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Community Profile: ‘Exciting things’ are happening in Rancho Cordova

By Tinka Davi

Kavala Ranch residents enjoy a view of the Sierras.
Kavala Ranch residents enjoy a view of the Sierras. Ed Andersen

Take a drive through Rancho Cordova and you’ll see that there’s a lot going on in the city.

Check out the residences planned at Rio Del Oro, stores scheduled to open at Sunridge Plaza, Mather Veterans Village Phase 1, the renovation of Mills Station and Capital Village.

Rio Del Oro, a development project bordered by White Rock Road to the north, Sunrise Boulevard to the west, Grant Line Road to the east and Douglas Road to the south, is 3,828 acres.

“It’s probably the region’s largest suburban development projects,” said Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander. “What’s neat is that it’s reclaiming land that was mined and it’s close to a massive number of jobs in Rancho Cordova.”

Plans call for 12,189 residential units, one high school, two middle schools, six elementary schools, 157 acres of commercial development, 90 acres of business park, 269 acres of industrial park, 510 acres of wetland preserve, 121 acres of community parks, 57 acres of neighborhood parks and 16 miles of trails.

It’s expected to open in 2018.

“It probably has the region’s largest park,” Sander said.

Maria Kniestedt, communications and legislative affairs manager, said it will have sports and ball fields and open space that’s capable of hosting major events that draw people from the region.

People in Rancho Cordova are proud of their community, Sander said.

“We’re not a boring suburb where people go home to sleep. There are a lot of exciting things. People are engaged in things around town along with their neighbors.”

Residents will be able to shop at Sunridge Plaza, a major center located on the southwest corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Douglas Road. It will have approximately 92,000 square feet of retail that’s anchored by a 40,000-square-foot Raley’s Market.

“It’s expected to bring roughly 30 new businesses and 150 new jobs to Rancho Cordova,” city communications specialist Ashley Downton said.

The first businesses are expected to open at the end of 2017.

Mather Veterans Village is the first permanent supportive housing for homeless and disabled veterans in the Sacramento region, Downton said.

Phase 1 has 50 residential units and is now occupied. Phases 2 and 3 also will have 50 units each, Sander said. It’s a block from the Veterans Administration and will have a community center.

The complex is the result of collaboration among Mercy Housing California, the Veterans Resource Centers of America, Sacramento County and the city of Rancho Cordova.

The historic Mills Station is being renovated and relocated to the light rail station at Mather Field/Mills Station.

The historic building was originally a grocery store, post office, dance hall and officer’s club, Sander said. Now it will become an art gallery located across the street from Rancho Cordova’s Folsom Lake College campus.

Capital Village at Zinfandel and International drives is a major development in Rancho Cordova, with housing units, a community park in the center, restaurants and shops.

People who live there can walk to work, thus saving time driving to and from jobs, Sander said..

Several large firms located in Rancho Cordova include insurance, banking, health care, manufacturing, engineering and construction companies, Sanders said.

Emily Nielsen, broker/owner of Vista Oaks Realty, said the affordability of homes is what brings people from the Bay Area to Rancho Cordova.

“One of the nice things about Rancho Cordova is that it’s a very affordable area within the Sacramento region.”

Many people move from Folsom to Rancho Cordova because they like the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. Four school districts serve the community: Sacramento City Unified, Folsom-Cordova, Elk Grove Unified and San Juan Unified.

Rancho Cordova’s location is convenient, she said.

“It’s just 15 minutes to downtown, a half-hour to Sacramento International Airport and 80 miles to Lake Tahoe and 90 to San Francisco.”

Rancho Cordova is Sacramento’s largest business suburban center — about 11 million square feet of office space, she said.

Nielsen listed several: the State of California, Health Net, VSP, Aerojet and Gen Corp, Sutter Health, Delta Dental, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

For recreation, there’s easy access to the American River Bicycle Trail. The city also is the site of the Sacramento Children’s Museum where there’s “tons of stuff to do,” Nielsen said.

Other places include the Rancho Cordova Sports Center, Granite Arch for rock climbing, Gymnastic Studio and Wacky Tacky for little gymnasts.

Concerts and movies are held at Village Green Park.

“It’s a very family oriented community and a nice place to live, play and work,” Nielsen said.

There’s a range of residences from apartments and condominiums to single-family homes — everything for first-time home buyers to people looking to upsize or downsize.

Currently there are 74 homes on the market in the ZIP codes 95670 and 95742. Prices range from $215,000 to $679,000 with the median price $370,000.

Communities and builders include Corinthia at Kavala Ranch by Richmond American Homes;

Lennar is offering Highland Grove, Kensington Estates and Camden, all at Somerset Ranch;

Beazer Homes is offering Bungalows, Cottages and Reflections all at Capital Village.

Elliott Homes is the builder at Rio Del Oro.

Nielsen, who lives in Kavala Ranch, said she loves the sense of community and the events. Neighbors celebrate Christmas in Kavala and hold several gatherings the rest of the year.

The city has been celebrating the season with concerts at local venues, Christmas tree lighting, art shows, breakfast with Santa, reindeer games, food trucks, even an ugly Christmas sweater contest.

There’s more to come in January- the Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 7, food truck lunches every Thursday, Anything Goes art show through Jan. 8 and Zoom In arts show, Jan. 23-April 7.

There is a lot going on in the city.

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


Where: 10 miles east of Sacramento

Size: 23 square miles

Population: 72,203

Government: council-manager

Incorporated: 2003

County: Sacramento