Curtis Park Development Full Steam Ahead at Once-Toxic Rail Yard

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While developments in Sacramento’s downtown rail yard are struggling to gain traction, the city’s other rail yard development hopes to see buildings going up in the next few weeks.

Streets and sewers are in and building is ready to begin at the former Union Pacific rail yards in the Curtis Park neighborhood.

Ten years ago, the rail yard there was a toxic industrial site but developer Paul Petrovich undertook the daunting task of toxic cleanup.

It was a long journey involving the State Toxic Substances Control as seen in their cleanup video and a multi-million dollar price tag. 

Petrovich says he now has a sought after new development near the signature neighborhoods of Land Park and Curtis Park.

“I have very strong tenant interest, it’s just they wanted to see it first,” he told FOX40.

After 10 years of give and take with nearby residents, the vision of Curtis Park village is a lot closer to reality, with a combination of retail stores and housing for all income levels.

The neighborhood association took some convincing.

“What’s really important to us is that the new development going in matches the character of our neighborhood,” Erick Johnson, of the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association, said Tuesday.

More than 200 community meetings helped pave the way.

“That seemed to do the trick in convincing people that that this was the right thing, and i think the proof’s in the pudding,” Petrovich said.

It helped that over the 10 year struggle, economics changed and Petrovich reduced his retail space in favor of more homes. 

Wary homeowners are hoping for the best, but some already believe this new street in the heart of the development will reduce traffic in older parts of Curtis Park.

“I’m expecting less traffic on my street,” homeowner Elaine Corn said.

The big plus is that a hundred years of toxic waste has been cleaned up, increasing property values.

“It’s a far cry from what it might have been,” Pretrovich said.

And Johnson agrees.

In the end, what ever we get beats a big pile of toxic dirt,” he said.

If the economy continues to cooperate, Petrovich hopes that in as little as three years this development will be a welcome addition to Curtis Park.


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