Development of Campus Commons-Nepenthe began in 1966, however, there isn’t an official 50th anniversary celebration in the works yet. That’s because the PUD (planned unit development) took over a decade to build out. It was completed in 1979.
Realtor Roger Hackney of Hackney and Associates believes there might be a rolling 50th anniversary celebration instead of a single date to mark the occasion, but any festivities just may depend on the individual homeowners association.
There are seven.
Despite the number, the HOAs work together, share common areas and have CC&Rs that are similar, Hackney said.
Campus Commons and Nepenthe consist of a total of 1,160 homes with 590 units or about half of the properties in the Nepenthe Association which was formed in 1972.
The rest are in six Campus Commons villages.
Model homes in Village 1 opened on July 9, 1966, Hackney said.
Charles Warren Callister of Tiburon, the principal architect and planner for Campus Commons, was responsible for the initial Campus Commons community plan and the homes in Villages 1, 2 and a portion of 4 including the original clubhouse and common areas. Another notable Callister project was Rossmoor in Walnut Creek (1963), Hackney said.
The other villages are numbered 3, 5 and 10.
Units 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11 were consolidated when builder Robert Powell took over the property and built it out as the Nepenthe Association.
Powell is familiar name in the Sacramento area.
After Nepenthe, “he went on to build Woodside Condominiums to the north, East Ranch to the east of Campus Commons and then 83 single-family homes at Wyndgate PUD on American River Drive east of Watt Avenue, Hackney said. That was in 1980 and then he went on to Gold River.
“He took a few Campus Commons plans, added some new ones and developed East Ranch (114 units) on Monroe Avenue between American River Drive and Fair Oaks Boulevard.”
He also built the Pavilions Center on Fair Oaks Boulevard.
“Powell made a lasting impact here and then in Gold River,” Hackney said.
Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects & Planners added a timeless, contemporary appeal to the design of Powell’s Campus Commons-Nepenthe homes, he said.
According to the history on Hackney’s website, Moss & Moss Builders built homes in Villages 1, 2 and part of Village 4. A joint venture of Robert C. Powell Properties and A. Teichert & Son built Villages 3, 10 and part of Village 4 and all of Nepenthe. Kimmel Construction built the homes in Village 5 known as St. Charles Place.
The 680-acre former Hop Ranch site was annexed to the city of Sacramento in 1965.
The location is one of the reasons people like Campus Commons-Nepenthe. It’s convenient to midtown, downtown and shops and restaurants along Fair Oaks Boulevard. Plus there’s access to the American River Parkway.
The development underway at the corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue will be close and convenient for Campus Commons-Nepenthe residents, Hackney said.
A new Raley’s store will be in the former site of Hubacher Cadillac at the northwest corner, Hackney said. It should open next year.
On the opposite corner, University Village has been sold and will become “The UV” with updated shops and restaurants, Hackney said. Zocalo and Buckhorn BBQ may open there.
“That’s a nice shot in the arm for Campus Commons.”
The UV is becoming a lifestyle center where people can stroll, stop at a coffee shop or enjoy a meal at a restaurant, he said.
Work also is being done at the Pavilions which will have a Wildwood Kitchen & Bar joining Piatti Ristorante & Bar and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, just to name a couple, he said.
“It’s not just a place to shop; it’s a place to linger.”
With the centers, the renovation of Guy West Bridge which connects Campus Commons and Sacramento State University, it’s quite a hot sport of activity, Hackney said.
“The location hasn’t changed a bit; it’s just getting better and better.”
People are downsizing to smaller homes or moving because they want to be closer to downtown.
Of the 1,160 homes in the community, only four are on the market and range from $295,000 to $369,000.
“There are 10 pending sales with the highest price ($695,000) that I’ve seen since 2005,” Hackney said. “We have finally recovered from the (real estate) catastrophe and recession and I’m thankful for that.”
The homes have a timeless appeal and the architects did a wonderful job, Hackney said. The plan was to have the greatest amount of privacy possible and open space with a greenbelt feel.
“It was the first planned unit development in the state and a new concept in housing. It will live on for many generations.”
Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.
Where: About 6 miles east of downtown Sacramento
Size: 680 acres
Annexed to Sacramento: 1965
Population: approximately 3,500
Government: County Board of Supervisors
The Community Profiles spotlight Sacramento-area cities and neighborhoods weekly. This schedule is subject to change:
▪ Cameron Park, June 4
▪ Gold River, June 11
▪ Carmichael, June 18
▪ East Sacramento, June 25
▪ Elk Grove/Laguna, July 2
▪ El Dorado Hills, July 9
▪ Sierra Oaks, July 16
▪ Land Park, July 23
▪ Folsom, July 30
▪ Woodland, Aug. 6
▪ Granite Bay, Aug. 13
▪ Arden Arcade, Aug. 20
▪ Citrus Heights, Sept. 3
▪ Greenhaven/Pocket, Sept. 10
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Roger Tafoya, new homes,
(916) 321-1373, firstname.lastname@example.org