At long last, the giant overhaul of Sacramento’s downtown rail-yard site has begun. Right now, dozens of workers are on-site, wearing protective gear, removing asbestos and other toxic materials (like loads of contaminated dirt) from the historic rail-yard buildings.

From the early days of SN&R, we lamented the poisonous state of this prime downtown acreage because the extent of the damage seemed to make dreams of transformation nonviable. Now, 20 years later, we’re happy to cheer on Thomas Enterprises for resolving their legal blockades and for standing by the launch of an extremely complex redevelopment effort (possibly the largest urban infill project in the country) with plans to eventually boast retail stores, restaurants, music venues and a public marketplace.

Here’s hoping the site is transformed, over the years, into a hub of connection, creativity and commerce for the city of Sacramento.