From Back in the Day to the Kay of Today

By Kelley Smithey, EDGE Communications Committee and Edelman

The tour of The Kay last month was like a travel through time. As Michael Ault and Bay Miry spoke of the history of the area, I was reminded of my own memories growing up. For those of us that grew up in Sacramento, we’ve seen business come and go from this area, but most of us remember a time when K Street wasn’t something we tried to avoid. For me, I remember coming downtown was considered a special treat as a kid and my most iconic memory was the rotating Hard Rock Café guitar in front of Downtown Plaza.

Now that I’m older and work only a couple blocks away, my feelings toward K Street couldn’t be further from how I felt as a child. But throughout the tour, I found myself forgetting the K Street of my past and ignoring my negative thoughts of the area today. Instead I saw the future. In the future I saw a thriving district with underground music venues, European-inspired patios, a kaleidoscope of art, culture and local businesses, and I saw more than just a street, but a destination.

There seems to be a sort of renaissance taking place on K Street. It is fueled by a new energy that came along with the fight to keep the Kings in Sacramento. It won’t happen overnight and as Michael Ault made clear, there are still some hurdles to overcome. One of those obstacles is changing the perception that people have of the area. It’s a chicken and egg dilemma as far as what comes first. How do you change perceptions when people can’t physically see a difference? Easy. You just have to convince people to believe.

I believe and there are a lot of other EDGErs and young professionals that believe as well. It’s going to take more than that, but as the future leaders of this community, our belief in developing a flourishing downtown district where we can take our friends a family, can make a difference.