Sacramento Valley Station is finally ready for its big reveal.
City officials will host a grand re-opening ceremony and public tours at the downtown train depot Thursday morning, showing off the results of a two-year, $36 million renovation project at the 4th and I Street Amtrak and Capitol Corridor train station.
City project manager Greg Taylor said the work has turned the once dilapidated and marginally usable 90-year-old brick building into a modern structure, adding 25,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space to the mix.
The building has a rooftop terrace area with panoramic views of downtown to the south and the emerging railyard development area to the north.
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The undertaking, funded by federal, state and local transportation grants, will enable the building to anchor what city officials say will be an extended section of downtown to be developed in the railyard in the coming two decades.
“We have a station that is nicely programmed, ready for future development, and to grow with the city,” project manager Greg Taylor said.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and other city leaders will host an invitation-only ceremony in the depot’s main hall in the morning.
“This renovated station represents the energy and vitality of Sacramento today,” Matsui said. “Any traveler who comes through its doors can see the exciting growth happening in our region. Just as it did in the past, the depot will serve as an important link in our transportation network, and a hub of economic activity.”
The inaugural ceremony will be followed by a series of 20-minute tours open to the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The city is asking people who want to take tours to sign up first online at Eventbrite. The site site can be accessed by clicking here, or by a Google search using the words “Eventbrite Sacramento Valley Station.”
The tours will take visitors to new office spaces in upper floors, which used to be privately used by the former Southern Pacific and later the Union Pacific railroad company.
The city, which bought the building a decade ago, is pitching it as a combination train depot and community space, hoping to land a restaurant tenant, as well as a cafe, other small shops and creative companies, such as architecture firms, and high technology companies.
Taylor said the city will announce its first signed tenant on Thursday.
The work included adding heating, air conditioning, new electrical, staircases, elevators and other modern necessities. The building has been seismically retrofitted. But some of the most striking work involved renovation of the building’s historic elements, including the exterior brick facade and awnings.
Inside, the three-story main hall has been repainted, with river sand incorporated into the paint to give the walls their original texture. The massive wall mural depicting the launching of the transcontinental railroad in 1863 has been cleaned and touched up, bringing its original colors back.
Three large doors in the building’s back wall – hidden for decades – have been reopened for use by peopled heading to the train platforms.
Taylor said the city plans this spring to launch public discussion of how to design the area behind the depot near the train platforms for future use as a transit village and downtown-style development area.