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Community Profile: Lincoln may have grown, but the small-town feel remains

By Tinka Davi

Beermann’s Restaurant, located in the historic 1864 IOOF building in downtown Lincoln, recently reopened with a new owner and management.
Beermann’s Restaurant, located in the historic 1864 IOOF building in downtown Lincoln, recently reopened with a new owner and management. Ed Andersen

Although Lincoln has grown over the years, people still say it has that small-town feel, said Stan Nader, City Council member.

“A lot of communities want to have the bones of our downtown.”

It’s a historic place with small shops and dining spots.

Four generations of Nader’s family have lived in Lincoln.

Nader has seen the development over the years as a council member in the ‘80s and ‘90s and now as a current councilman. He served as mayor two years ago and will again hold that office in 2018.

“The population was 8,000 in the ’80s and 45,000 in 2008. But Lincoln still has that small-town feeling.”

“Lincoln is a very safe community and has good schools,” Nader said.

The largest employer is the Western Placer Unified School District with 700 employees followed by Sierra Pacific Lumber with 350 and Gladding McBean Pottery with 160.

Mark Luster, president of Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and community relations manager for Sierra Pacific Industries, said that Lincoln is unique because it has a strong sense of community.

“That gives it its small-town feel. You can walk down the street and people say ‘Hi.’”

People strive for that small-town feel in the community. Larger cities lose that connectivity, Luster said.

Sierra Pacific is the second largest producer of wood products in the U.S.

Lincoln is the perfect place to have a business because of the access to major highways, access to rails and access to the workforce,” Luster said.

The chamber attracts new businesses and ensures that businesses are here to stay and prosper. It’s part of that sense of community.”

Gene Thorpe of Century 21 Real Estate said that people have pride of ownership in Lincoln and enjoy a great quality of life.

He credits that to “very good and careful planning year after year. The city council and planning commission offer good oversight.”

Luster said downtown Lincoln is similar to Carmel. People walk around, shop and eat at the restaurants.

“It’s a unique downtown. People go there and stay there. The downtown core offers an ambiance that attracts people.”

Events also attract people. December’s Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting, viewed by over 2,000 people last year, are expected to again draw crowds.

“It’s part of our economic development,” Luster said. “People see what downtown Lincoln has to offer and see the sense of community here.”

There’s a lot of building activity in Lincoln, Nader said.

Village 7 west of Lincoln Crossing is projected to have 3,000 homes over the next 20 to 30 years; Village 1 east of Lincoln will have 5,000 homes over the next 30-40 years and Village 5, in the very west part of the city will have 8,500 homes over the next 30-50 years, he said.

The average price of homes has risen substantially from $250,000 to $450,000, Nader said.

“We’re working diligently on affordable housing which we call workforce housing and helping to foster a project with 1,000-square-foot homes.”

The 24 homes in the development at 1st Street and Joiner Parkway are by Mercy Housing.

New-home builders and their communities in Lincoln include Elliott Homes’ Innovations and Chelsea both at Twelve Bridges, CalAtlantic Homes’ Mira Vista and Cabrillo both at Verdera, Premier United Homes’ Monte Azul at Verdera, Meritage Homes’ Bellini and Vivaldi both at Sorrento and JMC Homes’ The Executive Series at Lakeside.

Thorpe said that real estate in Lincoln is very good. The city came through the recession with a good number of home sales. Prices are still below 2005 especially in entry-level homes.

Current lower prices and lower interest rates offer a good opportunity for home buyers. Prices, which start at $275,000, have gone up modestly across the board, Thorpe said.

It’s also a good time for people who purchased homes a few years ago to sell and move up.

“They’ll pay roughly half of what they paid in 2005. Interest was 7  1/4 percent then and is not quite less than 4 percent now,” he said.

“There’s a wide spectrum of home styles — condominiums, country properties, mobile and high end homes.”

Al Roten, a Sun City Lincoln resident for the past 16 years, has compiled a list of 30 things to do in the city and county. It’s on the websites of the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, Placer Visitors (visitingPlacer.com), Placer Valley Tourism and Sun City Lincoln.

Roten, who served on Lincoln’s Economic Development Committee, said the list contains 19 things to do in Lincoln. The rest are in south Placer County.

Topping the list are wineries, craft breweries, three golf courses including two in Sun City and Lincoln Hills Golf Club. Also included are bicycling and the annual Tour De Lincoln, trails through the Twelve Bridges district, Catta Verdera, Monte Azul and Auburn Ravine Park, the High School Division 3 Rodeo, youth through senior sports tournaments, summer concerts, Thunder Valley Casino and Resort and downtown Lincoln.

“Lincoln has a vital downtown and we want to get more people to go downtown for shopping and dining,” Roten said.

He and “compadres” from the economic development committee published a dining map listing 29 places to eat in Lincoln.

“It includes quickie food to more formal places,” he said.

Lincoln is a good place to dine and, he said, “a great place to live.”

Tinka Davi is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.

FAST FACTS

Where: 30 miles northeast of Sacramento

Size: 20.13 square miles

Population: 52,350

Government: mayor-council-city manager

Incorporated: 1890

County: Placer

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