Wednesday Mar 03 2010
Downtown Roseville is open for business
By: John Allard City View
With the completion of improvements on Riverside Avenue this month, the area continues to showcase its history and highlight the nostalgic attraction of Roseville’s downtown area. A stroll or drive through this historic corridor features a new revitalization of Downtown Roseville that has been a key priority for the city since the establishment of the Roseville Redevelopment Agency in 1989. Since the adoption of our 1999 Revitalization Strategy, the agency has completed five major capital improvement projects: Vernon Street, Old Town, Riverside Avenue, Vernon Street parking garage/Blue Line Gallery, and renovation of the Tower Theatre. Over this 10-year period, the agency has made an investment of $25 million and leveraged these funds to provide a total investment of $77 million into Downtown. This investment has led to the establishment of 10 new businesses in Historic Old Town, the restoration and reuse of the Roseville and Tower Theatres and the renovation of 48 building facades throughout Downtown. Improvements installed with the streetscape and infrastructure projects have created a more pedestrian-friendly environment and set the table for future development. In order to encourage the type of uses, reduce the regulatory hurdles and streamline the development process the city has adopted two specific plans, the Riverside Gateway Specific Plan and the Downtown Specific Plan. These two adopted Specific Plans encourage and support mixed use development; a variety of higher density housing products, targeted towards providing workforce housing; connectivity between the Historic Old Town, Vernon Street, Royer Park and the Riverside Corridor; unique character districts including an Entertainment District in the Historic Old Town and designating the Vernon Street corridor as the “Civic Core”— a physical location that supports arts, culture, entertainment, and public gathering spaces. An example of how the Civic Core may look as it evolves is available online at our Web site (see link at end of article). Each of these planning documents provides a unique approach to facilitating development within its respective area. In the Riverside Gateway Specific Plan, a set of pre-approved building designs has been developed to streamline development in the area. These plans have already been approved through the city’s design review process, creating a considerable savings in both time and money. Coupled with the recent completion of the infrastructure project, this area is as “shovel ready” for development as possible. The Downtown Specific Plan anticipates that the following projects be completed during the next 20 years: 1,020 residential units, 900,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and a total build out of an additional 4 million square feet, including a mix of residential and commercial use. As we continue to invest in our Downtown areas, Roseville will reap considerable rewards from revitalization efforts. To learn more about completed, pending and long-term projects that are part of this dynamic transformation, go to www.roseville.ca.us/preview. To watch a “Focus” show featuring the Riverside projects on the City of Roseville Television’s (COR-TV’s) government-access station (Comcast 14 and Surewest 73), see the television schedule at www.roseville. ca.us/tvschedule or watch it on our Web site by going to www.roseville.ca.us/services and clicking “Streaming Video Center.” John Allard is a member of the Roseville City Council.