City leaders celebrated the groundbreaking of a $55.4 million construction project rehabilitating the 700 block of K Street in downtown Sacramento Thursday.
People who work near 7th and K Street say many of the storefronts have remained vacant for a while.
"Honestly, if I didn't work down here, I wouldn't even wanna be down here. You just look across the tracks and see a bunch of empty buildings," said John Ketchum.
Ketchum works at the Boost Mobile store at 727 K Street. He says demolition of the downtown plaza has actually slowed sales at his store because of the decreased foot traffic.
"I'm praying for the best for Sacramento. Us being the Capitol, we should have a nightlife out of this world. L.A. got one, 'Frisco got one but we're the Capitol and we don't even have one," Ketchum said.
"What's great about this project is that it brings so many different components that's everybody in our city wants, all into one project," Bary Miry said.
Miry works for one of the project's primary developers, D&S Development. He said the K Street project will bring 137 apartments above 63,000 square feet of restaurants and retail.
Mayor Kevin Johnson told FOX40 the project was also expected to bring affordable housing and 500 jobs downtown, building on the momentum of the Kings arena just a block away.
"You know I grew up in this community, I love Sacramento. I was here as a kid in the 1970's where K Street had bustling activities," Mayor Johnson said.
"Kay back in the day was the spot. You get outta school, 'Where you going?' 'I'm going to Kay Street.' All this development could either make us or break us and I'm praying that it makes us better," Ketchum said.