In a city that hosted the Amgen time trials and promoted the Ride with the Mayor to the state Capitol last May, it’s no wonder that riding the trails is a popular pastime.
The trails are one of Folsom’s best assets, said city manager Evert Palmer, who enjoys riding bicycles with his wife, Laura.
And the setting is beautiful, too, with Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma, the American River and over 50 miles of trails in the city.
“There’s a synergy between nature and our beautiful city,” Palmer said. “We connect our parks with the natural surroundings.”
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That has a multiplier effect on businesses, he said.
“A number of companies move here just for the environment.”
Among them is PowerSchool, a K-12 student information system software company. It’s located in the Lake Forest Business Park off Blue Ravine Road.
The research and development operations of Toshiba opened and will have around 100 employees at its Iron Point Circle location.
VoxPro, an Irish call-center firm which provides customer and technical support services for companies such as Google and Airbnb, opened offices earlier this year on Parkshore Drive in Folsom.
“The ‘refugees’ from Silicon Valley and San Francisco are locating here,” Palmer said.
There’s an outward migration of companies who want to be in California in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, but want to do business a little differently, he said. They want to be in a place where the pace of business isn’t hampered by congestion.
Employees, whose salaries are higher than average, can get the benefits of Silicon Valley with a short drive and much lower real estate prices, he said.
Folsom retail is expanding.
Christine Brainerd, Folsom communications manager, emailed a list of businesses that were recently welcomed. They include Nordstrom Rack, Dick’s Sporting Goods and 99 Ranch Market. Coming soon are Fire & Rain, a 3-story, mixed use commercial building in the historic district, Barnes and Noble, Sprouts Farmers Market, Mikuni, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Lifetime Fitness and Mraz Brewing Company.
Folsom’s trail system continues to expand. Construction of Bowen Drive Trail will begin later this summer and will have a 35-foot-long wood bridge providing connections to the Parkway and Empire Ranch neighborhoods.
A new 95-foot-long bridge was installed to connect Levy Park Trail and the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail.
A ¾-mile Lake Natoma Waterfront Trail, opening in early fall, begins in the historic district and continues along the shoreline of Lake Natoma.
Construction of the Johnny Cash Trail Phase 2 will begin late this year and will include a tunnel under Prison Road at Natoma Street and a 160-foot-long wood arched bridge that will span a ravine behind the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary.
The heart of Folsom is its historic district and that’s where Palmer likes to bring visiting dignitaries.
“Many cities don’t have an old town. Ours is over 100 years old.”
That Historic District and several special events attract visitors to the city.
Upcoming events include Growl, Howl and Wine Sept. 7, a benefit for the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, featuring regional wines, craft brews and local restaurants. Proceeds will help provide resources to feed and care for the animals and maintain the zoo's outreach programs.
Folsom Historical Society will hold its fifth annual wine tasting event, History Unwined, from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 16 on Sutter Street. Proceeds will benefit the Folsom Historical Society’s family of museums.
The Museum of Wonder and Delight showcases one-of-a-kind collections of antique toys, folk art, Christmas ephemera and a new exhibit of shopping bags. It’s one of the historic district’s museums which also include Pioneer Village with its miner’s cabin, caboose and gold panning equipment, and the Folsom History Museum. The latter is currently featuring “Slaves to Fashion,” styles from 1850-1925.
As City Manager Palmer pointed out, Folsom’s real estate prices attract businesses and employees.
Folsom has several well-established neighborhoods throughout the city, including American River Canyon, Briggs Ranch, Empire Ranch, Broadstone, the Parkway and several other named areas. According to the Sacramento Association of Realtors, 130 single-family homes in Folsom sold in June and the median sales price was $496,500.
Among the city’s new-home communities are Addison Place Phase III by Axios Homes and Granite Trails and Granite Preserve, both at Parkshore, by Woodside Homes.
The New Riata at Empire Ranch is by Elliott Homes which also has custom lots at Terrazzo Estates at Broadstone and Lakeview Oaks at Empire Ranch.
The New Home Company is developing Russell Ranch, the area south of Highway 50. Homes and amenities are proposed, however, both Palmer and a spokesperson for The New Home Company said development will be in 2018.
Folsom is taking a measured approach to building homes in the city, Palmer said.
“We get better than our fair share because of the community and the market, but we’ve never been a volume-market community.”
Folsom is a great community with great talent, low congestion and good real estate prices, he said.
And great trails too.
Tinka Davi is a local freelance writer and editor.
Where: About 25 miles east of Sacramento
Size: 27.6 square miles
Government: City Council/City Manager
Several websites and organizations rate cities on their livability and cities like to, well, er, brag about them. Folsom is no exception. Christine Brainerd provided a list of recent accolades:
- It’s the 33rd wealthiest city in the nation says Nerd Wallet, 2016, which also rates Folsom as one of the Best Places for Young Families in Northern California.
- It’s the coolest suburb in the area, according to Thrillist.com, 2016.
- Folsom is among America’s 50 best cities to live (24/7 Wall Street);
- It’s the No. 1 Best Place in California to raise a family (WalletHub.com), the best suburb (Movato, 2015); and
- best cities for young professionals (Movato).
The Community Profiles spotlight Sacramento-area cities and neighborhoods weekly. This schedule is subject to change:
- Woodland, Aug. 6
- Granite Bay, Aug. 13
- Arden Arcade, Aug. 20
- Rancho Cordova, Aug. 27
- Citrus Heights, Sept. 3
- Greenhaven/Pocket, Sept. 10
- Downtown Sacramento, Sept. 17
- Tahoe Park, Sept. 24
- Antelope, Oct. 1
- Roseville, Oct. 8
- Cameron Park, Oct. 15
- Gold River, Oct. 22
- East Sacramento, Oct. 29
- Lincoln, Nov. 5
- Fair Oaks, Nov. 12
- West Sacramento, Nov. 19
- Grass Valley, Nov. 26
- Rocklin, Dec. 3
- Auburn, Dec. 10
- Placerville, Dec. 17
Julie Robledo, resale homes,
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Roger Tafoya, new homes,
(916) 321-1373, firstname.lastname@example.org