At Alchemist Community Development Corporation (Alchemist CDC), we have a track record of co-creating gathering spaces with residents where community is formed. The River District is presently undergoing a major transition from an industrial hub to a corridor full of housing and commercial destinations. With major housing projects in development in Mirasol Village, Township 9, and the neighboring Railyards, this area of Sacramento is on the verge of a dramatic population boom. These new residents will have to find ways to form neighborhood communities and develop the culture of their place.
Alchemist Public Market will serve these new residents as a hub and heart for the community, providing a place to gather, run into neighbors, and meet up with friends. The project will include:
- An inviting outdoor food court with options from 8 food pods, a beverage kiosk, and a pleasant shaded seating area.
- A vibrant weekly farmers’ market that includes CalFresh access and Market Match for low-income customers.
- A retail store featuring food and goods produced by small local entrepreneurs as well as basic grocery staples.
- A full-service café, including baked goods and on-site beer and wine service, with an attractive patio.
- Co-working office space and conference room rental available for start-ups, non-profits, businesses, and community groups.
- A festive atmosphere with regular night markets, family nights, movie nights, holiday programming, and more.
- A bike repair station and tire pump to keep residents moving.
- A children’s play area will be designed with fully-accessible features and equipment so that all children, including those who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids, can fully engage in play. This will allow families with young children to enjoy the space.
- Site improvements including sidewalks; lighting; secure bike, skateboard, and scooter parking; and ample native tree plantings for shade.
The direct services provided to the surrounding neighborhood are essential in and of themselves, but the opportunity to interact with neighbors builds community resilience and cultivates collaboration. Neighborhood improvements too often mean gentrification through displacement, but Alchemist Public Market will help build a better neighborhood for the neighbors who need it most. Because the project will be located near a substantial supply of affordable housing, it will ensure that the benefits it brings to the River District will be enjoyed by households with diverse income levels.