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August 8th, 2011
We have often talked about life in the Greenhaven-Pocket…great schools, tree-lined streets, walking/jogging paths – all in an established and desirable neighborhood. So we were very excited when Greenhaven-Pocket was the subject of a recent Sacramento Bee neighborhood lifestyle article.
For those of you who may have missed the print version, below you will find the Sac Bee Article re-purposed in its’ entirety:
RESIDENTIAL REVERIE AT THE RIVERSIDE
Innovations of 1960s developers set tone for neighborhood lifestyle
A pocket-shaped piece of farmland folded into a bend of the Sacramento River might not have seemed the stuff of dreams to anyone else in the late 1950s, but it was exactly that to Harold Parker.
In 1958, Parker and his business partner, Kermit Lincoln, who owned East Bay development company Lincoln-Parker, purchased 700 acres in the northeastern portion of the pastoral pocket and, in the early 1960s, unveiled their vision: Sacramento’s first master-planned community, with homesites set along a snakelike, 2-mile-long greenbelt offering places to walk, bike and play.
In a nod to the coming decade, the developers dubbed their community Greenhaven 70.
“They thought the ’70s was the space age: said Jim Parker, son of Harold Parker and principal, along with older brother Bill, in their late dad’s firm, now called Parker Development Co.
Greenhaven 70 was forward-looking, to be sure. Besides the scenic benefits of the greenbelt, the development had loop streets to help reduce traffic; underground utilities to avoid the unsightliness of dangling outside telephone and electrical cables; homeowner restrictions on rooftop TV antennas, basketball hoops and inoperative cars in driveways, deemed similarly unsightly; and pedestrian overpasses spanning busy thoroughfares to allow residents’ safe and easy passage from place to place.
‘”The overpasses were so kids didn’t have to walk on the roads to get to school,” Jim Parker said.
Later, the developers added 65-acre lake Greenhaven.
“It was a mud pit,” Parker said. “My dad enlarged it and brought in white sand and palm trees; Bill and I were in high school when that was going on, and we helped put in the sand and cobbles around the lake.”
In the ensuing decades after the elder Parker had his vision of community living, other builders left their imprint, too, and development extended south to create what’s now known as the Greenhaven-Pocket area, considered by many as one of Sacramento’s most desirable residential enclaves.
The area, 10-to 15-minute drive south of downtown Sacramento, is bordered on the east by Interstate 5 and on the west, north and south by the curving Sacramento River.
Greenhaven-Pocket offers a range of housing options -from earlier-era ranch homes to modem mansionlike riverfront properties -as well as a few small shopping centers, supermarkets Bel-Air and Nugget Market and a handful of restaurants, such as Ravenous Cafe and Pocket Bistro, that have added interest.
“There are some commercial zones in just a few places, but it’s overwhelmingly residential,” said resident Mark Keller, who’s lived in the Pocket, south of Florin Road, with his wife since 1984. “And the area is very connected to the water. We’re surrounded by the river on three sides. There are a couple of private lakes and a canal system, with bike paths and water-based wildlife. It’s a good area for walking, bike riding and scenery.”
Susie Parker, a longtime Realtor with Cook Realty and the wife of Jim Parker, is a resident and fan of Green haven-Pocket, not only because of her family’s business connections to the area but also because it suits her sensibilities.
She and her husband live in Riverlake, a Parker Development Co. community of high-end homes in the Pocket, but she is familiar with and fond of the whole area.
“I’ve lived here a long time and raised kids here; she said. ‘We’ve walked every-where, and we ride bikes all the time. I’ve walked many times in the area in the evenings, and I’ve never had anything go wrong. You can go all over the place on the trails.”
Because Greenhaven-Pocket is so well-established, Susie Parker said, the current home inventory is not as high as that of some other neighborhoods in Sacramento.
“After all these years we’re almost fully built out, but there are definitely buying opportunities,” she said. “We have very affordable homes and condos as low as $150,000 up to $1 million-plus properties.”
Although most home buying opportunities in Greenhaven-Pocket are resale properties, builder Regis Homes is offering new one-and two-story production homes at its Islands at Riverlake, with prices from the mid-$300,000s.
Proximity to the attractions of downtown Sacramento – without the hassles of downtown parking – is a key appeal for many people who choose to live in Greenhaven-Pocket.
“It’s a straight shoot to downtown via I-80,” said terry Mulligan, a Realtor with Prudential Dunnigan who sells properties in the area. “There’s even a bike trail along the levee that goes all the way up.”
Mulligan is trying to persuade his son and daughter-in-Law, young professionals in San Francisco looking to relocate close to down town Sacramento, to settle in Greenhaven-Pocket.
”They’re still holding out for East Sac or Land Park,” he said. ”They want a two-car garage and a backyard, features you can’t always get in an older community.”
Mulligan is pushing the’ financial wisdom of purchasing a home in Greenhaven-Pocket -a little farther afield perhaps but still within easy reach of the downtown action and with ample scenic and lifestyle charms of its own.
“Young people like to be near the clubs and restaurants of midtown and downtown,” he said, “but I tell them, ‘You’ll pay $100,000 more there than you will in Greenhaven.’”
Visit The Islands at Riverlake and see for yourself what a unique and attractive community we’re developing. Be sure to join The Islands at Riverlake on Facebook and stay up-to-date on our new release homes, events, special incentives and information on our community and greater community of Sacramento!