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R street’s transformation to start next spring

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 The first phase of Sacramento’s R Street metamorphosis is slated to start next spring.

The city’s Department of Transportation expects to get started on street reconstruction of a two-block segment from 10 to 13th streets. That area is currently home to businesses like the Fox & Goose, the Art Foundry and Studio Theatre, among others.

Tonight, the city and Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA) are hosting a public workshop on another segment: the R Street Market Plaza designed for 16th to 18th streets. The meeting is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at the CADA Event Center, 1322 O St.

The agencies have already gotten $4.5 million to construct the first phase of the R Street Corridor — a special planning district that’s two blocks wide and runs the entire length of R Street in the central city. The funding for what the city calls the "R Street Resurgence" came from Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), the state and CADA.

The makeover aims to preserve the historic street’s character while increasing the mixed uses that already exist in some places.

The 10th to 13th street design has been "fine[-] tuned" in response to input from community stakeholders, according to Linda Tucker, spokesperson for the city’s Department of Transportation.

Improvements planned for this stretch include Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks, new street surfaces, on-street parking, street lights and new drainage systems. The city is tackling street reconstruction as a way to spur private development and encourage the renovation of historic buildings that currently sit empty.

First-phase construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, Tucker said.

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