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Proximity to Rail, Road & Water Made the River District a Distribution Center

The area now known as the River District was once an isolated area, cut off from the surrounding area by railroad tracks, levees and rivers. An industrial powerhouse, the warehouses and distribution centers located here utilized the railroad and rivers to ship agricultural goods from the fertile Sacramento Valley to the rest of the country and beyond. The Bercut-Richards Packing Company was the largest independently-owned cannery in California. 

Residents arrived after World War II when the government built the Dos Rios (later known as Twin Rivers) housing project, comprised of 218 units on 22 acres. 

In 1952, the State of California built a printing plant at the corner of N. 7th and N. B Street. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the area was annexed to the City of Sacramento. As shipping by rail and waterways declined, business leaders and property owners along with city leaders formed the Richards Boulevard Redevelopment Area. 

In 1999, the Capitol Station District was formed to further revitalize the area and named for a proposed multi-modal transportation hub. When plans changed and the station was no longer to be built, the organization rebranded as The River District, highlighting its location along the Sacramento and American Rivers. 

In the 2000s, a vision of a mixed-use urban community was established for the River District and progress began to manifest with improvements to infrastructure and notable developments. An old, abandoned power station was revitalized as the new SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity; Twin Rivers became a dynamic residential community known as Mirasol Village, and the state began building the Richards Boulevard Office Complex on the site of its old printing plant. The former site of the Bercut-Richards Packing Company is now Township 9, home to Cannery Place Apartments, Township 9 Park, and construction is to begin soon on additional residences, commercial space, and parks. The Old Produce Terminal and surrounding brick warehouses are being reimagined as the Grower’s District, which will bring apartments and a public market to the North 16th Street Historic District, where long-time business Blue Diamond, Downtown Ford, Capitol Casino and Wood Bros. continue to thrive.