Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Neighborhood and city spotlight: East Sacramento

It’s been called the closest thing to a European neighborhood you’ll find in Sacramento, but residents just know they love East Sacramento for its wide, tree lined streets, well groomed parks, charming mom and pop restaurants, wine bars and watering holes, eclectic architecture, and close-knit community vibe. But those are only the broad brushstrokes on the portrait of East Sacramento, where cultural and artistic diversity, modern amenities, and a serious commitment to recreation somehow successfully blend with safety and family neighborhoods.

East Sacramento Profile:

Approximately 32,000 residents live in the neighborhood called East Sacramento, spanning 3.2 square miles in the 95819 and 95816 zip codes. Currently, almost 57% of homes are lived in by owners, 37% by renters, and only a very small percentage are vacant. The average household income in East Sacramento is $84,583, significantly higher than the greater Sacramento average.

The history of East Sacramento:

Development inland from the blossoming Gold Rush town of Sacramento in the 1860s was made possible when the levees were strengthened on the American River. In the 1890s, the area of East Sacramento was mostly small farms, orchards, and dairies before residential development began on 32nd through 34th streets between J Street and Folsom Boulevard. This area was ideal for new homes built on narrow 40’ lots, because it was only a short stroll away from the J Street trolley line stop.

East Sacramento was officially annexed into Sacramento in 1911, which brought modern sewage systems and the H Street Bridge constructed to span the American River to the Fair Oaks area. In 1914, the trolley line was extended to an area called Tract 24, which we now know as the “Fab Forties.”

Did you know that homes for sale in East Sacramento are some of the most desirable real estate in all of Sacramento?

East Sacramento staked its claim as a growing neighborhood of choice when the iconic Alhambra Theater was built in 1927. Ten years later, Sutter built the first maternity hospital in Sacramento, which is still a stalwart of the community.

The neighborhood grew quickly and drew enough attention from developers and businesses that residents deemed fit to establish the East Sacramento Improvement Association in 1958, still in existence with the mission of preserving and protecting the character homes in East Sacramento, their beloved residential haven. In 1973, the venerable Alhambra Theater was demolished for a new grocery store on Alhambra Boulevard.

Real estate home prices:

Homes for sale in East Sacramento go for top dollar, as it remains one of the most attractive neighborhoods in all of Sacramento. Currently, the median sale price for homes in East Sac is $495,000, a 12.5% price appreciation from the previous year. However, larger homes, those in the Fabulous 40s and other desirable pockets of East Sac commonly sell or appraise for a million dollars or more. The average price per square foot for home sales in East Sacramento is $386, which is 113.26% higher than the Sacramento average. 
Neighborhood landmarks:

The centerpiece of East Sac like is McKinley Park, established in 1871 as private East Park. In 1902, the land rights were purchased by the Tuesday Club, a social organization of prominent women who named it after recently assassinated U.S. President William McKinley. Since then, it’s grown into the epicenter of East Sac life, with 32-acres for residents and visitors to walk, jog, play basketball, baseball or soccer, barbecue, feed the ducks in the man-made pond, or even get married in the famed rose gardens. A community center and library sits within the park, with over 45,000 volumes of books and many community and arts and crafts events. 

Named after the historic streetcar line that ran through the neighborhood, the Fabulous 40s is the moniker for the East Sacramento streets within the 40s on the grid. Some of the biggest, oldest, and most expensive homes in all of Northern California lay in East Sacramento. The desirability of homes in and near the Fab 40s keeps property values in East Sacramento on the rise.

Parks and recreation:

East Sacramento is known for its parks and mature trees In fact East Sacramento is home to about 35 unique species of trees, some of them more than 100 years old.

A bicycle ride or walk around East Sacramento will reveal deodar cedars, Dutch elms, Modesto ash, hackberry, mulberry, Chinese elm, sweetgum, camphor, planetrees, red maple, and even Japanese maple trees. In some places there are huge trees in the medians and elder trees provide a full canopy to shade the streets.

The flora is also on full display at McKinkley Park, the touchstone of the East Sac community, as well as East Lawn Children’s Park, East Portal Park, and Henschel Park. Residents enjoy river access for boating, fishing, or lounging on a riverbed beach. It also intersects the American River Bike Trail in several areas, making cycling, running, or just taking a walk with the family a favorite pastime. 

Architectural diversity:

One of the most charming facets of East Sacramento life is its eclectic architecture. Starting with first development with Arts and Crafts (Craftsman) homes, it evolved with Period Revivals, the ever-popular Tudors, Prairie Homes usually reserved for the Midwest, Colonials, Spanish Colonials, and Mediterranean style homes, and later Post Modern and Art Deco construction. That is why homes for sale in East Sacramento usually draw more attention, more competition, and retain their values better than homes in other neighborhoods.

Never-ending food and drink!

If you like to get together with friends for some good food, conversation, and, libations, East Sacramento is a neighborhood that will never let you down. It’s famous among serious epicureans for traditional mom-and-pop spots, authentic ethnic eateries, and some of the most famous coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants in NorCal. Espanol, OneSpeed, CortiBros, Selland’s, Tupelo, Formoli’s, and Orphan are just a few examples of names you’ll hear bandied about by hungry East Sac residents.

Health, recreation and serious fun:

Whether you’re a family with young children, a married couple, or a barhopping college student, there is never a shortage of entertainment and social activities in East Sacramento. Famed community events like Pops in Park summer concerts, Oktoberfest at the Turn Verein German center, 4th of July parades through the Fab 40s, bike pub crawls, Second Saturday art exhibits, and Christmas light extravaganzas make East Sac one of the most fun places in all of California!

Schools and hospitals:
Phoebe Hearst Elementary and Theodore Judah Elementary provide some of the most forward-thinking and highly ranked grade school education programs in the district.
East Sac is home to California State University, Sacramento, CSUS, or also called Sac State. The university was founded in 1947 as a state college and now has grown to serving 29,000 students every year on its 300-acre tree lined campus and sports facilities.

Between Sutter General and Mercy General Hospital, the people of East Sacramento have access to a wide array of health care services.

Notable East Sacramento sons and daughters:

President Ronald Reagan had a home in East Sacramento when he was Governor of California.

Doris Matsui, United States representative.

Carol Liu, California State Senator.

Jim Kozimor, former Sacramento Kings announcer.

Actor Tom Hanks lived in East Sacramento when he attended California State University, Sacramento.

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