Broadway Corridor to get new restaurant-retail space

Broadway Corridor is getting a new surge of life thanks to some upcoming developments.

The latest news in the changing face of Sacramento's Broadway Corridor is a new restaurant-retail space.

Developers submitted those plans to the city this week.

This comes amid an exciting time for the Broadway Corridor. On one hand, you have longtime staples, like the Tower Cafe and Theatre.

Then, across the intersection from Tower Theatre, sits an empty parking lot, which will soon to be home to a new restaurant.

Plans submitted this week call for a one-story building with three spaces for restaurants and retail. Some parking will remain, across the alleyway from Willie's Burgers.

"I think one of the great things about the project here where we stand, is it's going to embrace the ability for there to be outside dining," Erika Bjork, spokesperson for the Great Broadway District, said. "It's one thing we've missed a little bit in the Broadway District, with the exception of our Tower Cafe."

Jim Seyman is the owner of Tower Cafe. He opened his restaurant on Earth Day, 27 years ago.

At that time, Broadway looked very different. The verdant oasis in front of Seyman's establishment consisted of four patches of bland landscaping.

"To have the sounds of water fountains, colors, flowers, green, green, green, green," Seyman said, describing the garden he created as his outdoor seating area. "A little way to have a respite from the busy streets and all the traffic and noise."

With so many restaurants already lining Broadway, whatever goes in at the planned restaurant-retail space should strive to be different, Seyman said.

"Create an environment that people love. Create a place that you would love to come in and feel real special about," he said.

Recent and ongoing developments are attracting locals and visitors to the Broadway Corridor.

A Selland's Market-Cafe opened on Broadway earlier this year, and the Mill at Broadway is a community of new homes going up between Third and Fifth Streets, just off Broadway.

The Mill's promotional materials, published two years ago, says "the strip along Broadway is about to get a surge of new life and join Sacramento in the continued wake of its growth and expansion."

"This is a place that should be a destination," Bjork said, describing the corridor. "Not just a place to drive through."

But back when Seyman was launching his restaurant, Broadway was a very different place.

"'Street of Broken Dreams,'" Seyman recalled "Broadway definitely has been and still is part of a street of broken dreams."

A population of people who are homeless often wanders the Broadway Corridor, alongside the new restaurants and longtime staples.

"The Greater Broadway District's always been an amazing district of diversity - not just in the multicultural restaurants and businesses that are here. We have longstanding families, we have new ownership, we have icons like the Tower Theatre," Bjork said. "To a degree, we're a little bit of a Main Street, and we're also the only street that connects all the major neighborhoods in Sacramento."

The development at 16th and Broadway is still in the planning stages. It's a development is a partnership between UOP Investors, LLC and Stafford King Wiese Architects.

City councilmember Steve Hansen told ABC10 he's meeting with developers next week to ask if they'll consider adding a second floor of residential space to their design.

"It would make it an even better project," he said. "Fingers crossed."

He, too, is excited about the changes in the area.

"We've done a lot of work as a city to revitalize and reinvigorate the Broadway Corridor. It has tremendous charm and diversity," he said.

Thousands of people explored Broadway on foot last month, as part of a 'Sunday Street' event.

"We want the greater Broadway district to be more bike-friendly, more pedestrian friendly, not just the cars that go by," Bjork said.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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