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Community Profile: Elk Grove schools get high ratings

BY TINKA DAVI

Schools and parks are important to Elk Grove residents, said Angela Perry, president/CEO of the community’s Chamber of Commerce.

“People like to live in Elk Grove because it has one of the best school districts in the state, it has about 99 community parks and it’s a great place to raise a family.”

Schools are within the Elk Grove Unified School District, which is the fifth largest district in California and is one of the fastest-growing school districts in the nation.

Elk Grove also has private schools, Cosumnes River College and the California Northstate University College of Pharmacy.

Perry talked about other developments benefiting residents.

“Costco has opened and the Wilton Rancheria casino project is moving forward. Buildings are being torn down in what is known as the Ghost Mall make room for the casino project.”

She said that the new shopping center next to Costco has lots of good retail and restaurants.

“We’re definitely still growing,” she said. “One thing Ilike to tell people is that Elk Grove is only about 12 minutes away from downtown Sacramento. People think it’s much farther.”

She also encourages people to check out Elk Grove’s Old Town with its restaurants, antique stores and the large plaza for activities.

Elk Grove hosts several special events including the Taste of Elk Grove in March, the Western Festival in May, Old Town Chili Festival in June and the Salute to the Red, White and Blue and the Strauss Festival of ElkGrove, both in July.

Kristyn Laurence, Elk Grove public affairs manager, said new business proposals have been in the news recently.

They include the city’s fifth brewery, Hungry Pecker Brewing, several new restaurants and retailers coming at The Ridge Shopping Center, the Wilton Rancheria Casino and California Northstate University’s proposed medical center.”

Proposed plans call for a 250-bed teaching hospital adjacent to Northstate University.

The city’s craft-beer industry has Hungry Pecker Brewing joining Dreaming Dog Brewing Co., Waterman Brewing Company, Tilted Mash Brewing and Flatland Brewing Company.

The Ridge Shopping Center, anchored by Costco, will have several retailers and restaurants and the Wilton Rancheria Casino will be developed while Elk Grove’s unfinished Ghost Mall is being demolished.

Realtor Sarah Illinik of Lyon Real Estate also said people like the schools, parks and the easy access to I-5 andHighway 99.

She said people are attracted by the weather, diversity, the family-oriented community, variety of home prices, business and employment plus golf, competitive-level sports clubs, walking and biking trails and proximity to the Cosumnes River Preserve.

The 50,000-acre preserve has more than 11 miles of trails and is home to more than 250 species of birds, more than 40 fish species and 400-plus plant species.

Lyon Realtor Roger Tafoya said that Elk Grove offers a variety of programs and amenities including an aquatic center and parks with baseball fields, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and BMX Bike Park. There’s also a rain park, dog parks, bike and skate parks and sports complex.

People like the affordability of homes in Elk Grove, Tafoya said.

“Real estate is on the lower side of the price point with about $80,000 income needed to qualify for a home.”

Illinik said that home-buyers do consider employment and proximity to work when looking at homes.

“It’s an easy commute to downtown Sacramento and surrounding areas,” she said, and there are employment opportunities in Elk Grove.

The largest employer is the Elk Grove Unified School District, followed by Apple, Elk Grove Auto Mall andCalifornia Correctional Health Care Services.

People from the Bay Area and Los Angeles consider Elk Grove because prices are more affordable here, Tafoya said.

Several builders are offering new homes including Montair, the Elements and Indigo at Sterling Meadows andCambria at Fieldstone all from Lennar.

Other builders and communities are Richmond American (Stonecrest at Sterling Meadows), K.Hovnanian (Parkviewat Sterling Meadows), Taylor Morrison Homes (at Madeira East); KB Home (at Monterey Village); Tim Lewis Communities (Latitudes and Classics at Poppy Lane); Meritage Homes (Marbella), Woodside Homes (Capital Reserve) and The New Home Company (Madeira).

There’s avariety of home styles in Elk Grove, from older homes to new homes, Tafoya said.

In January, 246 resale homeswere on the market ranging from a low of $298,000 to a high of $8,900,000. (That’s a 9,800-square-foot estate on almost 50 acres.) Median price of homes is $583,000.

“Prices will be going up, but employment stability is good,” Tafoya said. “There’s consumer confidence. People are feeling good about buying a home and the area is still affordable.”

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

FAST FACTS

Where: about 15 miles south of downtown Sacramento

Size: 42 square miles

Population: 173,702

County: Sacramento

Founded: 1850

Incorporated: 2000

Government: City Council

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