Within a year, the first homes will be built at Tracy Hills, the largest single planned expansion of Tracy ever.
Integral Communities is planning more than 4,700 homes on both sides of Interstate 580 between Corral Hollow and Lammers roads. The first phase, Phase 1A, will occupy about 2,732 acres along the north side of I-580, with 1,139 homes and a 50-acre business park.
“One-A is almost 1,200 homes. It’s 12 acres of three neighborhood parks, plus dog parks, plus the welcome center, plus a 14-acre school site,” said John Stanek, principal with Integral Communities, during a tour of the site Wednesday. “We’ll have our own firehouse that will be in.”
The first work to prepare the land began Wednesday following several weeks of preparation and 17 months after the groundbreaking for the community in May 2016.
“Let’s just suffice it to say that the banking industry isn’t that friendly to anybody right now, so it took us longer than we anticipated to put the money together to build this whole thing out,” Stanek said. “I don’t think there have been very many four- to five-thousand-unit master-planned communities started in the last several years. For us to make that commitment to doing that, it took us a little longer than we anticipated to pull the financing together.”
He walked the broken ground of the site with Drew Kusnick, senior vice president of Integral Communities, and local project managers Mike Souza, of Souza Realty & Development, and John Palmer.
“It’s surreal. It’s very rewarding to see something you’ve worked so hard for coming to life,” Souza said, watching 10-ton graders level the ground for the first time. “I think the thing John Palmer and I like so much, it’s going to make such a footprint on Tracy and it’s the future of Tracy and we’ve had such a hand in bringing it together. We have that vision but to be able to see that it’s finally coming to life and everyone else is going to see it is very rewarding.”
The land for Tracy Hills — which was initially conceived in 1993 and approved by the city in 1998 — was annexed into the city a decade ago and will add the largest number of houses in any single development in Tracy history.
Souza has been working on the project for 19 years and said the community will tie into the city in multiple ways.
“There’s going to be 180-acre open-space park that we’re partnering with the city to provide a community park as part of that. It will have trails throughout that that all the people in Tracy Hills will be using. Actually, the entire city of Tracy. It’s going to be open to everybody,” he said.
Stanek believes the work generated by all the phases and businesses that will occupy the community will generate a lot of money for Tracy.
“The total economic impact of the whole property is well over a billion dollars,” he said.
A financial analysis by Andrew Chang & Co. LLC of Sacramento, commissioned by Integral and released in February 2016, concluded that construction would generate between $2.7 billion and $4.1 billion over 20 years, $200 million in city tax revenue and a household income increase of $5 billion over the next two decades.
There is plenty of work ahead now. Within a few weeks, work on Corral Hollow Road to bury sewer and water lines to Tracy Hills will begin. Integral will then repave the existing two-lane road for the time being until enough people move in to trigger a road widening all the way to 580.
Then, Stanek said, they will approach developers.
“What we’re doing is not just putting in this infrastructure but probably in most cases, we will be finishing all the lots. So putting in all the interior streets so that home builders just have to build their houses and plant some grass,” he added.
When 600 homes are occupied, Integral will build a campus for a school in the Jefferson School District and a firehouse.
Palmer believes people will start seeing homes on the land within a year.
“We have eight months of dirt being moved, pipes going in the ground — that’s sewer, water, storm — flat work being done. In May, you’ll start seeing activity where you’ll start seeing lumber coming on,” he said.