The entry to the new McKinley Village sits approximately three houses from a home I bought from the late Jean Runyon and lived in for 13 years with my wife and daughter.
It’s why my driving here one recent morning is a sentimental journey. I’ve come to interview the village’s developer, former two-term California Treasurer Phil Angelides, and his daughter, Megan Norris, who’s also the vice president of his firm, Riverview Capital Investments. (Since I’ve known Angelides for decades, part of the sentiment focuses on my remembering his very savvy 38-year-old daughter as a little girl.)
The new community, a $190 million project, sits adjacent to Meister Terrace, one of East Sacramento’s older areas. Even with no residents as yet — people may start moving into the first homes this month, Angelides says — the village already has the intangible feel of being an actual neighborhood, with a pleasing mixture of architectural styles (one evoking mid-century design), public art, parks, a spacious and light-filled community center with a swimming pool that meets standards for inter-club competitions.
Yet if its location tilts nostalgic for some — streets are named for Sacramento artists and activists — McKinley Village is decidedly up-to-date. There are charging stations for electric vehicles and the homes are solar-ready for those who want it installed. In a tunnel that leads you in and out of the community, special LED lights have been installed that become a color spectacle by night.
“The goal was to be modern but also to have the design of the homes and the center respect East Sacramento architecture,” Angelides says when we alight in that very center. He and his daughter have by now walked me through a few of the models, some of which conjure up mid-last-century, some Modern Prairie.
“Neighborhoods sometimes take 20 to 30 years to come into full flower,” Angelides says. “I wanted our buyers to feel comfortable right from the start.”
“A lot of people in my generation want instant gratification,” Norris says. “That doesn’t work for me. As a young person, I find change interesting.”
In the case of developing McKinley Village, change at first came slowly. “I started this project in 2007,” Angelides says. We took a break from 2009 to 2012 when the economy was in a shambles. Once we were back on track, I had to keep reminding myself that doing urban infill takes extra time. There are more officials to deal with — and then there are the neighbors.”
Tomorrow: Plans, trains and automobiles (oh, my!).
Article provided by: Sacramento Business Journal – Image provided by Riverview Capital Investments