SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The revitalization of Old Sacramento has faced some challenges amid a pandemic that has pushed businesses and put a pause on waterfront development. Now the state is hoping for a new hotel will make a difference – and you can help design it.
Walter Miller has walked there from downtown for four decades.
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“It’s a good walk and I meet a lot of people,” he said. “It’s good.”
Miller supports the development of a hotel on the green space across from the California State Railroad Museum.
“Well, I think that’s a good idea,” he said.
The hope is that it will bring more business to the once bustling waterfront. That’s the plan, according to the state, which asks the public to weigh in Thursday night.
“The highest priority for us is the design of this building, to make sure it’s something that really fits into old Sacramento,” said John Fraser of California State Parks.
The mission of the State Parks Department is to tell the story of the 19th century, especially the Gold Rush. They say plans for this have been in the works since 2014.
“We also think that because of where it’s located, having some kind of visitor experience inside the hotel itself would probably be something that would really appeal to visitors – so a museum-type, interpretive-type experience in the hotel itself,” Fraser said. .
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The state is looking for suggestions on its size and the type of architectural materials to use. But local business owner James Minow. who runs Sacramento Sweets, questions the location.
“The problem is that it creates a tunnel in the alley, which we already have problems with,” Minow said. “What if you go to the back of a hotel in downtown Sacramento and check out the back alleys, do we want that here?”
Minow has been to three locations in Old Sacramento since it opened in 1977. He wants a proposition to tackle crime and homelessness.
“The unfortunate thing is that we’ve all become very immune,” Minow said. “It makes everyone uncomfortable, so the easiest thing to do is ignore it.”
It’s a problem Minow says the state can’t ignore. He is happy to see the increase in beat patrols.
“Just having them around gets them moving,” he said. “Keep everyone moving and as long as people are moving they don’t park.”
And the state says its own rangers and peace officers will provide additional protection for the historic district. These are plans that people like Miller hope will lead to a gold rush of opportunity.
“We would like to see it a bit busier,” he said.
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There will be a Thursday evening workshop at HotelStudyOldSacramento.com open to the public from 6-8 p.m.