By Cindy Trillo
With a population increase of almost 4% since the most recent census in 2020, Elk Grove also has one of the fastest growing economies in the country. This rapid expansion means that new developments including housing, health facilities and recreational services are all needed to meet the needs of residents in the city and surrounding area. A recent groundbreaking ceremony has made way for construction to start on a vital post-acute hospital, while the successful completion of a new casino has created greater economic activity in the region. In addition, work has now begun on a major affordable housing development originally approved last spring, and if a proposal to move Sacramento’s zoo receives backing, even rare and endangered animals could find a new home in Elk Grove.
Constructing a New Hospital
After a groundbreaking ceremony held last November, construction of a new hospital is due to start in Elk Grove in the spring. The 60-bed facility is the result of a partnership between two healthcare organizations, and will provide post-acute care throughout the Sacramento region. As officials posed with shovels for a promotional photo shoot for the development, excavators were waiting to get started on preparing the site for construction. From skid steers to the undercarriage parts required to keep their tracks moving smoothly, premium construction equipment will be needed to work the previously undeveloped 15-acre site. The facility is expected to be opened before the end of 2024 and, once completed, will provide rehabilitation services including general nursing, physical, occupational and occupational therapy as well as guidance to help patients transition from a care environment back to their own homes.
Developing Affordable Housing
After approval was received last Spring, work began on a community of affordable housing in November and is expected to be completed by fall 2024. The three-phase Poppy Grove development will consist of 387 housing units in 14 residential buildings and will also offer other amenities for the use of residents. The gated community will include a playground, outdoor pool, laundry facilities and a business center. The project received over $150 million in tax exempt financing, funding that enables the construction of affordable housing across the country. Only residents who earn between 30% to 80% of the local area’s median income will be eligible for the housing units, ensuring that those most in need of affordable housing are catered for in the city.
Planning a Larger Zoo
As well as requiring essential facilities and traditional infrastructure, a thriving city benefits from more unique recreational amenities. For Elk Grove this could mean the addition of a zoo, housing hundreds of native and rare animals. Discussions were held last summer about the possibility of moving the zoo currently situated in the Land Park neighborhood in Sacramento to a larger plot in Elk Grove. At this early stage of planning, Elk Grove officials and the Sacramento Zoological Society are looking at constructing a new facility at the junction of Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway on a 60-acre plot currently designated as agricultural land. This is three times larger than the site in Sacramento and would therefore provide much more space for the 400 animals currently kept there. The plan is still in its very early stages and more informational sessions are to be held to allow residents to have their say on the design and content of the zoo if it were to be built in Elk Grove. Research on its environmental impact and further funding will also be required so, even if the plans for the zoo are approved, it would still be another four years before construction could be completed.
Opening a Gaming Resort
While a number of developments in Elk Grove are still in the early stages of planning and construction, the Sky River Casino was completed last year and finally opened in August after many years of groundwork by the Wilton Rancheria native American tribe, the hospitality company, Boyd Gaming and local officials. The casino is situated on a 64-acre plot of sovereign tribal land just off Grant Line Road on the edge of the city. As well as supporting the livelihoods, culture and language of the tribe’s members, the resort has created hundreds of jobs for Elk Grove residents, and is now contributing positively to the region’s economic development.
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