OLD SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Could Old Sacramento become the next gold mine for housing?

A vacant building on 2nd and L streets could be converted into lofts.

The motto there is live, work and play. The proposed lofts would be sandwiched between a deli and a bar.

It’s no secret Sacramento’s housing market has exploded over the last several years. Now, there’s even more housing potential in historic Old Sacramento.

“Wow, people are really making that, they’re really gonna live down here?” asked one local.

A building on 2nd and L streets has been vacant for years. According to the Old Sacramento Waterfront District, the building was slated to convert into loft living.

“There’s so many lofts downtown, so many apartments, it’s like how do you rationalize turning Old Sac into another place to live?” questioned Akorede Fasuii.

Old Sacramento already has three residential buildings, and some locals are critical of converting a historic building to feed the explosive housing demand.

“To me, this is a tourist area. People come here to see the sights, the old buildings, but you don’t come down here to live in Old Sac,” Fasuii added.

But the Old Sacramento Waterfront District sees the historic charm as an asset to entice visitors into becoming neighbors.

“We have an opportunity for people who have businesses here, we have kids come down and play, we got families around, millennials that like to come here for all the different shops,” said Brooksie Hughes, Director at the district.

“It’s just like next to downtown, J Street, L Street,” said a Midtown resident.

While Old Sac is a desirable location for some, cost of living remains top of mind for renters wanting the “big city” lifestyle.

“People are gonna pay the price to live here, there’s no rent control so that means yearly rent increases for most of us,” said a resident.

Sacramento’s planning commission says it hasn’t yet received a formal application yet but is aware there is talk of the conversion.