Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen speaks about the history behind Old Town Plaza and the efforts to reboot the community gathering center. (Photos by Rahul Lal)

Photos: Elk Grove Community Returns to Rebooted, Historic Old Town Plaza

Back Web Only Aug 17, 2021 By Rahul Lal

Elk Grove’s Old Town Plaza, a community gathering area built on the site of a historic train depot, opened to the public July 21 after 13 months of construction. About 300 people attended the opening ceremony, a three-hour event including music, food trucks and train rides. The area can hold up to 600 people, making it suitable for concerts and farmers markets. 

Elk Grove city leaders participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, making the reopening of Old Town Plaza official.

The City of Elk Grove purchased the depot from Union Pacific Railroad in 2012 and embarked on a lengthy planning period for its redevelopment. The process involved input from community members, city planning experts, the Urban Sustainability Accelerator at Portland State University and other experts. Construction began in June 2020 and was substantially complete by spring 2021. 

A boy shades his mother from triple-digit temperatures at the reopening of Old Town Plaza in Elk Grove on July 21.

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and other city leaders arrived at the plaza to celebrate its rebirth and to discuss its history and design. “The new design incorporates details that reflect our past and our connection with the railroad, from the antique clock to the depot-related signage and salvaged railroad tracks,” said Singh-Allen. She noted that small businesses would pave the way to stronger bonds within the community.

A couple dances to a performance by Todd Morgan and the Emblems at the reopening of Old Town Plaza in Elk Grove July 21.

“These measures are all part of an effort underway to update our Old Town specific plan and revitalize Old Town in a way that respects our heritage, supports our existing businesses and maintains our focus on a future,” said Singh-Allen. “It offers our community and visitors a vibrant retail, dining and entertaining district that brings new opportunities to connect and enjoy the quality of life in this great city.”

A couple dances to a performance by music band Todd Morgan and the Emblems at the reopening of Old Town Plaza in Elk Grove.

The upcoming arrival of new gathering places near the plaza in Old Town Elk Grove, such as Dust Bowl Brewing Company’s third taproom and the relocation of the Elk Grove branch of the Sacramento Library, show signs of growth for the area.

A father-daughter duo enjoy ice cream at the reopening of Old Town Plaza in Elk Grove.

Angela Perry, president of the Old Town Elk Grove Foundation, echoed Singh-Allen’s statement. “We are so happy that Old Town now has a place to gather, a place to bring more folks into our jewel here and to elevate the wonderful events that we already have in Old Town.”

An employee of the Sacramento-based ice cream truck Made in the Shade takes orders from customers. Food truck catering business Sacramento Mobile Foods provided services at the event.

Elk Grove community members arrive at the upgraded Old Town Plaza to celebrate its reopening.

Mike Pesoli, conductor, leads a train ride through the renovated Old Town Plaza in Elk Grove July 21. Rebecca’s Jolly Jumps provided the service.

Old Town Plaza’s historic antique clock stands out in the rebooted environment.

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