By: Bonnie Gore, Roseville City Councilwoman
For the better part of Roseville’s first hundred years, the downtown cityscape remained relatively unchanged. But for the past 15 years, city investments have been profound.
The Downtown Specific Plan, the result of a five-year community visioning process, has guided this investment strategy. In 2010, Roseville City Council formally prioritized a great downtown as one of its council goals. Recently completed projects include the popular Vernon Street Town Square and roundabout at Washington Boulevard and Oak Street. Before that, Riverside Avenue and Historic Old Town debuted new streetscapes, façade improvements, and public art.
The next phase of City investment includes the construction of a new office building, parking garage, bridges over Dry Creek along with bike trail extensions, and relocation of Fire Station #1.
316 Vernon Street Office Building
The four-story, 83,000 sq. ft. building will be home to city offices, retail space on the ground floor, and Sierra College, which signed a five-year lease for an entire floor of the building to bring some of its academy programs to Downtown Roseville. Adding a student mix to our downtown will help support businesses and promote a vibrant atmosphere. This project is scheduled for completion December 2016.
Oak Street Parking Garage
With new city and private development and increased visitors to the downtown, parking is a need identified in the Specific Plan. A seven-story, 468-stall parking garage will be located along Oak Street and Washington Boulevard, behind the Roseville Theater. The project design includes a “Civic Center” themed garage and a variety of exterior pedestrian improvements designed to enhance visual and physical connections between the structure and Downtown Roseville. This project is scheduled for completion Spring 2017.
Fire Station No. 1
The existing Public Safety Building at the intersection of Oak and Grant currently houses Fire Operations, Fire Administrative staff, and the City’s Information Technology Department. A new fire station will be constructed Oak and Lincoln to house the fire operation function, with Fire Administration and IT being relocated to the new building at 316 Vernon. This structure’s age and location adjacent to Dry Creek pose operational issues and the functions within the building will be relocated and the building will eventually be removed. As envisioned in the downtown Specific Plan, this relocation and building removal will invite additional private investment along Dry Creek. This would include a mix of office, retail, restaurant and residential uses, taking advantage of a natural creek and the adjacent citywide park.
Pedestrian Bridges and Bike Trails
Three pedestrian bridges will soon cross Dry Creek to more easily connect downtown with Royer Park and connect the bike trail segment through downtown. The existing Rube Nelson or “Ice House” Bridge will be rotated slightly to enhance the bike trail connection to Royer Park and will include other improvements including new painting, planking, and fencing along with increased lighting. Included with this construction is the extension of the Miner’s Ravine Bike trail to Royer Park resulting in a continuous six-mile, off-street trail from Sierra College Boulevard to Downtown Roseville, continuing through Royer Park and Saugstad Park to Darling Way. As currently planned, these improvement will be completed in Spring/Summer 2017 pending approval of required state permits.
The Library Replacement Bridge is also tentatively scheduled for replacement in Spring/Summer 2017. This bridge, which provided an additional connection to Royer Park from the downtown library, was removed several years ago due to erosion and safety issues.
A third, larger pedestrian bridge crossing Dry Creek is planned in the middle of the other two bridges. This bridge promotes two significant concepts of the Specific Plan: Creating connectivity between activities on Vernon Street and events in Royer Park, and providing additional event space for an active downtown scene. The width of the bridge will allow for vendors along the side during festivals and events.
Investment in infrastructure is key to strengthening the community and economy. These investment in the Downtown are key to removing hurdles and adding amenities that will facilitate future private investment. With the public and private sectors doing what they do best, downtown is becoming a magnet for residents and visitors to enjoy its history, events, restaurants, shops, businesses, and beauty.