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Sac Breaks Ground on Railyard

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After years of fits and starts, Sacramento city officials today launch the move they say will open the massive downtown railyard for development. A morning groundbreaking ceremony is planned for a $41 million project to shift the rail tracks a few hundred feet north of their current location. That creates room for development of the railyard's front end, and allows new roads to loop into the now land-locked site. Moving the tracks will take between 18 months and two years. The work includes building two new pedestrian tunnels under the tracks and new passenger platforms. Once the tracks are moved, Fifth and Sixth streets will be extended north on already constructed bridges, linking downtown to the 240-acre site. Site owner Inland American Real Estate Trust then expects to start selling land for development. City officials envision an urban site with housing, offices, stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. The city also intends to build a modern transit center. The downtown train depot would likely maintain some transit-related function, but could also include a restaurant and offices. The front of the railyard is being considered for a sports and entertainment facility that could house a basketball team.