After years on hold, construction will begin next spring in south Sacramento on one of the biggest shopping and entertainment centers in the city.
Developers of the 800-acre Delta Shores project say they have begun groundwork for a $100 million “power center” next to Interstate 5, anchored by Walmart, RC Willey and a movie theater.
“It is going to be an exciting mix of food and retail and a luxury movie theater where you can sit and have dinner and have drinks,” said Scott McPherson, executive managing director of Merlone Geier Partners, a San Francisco-based West Coast developer.
The center, which is expected to open in stages in late 2017, is part of a larger development that eventually will include up to 5,000 housing units.
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McPherson made his comments at the opening Tuesday of a 3.5-mile extension of Cosumnes River Boulevard. The new road offers south-county drivers a new connector between Highway 99 and I-5 and is expected to ease congestion on Meadowview and Mack roads to the north as well as Laguna Boulevard to the south.
The $95 million connector road extends west to Freeport Boulevard at the northern edge of the town of Freeport. It alternates between four and six car lanes, and has bike lanes.
The Merlone Geier group bought the Delta Shores project site in 2006, then had to wait out the recession. The company partnered with the city of Sacramento in funding the road project. The new road and interchange open the site for development just as the local economy is rebounding.
McPherson said he expects the big-box-style center to attract customers from around the region and to fill a need for residents in south Sacramento, the Pocket and Greenhaven areas, as well as downtown.
“We have a broad trade area we are going to draw from,” he said. “The types of tenants are regional in nature.”
In addition to Walmart, Merlone Geier lists Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, Petsmart, Ross Dress For Less, Bath and Body Works, AT&T, Verizon and Sleep Train as some of the outlets expected to locate at the site. Restaurants include McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger, Chipotle, The Habit Burger Grill, Chick-fil-A, El Pollo Loco and Panera Bread.
McPherson said his company hopes to begin selling housing subdivision sites to builders soon, but does not expect houses and apartments to start to be built until the following year.
City officials lauded the road extension Tuesday and the development that it allows.
“We need them here in south Sacramento,” Councilman Rick Jennings said at the road-opening ceremony. “We need to have shopping and business right off I-5 that we have access to in order to grow the economy here.”
Councilman Larry Carr said he is working to make sure that streets in the Meadowview area are extended to connect to Delta Shores. Initial plans show 24th Street extending into the new area. Carr said he wants to see Detroit Boulevard and another street connect as well.
“We don’t want to have isolated communities,” he said. “We are one city. This is one community. We want people who are living in that area to the north to have easy access to all the commercial development as well.”
Ioannis Kazanis of the North State Building Industry Association said the timing for Delta Shores housing looks good. Housing construction in the Sacramento region increased in 2014 and again in 2015 after years in which very little construction occurred.
“Is 2016 the year the housing market is really going to bounce back? Signs are pointing to yes on that equation,” Kazanis said.