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Community Profile: From high-tech to beer, there’s something for everyone in Rancho Cordova

By Tinka Davi

Heron Landing Community Park is still under construction and should open in the fall 2017. The park is located on the corner of Justinian Drive and Anatolia Drive.
Heron Landing Community Park is still under construction and should open in the fall 2017. The park is located on the corner of Justinian Drive and Anatolia Drive.

The California Capital Airshow is one of the most spectacular events in the Sacramento area and it’s roaring into Rancho Cordova Sept. 9-10. More than 100,000 spectators are attracted annually to this event and they can expect a heart-pounding lineup of performances and entertainment.

As a special treat this year, the city of Rancho Cordova, in partnership with the California Capital Airshow, will send 7,000 students and parents to the event at no charge.

The Airshow this year will feature the Patriots Jet Team, the United States Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet, The Air Force Heritage Flight and the Patriot Parachute Team.

“We’re really proud of our Airshows and this is arguably the largest regional event,” said Rancho Cordova Mayor Donald Terry.

The city’s goal is to partner with young people to go into technology fields and encourage students to learn about science and technology.

Rancho Cordova funded a feasibility study to bring a Hacker Lab to Rancho Cordova and to see who would be interested in working there, the mayor said.

“Sacramento and Rancho Cordova are part of Silicon Valley and there’s just as much interest in growing and nurturing this type of business. We’re looking into where we might site this state-of-the-art technology.”

Hacker Lab is a Sacramento-based co-working space for entrepreneurs and makers that offer education and training classes, as well as community mentorships for startups, designers and students. It has two other locations in Sacramento, said Ashley Downton, city communications specialist.

Rancho Cordova already has large technological service companies, Terry said.

“There are a large number of high-tech people looking to do other things. It’s an opportunity to harness talent and give them space.”

The city has 75,000 population and 50,000 employ ees, said Cyrus Abhar, city manager.

“It’s one of the largest employee centers in the region and, at the same time, a vast portion of the city is growing with several employment communities.”

For example, Rio Del Oro is one of the largest land development projects in the city.

“It’s larger than downtown and midtown Sacramento put together in terms of the footprint of the project,” Abhar said.

Rio Del Oro will have 12,000 new homes, 15 miles of bicycle and walking tails, 200 acres of parks and more than 500 acres of commercial, business and industrial space.

“Put that all together and you see why we’re so excited.”

Development will be market-driven and could take 20-30 years, he said.

“It will be developed in a logical and organized way.”

Abhar pointed out that Rancho Cordova was incorporated in 2003 and, in the 14 years since then, 4,000 new homes have been built.

“That’s very healthy growth.”

New-home developments include Anatolia from AKT Investments which will have 2,219 units; Bridgeway Square Apartments, A.G. Spanos Companies, 199 units; Capital Village, Beazer Homes, 662 units; Kavala Ranch, Lennar Homes and Richmond American Homes, 798 units; North Douglas, Lennar Homes and Woodside Homes, 666 units; Stone Creek, Elliott Homes, 1,494 units; and Sunridge Park, Woodside Homes, 941 units.

“We want to develop our strength. We don’t have enough houses for the employees in Rancho Cordova. With new housing developments, we’ll have balance,” Abhar said.

According to Zillow there are approximately 163 resale homes for sale in Rancho Cordova.

The median home value in Rancho Cordova is $330,400. Home values have gone up 8.5 percent over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.0 percent within the next year. The median list price per square foot $209, and the median price of homes currently listed in Rancho Cordova is $359,950.

Top employers include the State of California, Veterans Affairs Medical Centre, AMPAC Fine Chemicals, Delta Dental, Sutter Health, Vision Service Plan, Franklin Templeton, Health Net and Blue Shield.

On the retail side, two businesses, Raley’s Market and Starbucks, recently opened at Sunridge Plaza at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Douglas Road.

“The Center is expected to bring roughly 24 new businesses and 150 new jobs to Rancho Cordova,” Downton said.

Eleven businesses will open elsewhere in the city. They include banking, beauty and food.

The city is served by four school districts including Sacramento City Unified, Folsom-Cordova, Elk Grove Unified and San Juan Unified.

For recreation, residents have access to the American River Parkway, fitness centers, three water parks, Granite Arch Climbing Center, Mather Golf Course, Mather Sports Center and several parks.

“Aside from development, the emphasis is on creating a destination,” Abhar said. “We have no intention of being a bedroom community. Rancho Cordova will be where people chose to live, work and have fun.”

That includes the Hacker Lab, the Airshow, the International Festival, other events and the Barrel District. (see sidebar, above)

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


Where: 10 miles east of Sacramento

Size: 23 square miles

Population: 75,000 163 homes for sale

Government: council-manager

Incorporated: 2003

County: Sacramento


In addition to jets flying high, high-tech offerings and new homes, Rancho Cordova now has a Barrel District.

It’s the newest place for craft beer, craft cocktails and mead, which is also known as honey wine and referred to as “nectar of the gods,” said Ashley Downton, communications specialist.

The concept developed “a handful of years ago,” said Mayor Donald Terry.

“We looked at the demographics and, rather than wine, we’re more a beer community.”

The district will be in one of the industrial parks where parking is available at the end of the day after employees leave work.

“It’s a perfect fit and a way to use space in the city.”

Breweries include Claimstake Brewing, Lockdown Brewing, Old Hangtown Beer Works and Gold River Distillery. Opening soon will be Thin Line Brewing, J.J. Pfister Distilling and Strad Meadery.

– Tinka Davi