Can Singh-Allen fulfill former Mayor Gary Davis' vision of making Elk Grove a tourist destination?

Can Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen fulfill former Mayor Gary Davis' vision? | 


Residents will recall during his four-year tenure as Elk Grove's first directly elected mayor, Gary Davis had grand visions for the city. Along with his unsuccessful push to attract a Major League Soccer expansion club, Davis, as he was fond of saying, was laser-focused on making Elk Grove a tourist destination.

Davis was instrumental in pushing through the District56 aquatics center, thanks primarily to the astronomical Mello Roos fees foisted on the Laguna Ridge neighborhood. However, Davis' vision of transforming Elk Grove into a tourist spot dissipated like fireworks in the sky on the Fourth of July - flashy and bright for a few seconds, but soon gone with the wind.  

Or have his visions been resurrected? 

In the two last city council meetings, Elk Grove Mayor Bobbies Singh-Allen is resurrecting Davis's ideas and proclaiming Historic Downtown Elk Grove, formerly known as Old Town Elk Grove, has the potential to become a tourist destination like San Diego's famed Gaslamp Quarter. See Singh-Allen's Gaslamp comments during the June 28 meeting in the video.

Forget about becoming a destination like the Gaslamp. Can Elk Grove compete with nearby locations with notable historic downtown dining and entertainment districts like Sutter Creek, Folsom, Lodi, Walnut Creek, or Placerville? 

Instead of comparing recent developments to the Gaslamp, maybe the mayor ought to shoot for getting some South Sac residents and people on the west side of Elk Grove to cross 99 and visit the "other side of the tracks." 

We suppose we can't blame Mayor Singh-Allen for shooting at the stars. Realistic or not, that is what politicians do.  

But please, Mayor Singh-Allen, we ask you to ensure this vision doesn't become a bottomless money pit for taxpayers.  



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D.J. Blutarsky said...

I keep asking myself why does Mayor Bobbie keep touting Old Town as the future Gaslamp Quarter? Based on the ragged condition of the existing buildings and the demonstrated lack of private sector investment (unless the City continually sweetens the pot with tax dollars), I can only think of one reason.

City Hall's words alone, will not be sufficient to entice investors to speculate on Old Town. Even the slow and steady drip of tax dollars into one building at a time will not be sufficient to transform Old Town into a thriving San Diego style entertainment district. Plus, the deep-pocketed investors who have the firepower to create such projects have way more market studies and projections at their disposal than anyone at City Hall could even dream of having.

So why the grandiose fortune telling about Old Town? There is an old phrase used in the world of penny stocks--stocks that sit so low on the investment ladder, that they typically are considered worthless from an investment potential. The term "Pump and Dump" is used to describe investors who load up on worthless penny stocks, then publicly "pump" the stock with mass media hype to drive up the value of the stock--then "dump" it for a quick profit.

If Old Town can be considered a penny stock, then who stands to benefit from this Gaslamp hype? Who has scooped up properties on the cheap and is poised to dump them when naive investors or worse yet--when the City uses tax dollars to pursue eminent domain purchasing of properties at hyped up prices pursuing the Gaslamp dream?

Is Old Town...er, "Historic Downtown Elk Grove" one big pump and dump to line the pockets of a few property owners?

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