SBE News


Transforming Downtown Redding!

McConnell-K2.California Street

Photo: Kuchman Architects PC

In a special meeting on Friday, Nov 10, the Redding Planning Commission approved a Use Permit application to build a 100,000 square foot, 4-story mixed used commercial / residential building.  The use permit application was submitted by K2 Development Companies, Inc. and The McConnell Foundation.  The use permit is necessary for a grant application due in January.  The grant is for $20 Million and is the second round of funding through Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities.  K2 used this same source for a mixed-use building to replace the former Dickers Department Store.

The impact of this project is significant.  It will dramatically change the downtown and could well be another vital step toward a highly livable, vibrant downtown.  However, it does not come without challenges and concerns.  The most significant of which is parking.

This project will be the beginning of eliminating the current downtown parking structure.  I am NOT a fan of the current structure as it is dated, in need of repairs, and an undesirable place to park especially after dark.  According to Chuck Aukland, Redding’s assistant public works director, “about a third of the 1,500 parking spaces in the downtown core aren’t used. The parking garage also won’t last forever and there’s no money to replace it.”

However, we need accessible parking in the downtown.  Currently, the City is working with a consulting agency and conducting community forums to study a variety of options, which include additional parking lots and on-street parking.  To me, this transformation downtown has to happen!   As a community, we need to be open to any and all options for effectively addressing the parking issue.  McConnell is hosting a public workshop about the project on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. at Old City Hall, 1313 Market St.

In December, the Redding City Council will vote on approving the grant application and selling the downtown parking structure.  Stay tuned.