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Next Step For Sacramento Streetcar Effort Will Be Resident Vote In May

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento's streetcar is one step closer to becoming a reality following a mail-in vote tabulated on Tuesday.

The proposed 3.3-mile route would link West Sacramento and Sacramento while going past key landmarks like Raley Field, the Bridge District, Old Sacramento and the new Kings arena and the state Capitol.

While plans for the streetcar seem to be rolling fast, the next key step comes in May when voters who live within three blocks of the proposed line will vote on the project.

Andy Smith is part of the majority of businesses that voted to greenlight the Sacramento streetcar project. He sees it as a way to bring people to downtown to spend their money at his shop.

"I don't think it will be a bad thing at all honestly. I think it's going to be great," he said.

The next step comes in May when registered voters who live along the route will get to say yes or not to the $150 million project.

Ultimately, the state, county, city, feds and property owners along the route would pay for the project, but costs could trickle down to renters.

Commercial real estate expert Jason Rutherford says businesses are already seeing higher rents, and with a new streetcar, home and apartment renters could be next.

"It feels like to me across the board, whether it's office space, residential, retail, that it should increase the rates," he said.

It's too early to tell, he says, how much rent could go up. But in other cities with similar projects, rates increased anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.

The earliest construction on the streetcar line would begin in mid-to-late 2016 if everything goes as planned.

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