Mary Lake - Gerry Kersten - Director of Support Services (530) 225-4270

Mary Lake Mary Lake is a man-made lake near the Mary Lake Subdivision on the west side of Redding off Buenaventura Boulevard. Over the years, the lake had degraded as water levels subsided and aquatic vegetation began "taking over the lake".   Beavers also destroyed many trees around the lake. This, combined with the lack of frequent maintenance to the surrounding area, turned what used to be an aesthetically pleasing environment into a disappointment to those who remembered what it once was. Initially, the City thought that the east side of the lake could be enhanced with a grassy area accompanied with trees, picnic tables/benches, and some trail lights. After a very well attended community meeting at the lake, the majority opinion was that the lake should be left in as natural a state as possible, but "cleaned up".
City staff members measured the depth of the lake and found there were places over nine feet deep with a sediment base that did not appear to be too thick. The center of the lake was very clear and numerous fish could be seen. Consequently, it was not necessary to completely drain the lake and excavate the sediment. Therefore, the money originally budgeted for the project was more effectively utilized as described below.

In the early fall of 2000, the City lowered the level of the lake and removed approximately two-thirds of the dead trees, leaving a sufficient number of them for natural habitat. Winter rains refilled the lake, and in the summer of 2001, the lake was treated with natural microbes that compete with the algae for nutrients. Consequently, the algae has subsided considerably. An aeration system was also installed, which enhances the effectiveness of the microbe treatment and the clarity of the lake.

The City had budgeted $75,000 for the project, which includes funds for additional maintenance and keeping the lake filled during the summer months. We have involved the residents of Mary Lake as well as our Parks Division, Water Division, and the California Department of Fish and Game in this project. Mary Lake is now well-maintained, yet natural and aesthetically pleasing.

For more information concerning the Mary Lake Project, contact Gerry Kersten, - Director of Support Services, at (530) 225-4270 or e-mail

Downtown Redding Specific Plan -

The Downtown Redding Specific Plan was adopted by the City Council in January 2001, culminating nearly two years of hard work to develop a blueprint for revitalizing Downtown Redding.

Downtown Redding Specific Plan

In May 1999, the Redding Redevelopment Agency hired Urban Design Studio of Irvine, California, to prepare a Downtown specific plan. Working with staff and a five-member Downtown Review Committee appointed by the City Council, the consultants first set about getting familiar with Downtown and determining the community's vision for Downtown. Over an eight-month period, the consultants toured Downtown with staff and community members, conducted interviews with community leaders, met with the Downtown Review Committee, conducted four public workshops, and presented preliminary findings and recommendations to the City Council and the Planning Commission in two joint public meetings.

The plan addresses such key issues as what to do with the Downtown Mall, identifies Downtown's market potential, identifies housing opportunities, establishes development standards and building design guidelines, lays out a public information signage program, and identifies costs, timing of improvements, and potential funding sources.

The vision for Downtown is to see it become the social, cultural, and speciality retail center of the community. Key recommendations of the plan include:
  • Removing the roof over the Downtown Mall and reconstruction of Market, Butte, and Yuba Streets to connect with surrounding streets
  • Relocation of the Greyhound facility to the Redding Area Bus Authority (RABA) facility adjacent to the railroad tracks
  • Acquisition and demolition of the Dicker's building and Field's Jewelers building to facilitate construction of a central park/plaza to provide an adequate open space in Downtown for public gatherings and festivals
  • Acquisition of the Rite Aid building to facilitate development of an entertainment venue (theater, ice skating rink, etc.)
  • Supporting a second railroad crossing in Downtown and planned circulation improvements north of the Mall to reduce congestion and confusion
  • Establishing development standards with a pedestrian orientation in the central core of Downtown

Adoption of the Downtown Redding Specific Plan emphasizes the City's commitment to a revitalized Downtown. The plan reduces the uncertainty about Downtown's future, thereby enabling developers and business and property owners to be more comfortable making investment decisions as they seek to improve their properties. The plan will help to protect existing investment while outlining new development opportunities in Downtown.

For more information concerning the Downtown Redding Specific Plan, contact Larry Morgon, Senior Redevelopment Project Coordinator, at (530) 225-4393 or by e-mail

Downtown Parking Structure Improvements -

Parking Structure

The long anticipated improvements to the southwest corner of the Downtown parking structure are complete. The architectural firm of Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto of Redding designed the improvements at the corner of Placer and California Streets which include new concrete steps, handrails, a concrete stained path leading from the corner to the existing interior stairs leading to the upper parking level, and new decorative lights following the path from the corner to the stairs. On the exterior of the structure at the corner, a signature parking identifier sign has been installed that is based on the design of the Cascade Theatre marquee sign.

The improvements are important to the community and Downtown because they improve the appearance the structure, add identity to the parking structure, and improve the linkage to nearby businesses by creating an inviting entry, adding light and signage, and removing barriers consisting of chains and bollards.

The project cost was $76,487, which was slightly under budget. Funding for the improvements was a combination of Community Development Block Grant monies and private donations — in the spirit of forging public-private partnerships, the Downtown Redding Business Association is contributing $20,600 over four years.

For more information concerning this project, contact Larry Morgon, Senior Redevelopment Project Coordinator, at (530) 225-4393 or by e-mail

Yuba Street-Streetscape Project -

Construction of the Yuba Street Streetscape Project was completed in September 2001. This project involved the transformation of Yuba Street, between California and Oregon Streets, into a more pedestrian-friendly corridor linking the Courthouse and the Downtown Redding Mall. The improvements were based on the Market Street demonstration block and included narrowed paved street sections, wider decorative sidewalks, custom street lights, shade trees, and concrete planter walls and redwood benches. Funding for this $1 million project was a combination of Redevelopment and Community Development Block Grant funds.

As part of the City's art in public places, the Redding Redevelopment Agency, in conjunction with Viva Downtown, contracted with artist Donna Billick to fabricate four terrazzo discs that were inlayed at the intersection of Yuba and Oregon Streets. This form of art incorporates pieces of rock and marble into concrete mosaic patterns. The patterns selected represent each of the four seasons. The dedication ceremony was held on August 8, 2002, to express appreciation to the many donors who made this project a reality.

For more information concerning the Yuba Street Streetscape Project, contact Larry Morgon, Senior Redevelopment Project Coordinator, at (530) 225-4393 or e-mail

South Market Street - Landscape Improvement Project

In 1998, the City Council authorized spending up to $800,000 for improving the appearance of the South Market Street corridor leading into Downtown. The improvements are to build on the attractive enhancements installed at the intersection of Cypress Avenue and South Market, which include a water feature, richly landscaped median islands, and metal salmon art sculptures.

The new south Market Street improvements, from Parkview Avenue to Wyndham Lane, are being installed in three phases. The first two phases are complete. The first phase involved landscaping the existing medians with trees, shrubs, groundcover, and river cobbles at the ends of the islands. In addition to improving safety in the corridor, new and additional street lights were installed.

The second phase improved three key intersections along the corridor - Wyndham Lane, Ellis Street, and Grange Street. Improvements included construction of storm drain improvements and "bulb-outs" at the intersections to provide landscape areas and reduce the distance to cross the street from one side to the other. In addition, curb, gutter, and sidewalk have been installed in some areas where missing.

A "bulb-out" is the extension of curb, gutter, and sidewalk extending out into the street a short distance. Also known as a "neck-down", a bulb-out is a bump out into the street to shorten the crossing distance from one side to the other. It also slows down traffic because it's hard to take the turn around the corner at high speed. One additional benefit is a larger space at the corner for pedestrians to congregate out of harm's way. An example of a "bulb-out" is the Downtown demonstration block--all corners are "bulb-outs".

The final phase is the redesign of the intersection at South Market Street, Angelo Street, and California Street. In order to improve the efficiency of the intersection, the traffic signals will need to be relocated, travel lanes repositioned, and some driveways closed or modified. An added benefit of the reconfiguration will be the creation of additional landscape areas to improve the visual appearance of the intersection and the South Market Street corridor.

For more information on the South Market Street Landscape Project, contact Larry Morgon, Senior Redevelopment Project Coordinator, at (530) 225-4393 or by e-mail

Parkview Revitalization Effort  or

First subdivided in the 1930s,  Parkview  is one of Redding's older neighborhoods.   Over many years, the Parkview Neighborhood deteriorated through declining physical conditions and property values, drugs, crime, and poverty. Beginning in the mid-1990s, however, law enforcement activities began to be coordinated and focused at the neighborhood level. Through the dedicated and consistent work of the Neighborhood Police Unit, crime in the Parkview Neighborhood has decreased dramatically.

In 1999, a planning process with extensive neighborhood involvement was initiated to develop a long-range revitalization plan that addresses both the problems and the opportunities in a comprehensive approach. In January 2001, the Parkview Neighborhood Strategic Revitalization Plan was adopted by the City Council and Redding Redevelopment Agency (Agency). The Parkview Neighborhood Committee was an integral part of the planning process and the neighborhood group remains actively engaged in the revitalization effort.

before picture
after photo
A range of significant activities and projects with corresponding budget appropriations are authorized by the Plan. In addition to developing new housing, activities include rehabilitating existing housing stock, improving infrastructure, developing recreation and open space amenities for the Neighborhood, and developing mixed-uses on the Parkview Avenue corridor. The Agency is committed to facilitating the tremendous infill development potential of the Parkview Neighborhood.

With the Redding market experiencing growing demand for new housing and facing a shortage of affordable housing, the dynamics are right to take advantage of the opportunity in the Neighborhood. Traditional styles, efficiency, and ample common open space all are priorities for new housing design in the Neighborhood. In addition, attention to elements, including connections, views and visibility, consistency, orientation, and articulations, are of high importance. The Agency seeks to demonstrate that affordable housing can be attractive, unique, and desirable. The Agency is currently engaged in property acquisition, relocation, and assembly of parcels into suitable development sites.

In September 2002, the Agency entered into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate Agreement with New Urban Builders, Inc., a Chico-based developer specializing in New Urban/traditional neighborhoods, for the development of the Leland/Junior Residential Development and the Woods Residential Development described below:

proposed housing
housing example
photo courtesy of New Urban Builders, Inc.
Leland/Junior Residential Development

The goal for the Leland/Junior Residential Development is to create new housing that emphasizes owner-occupied single-family residential on smaller lots that incorporates a public park. The project is envisioned as an attractive, safe, and desirable living environment for families that will serve as a model for renovating surrounding properties. Some of the poorest housing conditions exist in the area referred to as the "Leland/Junior Residential Development."
With frontage on both Leland and Lanning Avenues, which are the Neighborhood's primary access streets, this 4.3-acre site is essentially the core of the Parkview Neighborhood. Anticipating the complete rebuilding of this area, the Agency is currently in the process of acquiring the necessary property, and relocation activities are under way.

Leland Avenue Streetscape Project - A contract was awarded in September 2002 for the Leland Avenue Streetscape Project. The improvements are anticipated to be completed by year end and include curb, gutter, and sidewalk, street lighting, street signage, and landscape improvements. Once the plans are completed, the goal would be to replicate the improvements throughout the Neighborhood.

Woods Residential Development
As with the Leland/Junior Residential Development, the goal for the Woods Site is to create new housing that emphasizes owner-occupied, single-family residential on smaller lots. This ten-acre site is situated in the southwest corner of the Neighborhood, with extended frontage along the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District canal and a natural, park-like setting.
proposed housing
housing example
photo courtesy of New Urban Builders, Inc.

Other major projects identified in the Plan include:

Parkview Avenue Mixed-Use Development
rendering of proposed mixed zoning
rendering courtesy of Trilogy Architecture
One of the primary undertakings proposed in the Plan is the development of a mixed-use project on the block of Parkview Avenue located between Akard and Leland Avenues. The objective is to incorporate residential, office, and Neighborhood commercial services components in the development, while orienting the uses to the needs of both the Neighborhood and the Civic Center. Staff is currently performing a feasibility analysis and working with property owners to develop a potential development concept.

Neighborhood Infill Residential Development
The Agency is proposing to construct or rehabilitate single-family residences for resale to first-time homebuyers. The objective is to acquire key parcels which are blighted and introduce new construction and design examples throughout the Neighborhood; four such parcels have already been acquired. Floor plans and designs have recently been completed for both a three-bedroom and four-bedroom residence. Staff is currently working with nonprofit organizations and developers regarding potential partnerships for the construction of the residences.
proposed blueprint
courtesy of Renard A & E

Parkview Riverfront Trail and Park

Parkview Park
A natural park and trail system planned for an 8.5-acre City-owned property at Parkview Avenue/Smile Place and the Sacramento River is nearing completion of the design phase and will soon be under construction. Anticipated to primarily serve the immediate Parkview residential neighborhood and surrounding business district, the Parkview Riverfront Trail and Park will provide paved and unpaved pedestrian trails, a landscaped picnic area, an attractive footbridge over the on-site year-round creek, and several locations that users can sit, relax, and enjoy the beautiful views of the adjacent Sacramento River. The new park is anticipated to be under construction by the first of 2003 with completion by the summer of that year.

Residential Incentive Package - As a component of the Parkview Neighborhood Revitalization Action Plan, the City Council and Agency adopted a residential incentive package which provides programs to encourage property owners to improve their properties and first-time homebuyers to purchase homes in the Neighborhood. These programs provide a unique opportunity for the public and private sector to form partnerships for the betterment of the community. To date, the City and Agency has assisted two first-time homebuyers and participated in the rehabilitation of 17 units in the Neighborhood. In addition, as part of our beautification efforts, paint vouchers were issued to assist with the cost of exterior painting of 46 units occupied by low- and moderate-income households.

For more information on the Parkview Revitalization Effort project contact:
Sue Thompson  or  Shawn Tillman

Cascade Theatre Renovation -

The Cascade Theatre, located in the heart of Downtown on the Market Street demonstration block, was built in 1935. It was a classic Downtown landmark featuring a large front facade with a neon pylon sign, marquee and cast concrete frieze depicting northern California industry. Today, the Cascade Theatre is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in northern California.

For six decades, the Cascade Theatre was a magnet to Redding's Downtown, drawing people to see motion pictures, vaudeville acts, and music performances. But like many downtown theatres of its era, the Cascade struggled with the rise of multiplex movie theatres. After years of fighting to survive, the Cascade closed its doors in 1997.

Now there's a revival going on to bring the Cascade Theatre back to life. The theatre is in the process of being restored into a multi-use performing arts venue in a way that honors the building's heritage and is consistent with its designation on both the California and National Registries of Historic Places.
Cascade Theatre - 2002
Cascade Theatre - 2002
Partners in this project include Southern Oregon University's Jefferson Public Radio (who purchased the building in June of 1999), the JPR Foundation (the private non-profit organization that supports Jefferson Public Radio's activities), and the Cascade Theater Restoration Committee - a broad based local group made up of community leaders, Downtown advocates, and local business people working to plan and raise funds for the project.

Another partner in the restoration effort is the Redding Redevelopment Agency. The Agency has provided $440,000 to assist with structural improvements to the building. In addition, the Agency has provided $1,500 towards architectural work to enhance the theatre's facade and another $7,500 in the form of a forgivable loan for the facade improvements.

Restoration efforts are progressing at a steady rate. On the evening of December 6, 2001, the theatre's giant neon sign was relighted during a special ceremony to celebrate the progress made on the project. During the lighting ceremony, the neon tubing on the building face adjacent to the sign was also turned on for the first time in 30 years. The building has been painted, the interior building partitions have been removed, and the exterior facade improvements are now complete. Jefferson Public Radio moved its radio station into one of the richly refurbished ground floor spaces in November, 2001. It is hoped that the threatre will open its doors by the end of 2003.

The City of Redding and the Redevelopment Agency strongly support the renovation project because once restored to its original grandeur, the Cascade Theatre will be a place that reconnects the community to its history, provides a first-class performance space, and stands as an icon of community pride and accomplishment.

For more information or to lend a hand, contact the Cascade Theatre Restoration Committee at (530) 243-8787 or e-mail

Mt. Shasta Mall Renovation

The Mt. Shasta Mall underwent a $32 million renovation, which included the construction of a Macy's Department Store that opened in August 2001; the addition of approximately 35,000 square feet of retail space at the south end of the complex (including a food court); and a complete renovation of the exterior. The Redding Redevelopment Agency contributed $795,000 to assist with:
  • Installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Dana Drive and Canby Road
  • Enclosing the Little Churn Creek channel adjacent to the Mall
  • Improving Old Alturas Road between Churn Creek and Canby Roads

For additional information on this project, contact Kurt Starman, Assistant City Manager, at (530) 225-4060, or by e-mail

Westside Road - Realignment Project -

Construction of the $300,000 project was completed in fall 2000. This project moved Westside Road to the west behind Fire Hall No. 3, thereby eliminating a dangerous intersection. This was the final phase of a multi-phase project designed to improve traffic circulation near the intersection of Buenaventura Boulevard and South Market Street (Highway 273)..

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