We have always been intrigued by how the built environment enhances our lives. Do the structures around us really influence our relationships? Does the size of planter or the type of street tree influence how we experience nature? These are lofty question indeed…the kinds of questions academics ponder and great places seem to just get right. In essence, we want to design and build places where people desire to live, work, and play. This simple goal is fundamental to our approach as we go about creating sustainable and enduring neighborhoods. This approach takes on even greater meaning when creating new neighborhoods that knit back together the fabric of existing communities – just like Sutter Park.
Sutter Park was borne from a sincere desire by Sutter Health to create a reuse plan for their property in East Sacramento. This property, the longtime home to Sutter Memorial Hospital, was originally on the outskirts of town. The community, over time, grew and settled around it. Sutter Memorial has been a focal point in East Sacramento and has built a legacy rich in innovation and community-mindedness. Since opening in 1937, more than 325,000 babies have been born at Sutter Memorial and the hospital has experienced many medical firsts. Now, as Sutter Memorial prepares to close its doors, its legacy will continue. Its renowned women’s, children’s, and cardiac services will move into the expanded Sutter Medical Center in midtown Sacramento — one of the most advanced medical campuses in the nation.
Sutter Hospital, rather than simply disposing of the property, chose instead to thoughtfully consider and plan the reuse of the property that it has occupied for a better part of 75 years. To make this plan a reality, Sutter partnered with our company, StoneBridge Properties. We are a subsidiary of Teichert Land Co. and, like utter, deeply committed to the growth, health, and vitality of the Sacramento region for well over a century.
Transitioning a neighborhood of such history, identity, and character is a great challenge and responsibility. To prepare, the team hit the books…and the streets. A thorough site history was commissioned in order to better understand its origins and lineage — socially, culturally, and ecologically. The history, entitled, Sacramento’s Sutter Park Neighborhood – Connections Though rough Time, is not only an account of the land, but describes how East Sacramento residents repeatedly came together in time of need and in time of celebration, thus weaving an impressive fabric throughout the community. Extensive community input was diligently sought, talking with — and actively listening to — over a 1000 residents and members of neighborhood groups. Inherent in this dialogue is mutual respect and trust, and a belief that the process is as important as the final product. Collectively, this historical research and community input helped shape the project and these design guidelines – which represent an important milestone in the culmination of this collaborative process. They establish a tone for the development and ensure that the neighborhood will develop and mature in a manner which complements the larger East Sacramento park community in which it resides.
The homes will be charming, having that period look of their East Sac brethren—reflecting the diversity of architecture found throughout the community. Utilizing the latest advances in building technology and sustainable design, Sutter Park homes will be green, healthy, and efficient, consuming just a fraction of the energy of older structures.
But it’s not only the homes that make this neighborhood so appealing—it’s what happens when you open the door and step outside. Tree-canopied sidewalks and paths invite walking and bicycling. Accessible parks and common areas encourage gatherings, whether planned or spontaneous. Functional porches prompt a neighborly wave to a passerby.
At the end of the day, all of these details, framed by these carefully crafted design guidelines, will result in a new neighborhood that feels right at home in East Sacramento.
Planning for the future. Preserving and honoring the legacy of the past.
That’s our commitment.