A Great Downtown
From the City Manager's budget message:
The commitment to a great downtown traces to the mid-1980s when the City Council made the strategic decision to keep city hall and city offices on Vernon Street instead of moving out of downtown. Twenty years later, a 26-member steering committee comprising citizens and business owners developed a common vision for our downtown through a multi-year process of public forums and meetings.
This effort produced the Downtown Specific Plan, which the City Council adopted in 2008 as our blueprint for development. The City identified resources, including tax-increment funding from the Roseville Redevelopment Agency (now replaced by the Successor Agency) and the City’s Strategic Improvement Fund, to construct future public improvements. Based on the specific plan, the City has completed significant projects this past year and more are underway:
- Vernon Street Town Square— Completing its third full-year of operation, the town square welcomed 120,000 people to activities and events in the heart of downtown. Events such as concerts, weekly summer events, holiday gatherings, family festivals, and farmers markets have proven popular. As reasons increase to visit this walkable, family-friendly area, more people will patronize businesses, visit theaters and galleries, and attend special events, building a stronger business base and sense of culture and community identity.
- Oak Street Improvement Project and Roundabout— To help revitalize downtown, improve traffic safety and ease traffic congestion, the roundabout at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Oak Street was started and completed in 2014. The accompanying installation of traffic signals and reconfiguration of entry and exit points to Oak Street parking have significantly improved traffic flow in its first six months of operation, while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of Downtown Roseville as a destination.
- Downtown Wi-Fi— In partnership with Consolidated Communications, the City launched free Wi-Fi access in the Vernon Street Town Square in FY2014-15 that extends for several blocks, providing a civic amenity that supports downtown events and activity.
- Downtown bridges and Relocation of Fire Station No. 1— The downtown stretch of Dry Creek will see the realignment of the Icehouse bridge and the start of construction of both a new library bridge and a new, modern facility for Fire Station No. 1 a block away from its current location.
- New building at 316 Vernon Street—In February 2015, City Council approved moving forward with design of a new proposed building at 316 Vernon Street across from the town square to replace the old city hall annex. The proposed building will offer ground-floor retail space, as well as classroom space for higher education opportunities, bringing a different demographic and steady stream of students downtown. It will also provide office space for the City’s Information Technology, Fire administration, Housing, Alternative Transportation, and Parks, Recreation & Libraries offices.
- Parking Infrastructure—In February 2015, City Council authorized moving forward with design concepts for a parking garage of up to 500 spaces at Washington and Oak streets, to meet current and future increased demand generated by new businesses, the town square, and events.
- Cultural Arts Strategy—A Cultural Arts and Entertainment Strategic Plan was approved by City Council in May 2014 to develop a community vision and strategy for the arts. With input from Placer Valley Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, arts organizations, community groups, and business and community leaders, the plan provides an assessment of current arts programs and facilities, financial resources, and a road map for future art programs, events and facilities. The implementation for the arts portion of the plan assumed that we will grow into it as budget allows, and evaluate it again in FY2016-17. The entertainment portion of the plan will continue with implementation of new programs, along with the return of the more popular events. Ongoing coordination of programs and events in the Downtown area will possibly transition to a contracted vendor over the course of FY2015-16.
- 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 Roseville Community Development Corporation 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 forming public-private partnerships and pursing development-funding options that include grants, tax credits, and tax-exempt financing. For more information about RCDC operations, see www.rosevillecdc.com.