The Revitalization of the Old Sacramento Waterfront

Kimberly Heaton

On April 30th, the City of Sacramento approved establishment of a “Destination Sacramento Program”.  Its goal is the revitalization of the 28-acre historic waterfront into a more vibrant entertainment district, including addition of new attractions to bolster resident & tourist visits to the waterfront.

At the City’s request, KMA produced a Revenue Potential Study showing the economic impacts of a successful revitalization.  KMA evaluated the sales tax and hotel room nights currently generated by Old Sacramento, the performance levels of other successful entertainment districts in California and elsewhere, and the magnitude of tax revenues and jobs that Old Sacramento could potentially generate.

The multi-year operational Program will be funded in part through a “transient occupancy tax,” or TOT tax which is currently a 12% tax added to hotel-room charges.  The city plans to spend up to $42 million throughout the course of the program.  The initial phase will focus on the feasibility of catalytic projects on city-owned riverfront sites.  The four major proposed developments are a park, floating terrace, history museum event deck and a beach front.