By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s plan to revive the Sacramento riverfront is taking a new step forward.

The mayor is backing plans to begin what he hopes will be a vast redevelopment, starting in Old Sacramento with a new public market and a “family-friendly activity zone.”

“We have made revitalizing the riverfront, making the riverfront more accessible a high priority,” Steinberg said. “And we think we should start in Old Sacramento.”

RELATED: Sacramento Looks To Reclaim Riverfront Cut Off 50 Years Ago By Interstate 5

The first stage of redevelopment could center on an old Front Street building, opening the walls to new views of the water and creating a permanent public market inside it.

“Public markets are phenomenally popular,” Steinberg said.

Plans also call for a new “family-friendly activity zone” in Old Sacramento’s Waterfront Park.

“Its just a very attractive idea,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg wants these small projects to be the start of a three-and-a-half-mile redevelopment of the riverfront from Discovery Park to Miller Park.

The land was cut off from the rest of Sacramento by the construction of Interstate 5 in the 1960s and has proven difficult to re-design.

Sacramento riverfront planners are also turning to the city of Pittsburgh for ideas.

“We say borrow every good idea,” Steinberg said.

Over the past 15 years, Pittsburgh completed a massive redevelopment of its once industrial land into residential, retail, and public space.

“We just want to make the riverfront the destination resource that it should be,” Steinberg said.

The city council will vote on funding for the new projects next week. Steinberg says he would like to see construction begin by the end of the year.

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