We are often told that Arden Arcade is an ideal site for infill development -- despite our community's less-than-stellar public transportation services, our narrow or missing sidewalks and the general lack of a lively vibe like the one that attracts young people to Midtown. If there is a chance to build new residences, we don't get condos, attached houses or other dwelling types people could afford to buy, we get large rental apartment complexes. The County's plans for mixed-use development usually devolve into big box "daily needs" malls. A suggestion that the re-design of Howe-'bout-Arden should consider a mix of residences and businesses was rejected as impractical by the developer. Validation seems to have been delivered by the marketplace, which has not seen resale home prices skyrocket the way they have in other nearby areas.
Maybe it's all because Arden Arcade is at the wrong end of Arden Fair Mall. According to the Business Journal, the western end of Arden Fair Mall is the truly hot property. Demolition of the former Sacramento Inn and Suites is underway, setting the table for "market rate" (code words for pricey?) houses and apartments. Says the developer, “I think it’s an incredible residential site,” and, “In my opinion, there’s increasingly just a general trend of people wanting to move more into the urban core.” Specifics for this new development have yet to be drawn up. Being inside the city limits of the City of Sacramento, development approval is up to the Planning Commission and City Council of the City of Sacramento. What will be the impacts on the adjacent UnCity of Arden Arcade? Will there be different traffic patterns at El Camino and Business 80 and at Arden and Business 80? Will property values here get a boost? Time will tell.