By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s a busy boulevard featuring some favorite time-tested restaurants: Franklin Boulevard serves Sacramento with a rich Mexican culture.

Now people who work here want to rebrand it to bring in more business.

“Historically, Franklin hasn’t always had the best reputation,” said Martin Brown.

Brown runs the newly-named Historic Monterey Trail District.

“A name conjures up images and ideas of a place in people’s mind,” Brown said.

The banners are up and business leaders are buying in.

Martin Rodriguez works at La Esperanza bakery. The company has been here 50 years, selling authentic Mexican imports.

“It symbolizes a new beginning, a fresh start,” Rodriguez said.

The new Historic Monterey Trail District branding for this area will also include a beautification project that will widen sidewalks, and add bike lines and landscaped medians.

“We come from Carmichael, we would like to come more often, but we would like to be more safe,” said patrol Alejandro Angel.

The name change comes after an historian confirmed modern day Franklin Boulevard is on the same route that in the 1800’s ran between Sutter’s Fort and Monterey.

“So we’re building on the district’s history,” Brown said.

The future of Franklin Boulevard is now more than ever attached to its history.

“Hopefully people will start to see this as a sense of place to discover, to walk through, to explore,” Brown said.

So far, the business district has raised about $700,000 from grants to pay for the upgrades.

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