With Elk Grove's Project Elevate's demise, Mayor & City Council urged to consider multi-use recreation center

With the demise of Elk Grove's plan for Project Elevate, the Elk Grove City Council was again urged to devise an alternative strategy for the 20-acre city-owned parcel. During the January 24, 2024, city council meeting, Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her city councilmen heard the speaker's realistic plan for consideration.

Speaking during public comment on non-agenda items, Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat repeated her recommendation that the site on Elk Grove Boulevard, just west of Highway 99 and adjacent to District 56, be used for multi-ruse ecreational purposes. For over eight years, under the direction of Elk Grove economic development director Darrell Doan, the city aggressively pursued a so-called mixed-use lifestyle center.

That vision was seemingly fulfilled a year and a half ago when the city negotiated with internationally renowned Houston-based Hines Interest to develop the parcel. However, those negotiations collapsed last year.

Since then, the city has avoided discussion of the project. During last week's meeting, the city council received a report on their priority projects, which in the past included Project Elevate, which did not have its status.

Additionally, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, her city council, and Doan have yet to present any ideas for developing the parcel. During her presentation, Ms. Wheat offered assistance to Doan, who has not communicated any updates or alternative plans.

Wheat's entire presentation to the mayor can be seen in the video.

According to UC Davis, the Sacramento region's 65-plus population is growing at the fastest rate in 130 years. Also, unlike previous cohorts entering their senior years, Baby Boomers, the largest population bulge in American history, are reluctant to sell their homes and relocate for various reasons.

As this trend continues, it suggests empty-nest Baby Boomers are likely to remain in Elk Grove. Consequently, Elk Grove can be expected to see its population, like the rest of America, age.

The city gave the project its name, trying to create the impression that it would "elevate" Elk Grove into a trendy destination. Given Project Elevate's crash landing, now is the time for the city to "recreate" the parcel into something realistic and valuable to all.

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