The City Lights Are Bright on Broadway

Posted on February 16, 2017

Photography by Uptown Studios

WONDERING WHERE SACRAMENTO’S next happening neighborhood is? Follow the creatives, who are hanging out their shingles along the Broadway corridor and reshaping one of the city’s most eclectic commercial districts.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls from young firms looking for available property,” says Joan Borucki, executive director of the Greater Broadway Partnership, a business improvement organization. “We are hearing that people are getting priced out of midtown and downtown and are rediscovering Broadway.”

Tina Reynolds of Uptown Studios, a graphic design and marketing firm, is one of the recent transplants to the busy corridor that lies between the Sacramento River and Highway 99, stitching together the neighborhoods of Land Park and Curtis Park to the south and downtown and midtown to the north. Reynolds spent a year looking for the ideal space to relocate her business and its 17 employees from their cramped quarters in East Sacramento before finally purchasing and rehabbing a warehouse space on 23rd Street.

Affordability enticed Reynolds to the Broadway district, but a commitment to community is what will keep her there. “I had to really feel confident that I could influence the neighborhood, which was already in the beginning stages of change,” says Reynolds. “I’m here and I’m going to be invested and involved.”

Part of that involvement includes activating her block by hosting after-hours events like storytelling get-togethers and Second Saturday shows and encouraging others to do the same. “We want to get people from the neighborhood out and walking. Every time you do that, it makes it safer,” says Reynolds.

Borucki agrees that active spaces are key to the area’s transformation: “We want something that encourages a lot of foot traffic in the corridor and keeps people out and about.”

Neighborhood newcomer MakerHQ, a collaborative maker workshop on 16th Street two blocks from Tower Theatre, is another creative space that’s changing the face of the Broadway district, and others are coming. Bike Dog Brewing Co. and Selland’s Market-Cafe are expected to breathe new life into the stretch of Broadway across from the Old City Cemetery.

Reynolds anticipates even more businesses will relocate to Broadway in the near future, transforming it into a vibrant, sought-after neighborhood. “It’s not just creatives. It’s creative businesses—people who are bold and not afraid to make a move,” she says. “It’s gonna change everything. It’s not happening as fast as we would like it to, but you can see it, you can feel it.”

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