Specific Plan, a future development would activate the creek with a mix of office, retail, restaurant, and residential uses, taking advantage of a natural creek and the adjacent citywide park. Three pedestrian bridges will soon cross Dry Creek to more easily connect downtown with Royer Park and connect the bike trail segment through downtown. Funding for these projects comes from federal, state, and local transportation grants and development-impact fees.

  • The existing Rube Nelson or “Ice House” Bridge will be lifted from its current location and placed in the Oak Street parking lot to be cleaned and painted. New planking, lighting and fencing will be added, then it will be replaced over Dry Creek at a new angle, landing on the other side of the Veterans Hall. The bike trail ending in Royer Park will be extended across the Ice House bridge and connect to Oak Street.
  • The Library Replacement Bridge will be constructed near the downtown Library, also connecting to Royer Park.
  • Extension of the bike trail from downtown to Miner’s Ravine is scheduled for 2017, resulting in a continuous six-mile, off-street trail from Sierra College Boulevard to Downtown Roseville, continuing through Royer Park and Saugstad Park to Darling Way.
  • A third, larger pedestrian bridge crossing Dry Creek is planned in the middle of the other two bridges, after the current fire station is demolished. This bridge promotes two significant concepts of the Specific Plan: creating connectivity between activities on Vernon Street and events in Royer Park and providing additional event space for an active downtown scene. The width of the bridge will allow for vendors along the side during festivals and events.

Vernon Street Town Square—The City has expanded programming in the Vernon Street Town Square to include events in the shoulder seasons, such as sing-a-long movie nights and cultural food events in March and April; and the City continues to bring new, local bands to the downtown. Combined with the robust schedule of about 250 events planned, the City expects to welcome more than 120,000 visitors to the town square in the upcoming year.
 
Downtown and Historic District  Housing— Pending funding from the State, the City anticipates construction to begin on Mercy Housing’s 55-unit affordable housing project on Vernon Street and St. Anton Partners’ 80-unit affordable housing project on Pacific Street in the Historic District. The City has pledged $5.3 million to the Mercy project and $4.7 million to the St. Anton Project. All of the pledged funds are derived from housing funds that are restricted solely for the development of affordable housing.

Roseville  Community  Development Corporation— In 2010 the City Council took the strategic step of establishing the Roseville Community Development Corporation (RCDC), a private nonprofit, 501c(3), with the purpose of expanding private and public investment in Downtown Roseville. The RCDC—a separate legal entity from the City—fills a critical gap between what the public sector can do and what  the private sector is willing to do to revitalize and enhance economic opportunities in the Downtown. The corporation invests in the Downtown by acquiring real estate, rehabilitating acquired properties, and tenanting these properties with tenants that promote the goals of revitalization.

At the March 2016 workshop with the RCDC and City Council, opportunities for future corporation activities were identified. The discussion at the workshop was broad-based and resulted in five distinct outcomes listed  below:

1) Reaffirm the RCDC’s role in economic development with emphasis on property rehabilitation, tenanting, and property management. Economic development will be furthered by the corporation’s administration of Advantage Roseville.

2) Develop a tenanting and property-management plan for the 7,000 square feet of retail space in the 316 Vernon Street office building.

3) Develop a loan program for small businesses in the Downtown. The loan program will focus on lending which develops fixed assets or improves physical infrastructure of buildings in the Downtown.

4) The Council and the RCDC Board each acknowledged the value of the workshop and a desire to have an annual workshop.

5) Confirmed the intent to continue with a five-member RCDC Board with expertise in retail property, banking, and entrepreneurship. The creation of ad hoc committees were also encouraged.
 
For more information about RCDC operations, see www. rosevillecdc.com.

Downtown Roseville Partnership—In 2014, a Property and Business Improvement District (PBID) was voted on and approved by downtown property owners. This district substantially increases the funds available to market, promote, and improve Downtown Roseville. The PBID, known as the Downtown Roseville Partnership, plays a critical role in growing downtown businesses, attracting new businesses, and encouraging additional business development. The City contributes each year in the form of parcel assessments for City-owned property in Downtown Roseville, with a FY2014-15 assessment of $66,518, subject to an annual increase of up to 3 percent. The Downtown Roseville Partnership has provided year-round illumination of main corridor trees along Vernon Street, installed new street banners and solar-powered BigGulp trash compactors, forged a partnership with Gathering Inn to create a guide/ day porter program, contracted for leaf removal  from parking bays, partnered with the RCDC and Advantage Roseville to install window clings on vacant storefronts, and created an events calendar and business directory.

Enhancing Rail Service between Roseville and Sacramento—The City continues to work with Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority to bring additional rail service to Roseville. Over the next year, the City will be evaluating parking needs and bringing forward a memorandum of understanding to support the future addition of two more roundtrips from Roseville to Sacramento—bringing the total to three roundtrips daily. This will be the first phase of this project with the ultimate goal to establish 10 daily roundtrips. It is anticipated that the first phase will be instituted within the next three to five years.