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Community Profile: Rancho Cordova’s ‘a great place to live, work and play’

By Tinka Davi

Sunrise Plaza at Douglas Road and Sunrise Boulevard currently has a Walgreen’s, but will eventually have a Raley’s and other stores.
Sunrise Plaza at Douglas Road and Sunrise Boulevard currently has a Walgreen’s, but will eventually have a Raley’s and other stores.

People who know Rancho Cordova are quick with the compliments.

The mayor, vice mayor and local Realtor all praise the city for its jobs, housing and activities.

“We are a safe, inviting and vibrant community that attracts people who are interested in energizing their community. It’s not just a place where you just want to live, sleep, eat and park your car,” said Mayor David Sander.

“We’ve got more private sector jobs than any other community except downtown Sacramento.”

Vice Mayor Donald Terry said that Rancho Cordova is a great place to live, work and play.

There are newer neighborhoods as well as a traditional, older area and it has the largest concentration of businesses outside of the city of Sacramento, he said.

Major employers include the State of California, Health Net, Inc., Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Vision Service Plan, Sutter Health, Delta Dental, Verizon Wireless, Franklin Templeton Investments, Bank of America, Dignity Healthcare and others.

Realtor Barbara Lebrecht of Home Buyers Assistance said that at one time more people worked in Rancho Cordova than lived there, but that’s changing.

“Rancho, with its sense of community and people, is not just a place to work but a place where people want to live.

“Buyers can purchase a home for under the Sacramento County median price — approximately $300,000 — and have a nice home. It’s very competitive and affordable.”

The three agree that Rancho Cordova is also a community that knows how to have fun.

That’s due to programs and attractions including a major regional event, the Capital Air Show, Oct. 1-2, at Mather Airport, where the famed U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be the headliners.

Other events include Brushes and Brews on Sept. 24, a fine arts exhibit and sale with beer, food trucks and music. The slogan is “Beauty is in the eyes of the Beer-Holder.”

The Great American Road Trip Oct. 9 will feature cars traveling down historic Lincoln Highway Route along Folsom Boulevard and commemorate the Rancho Cordova Heritage Corridor.

People like Rancho Cordova’s proximity to the American River Parkway, the transit and freeway connections and the schools, Sander said.

Four school districts serve the community: Sacramento City Unified, Folsom-Cordova, Elk Grove Unified and San Juan Unified.

It also has an International Baccalaureate program at Mitchell Middle and Cordova High schools and the Riverview STEM Academy (K-5).

Mayor Sander said that through the Community Enhancement Fund, “We’ve given up to $7 million a year for two years and have gardens at every school and a music program at almost every school.”

Ashley Downton, city communications specialist, said the City Council identifies projects and programs to be funded.

The City Council is now focusing on sports and arts programs.

Lebrecht said that there has been a resurgence of retail along the Sunrise Boulevard/Highway 50 corridor.

“That shows confidence in the city.”

New businesses include Free Form Factory, which manufactures personal watercraft, Pilates Heartcore and One Point Body fitness center.

“Rancho Cordova has a diverse population and that equates to delicious food,” Lebrecht said.

New eateries include Halal Fried Chicken, Cha Thai and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Koreana Plaza International Market has food items from around 100 countries as well as a food court.

Also in Rancho Cordova are American River Brewery, Thin Line Brewing Company and Gold River Distillery.

Downton said Sunrise Plaza at Douglas Road and Sunrise Boulevard will eventually have a Raley’s and other stores. At present, a Walgreen’s is on one corner.

“The city has done a really good job of bringing in businesses and buyers,” Lebrecht said.

“We are seeing an influx of young couples coming into Rancho Cordova which is incredibly important,” Sander said.

The Anatolia area has contemporary homes with modern amenities, Lebrecht said. The traditional area is Sunrise on the north side has older homes.

Other areas are Sunridge, Capital Village, Kavala Ranch, North Douglas, Stone Creek and Rio del Oro.

The latter at Douglas and White Rock roads will eventually have 13,000 homes, Terry said.

“That will take decades to build.”

Downton said that Capital Village has 326 finished lots with townhomes and single-family homes from Beazer Homes.

North Douglas has 603 finished lots. Builders there are Woodside Homes and Lennar.

Next to Capital Village shopping center area, The Spanos Corp. is building Bridgeway Square with 199 luxury apartments.

They will appeal to young professionals with executive-level jobs who will like being able to walk to work, to restaurants and retail, Terry said.

In resale, 70 single-family homes currently on the market in traditional Rancho Cordova range from approximately $200,000 to $600,000. There are 38 homes for sale in the newer parts of the city. They range from approximately $270,000 to $700,000.

“The Sacramento area is where suburban meets rural,” Lebrecht said. You can go from Rancho Murieta, a gated community, past a brewery in Rancho Cordova, to the high-rise buildings downtown and then to the rice fields.”

“It’s an awesome area. We are blessed with the amount of land we have. It’s a good place to live and Rancho Cordova is a great place to raise a family.”

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

Fast Facts

Where: 10 miles east of Sacramento

Size: 23 square miles

Population: 72,000

Government: council-manager

Incorporated: 2003

County: Sacramento

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