By Jim Smith
Workers were handing out hats, sunglasses and sunscreen to thousands of people as the Cannery, California’s first “Farm-to-Table” community opened this past weekend.
After years of planning, design and development, The New Home Company began offering tours — and residential sales — at the seven-acre site.
Although temperatures were in triple digits, there seemed to be no lack of interest as people wandered among the neighborhoods, model homes and town houses in what was certainly a novel construction project for the region.
The Cannery is a mixed-used community, developed by New Home and designed with a seven-acre Urban Farm on the former Hunt-Wesson tomato cannery facility at East Covell Boulevard and J Street, on the northeast side of Davis.
On Saturday, interested homebuyers — and the curious — had the opportunity to tour 14 model homes within The Cannery’s initial four residential neighborhoods.
The total number of residences coming to the 180-acre site is around 547.
“We have worked extremely hard over the past several years to get to this moment,” said Kevin Carson, Northern California President for New Home. “The Cannery is unlike any other community in the western United States and it has truly been a rewarding experience to contribute to such an innovative concept. We’d like to thank the city of Davis and all of our development partners for helping us make this a place that so many will be proud to call home.”
The Cannery features a land plan that is the first of this scale in Davis in more than 20 years.
“A rebirth of the former Hunt-Wesson tomato cannery is taking place at The Cannery,” said Mayor Dan Wolk. “The opening of the project marks a significant milestone for the city of Davis, with the former cannery site that closed over 15 years ago now representing a model development for other communities in terms of sustainability, aging in place, smart growth, and incorporating a working farm into a new neighborhood. The Cannery provides much-needed housing for families and seniors in Davis. I am very excited about the grand opening and look forward to it.”
Through a collaborative effort with the Center for Land-Based Learning of Winters, the Urban Farm will serve as a state-of-the-art example of sustainable urban farming and as an agri-classroom for students and beginning farmers.
The Urban Farm was already planted with corn, tomatoes, pumpkins and a variety of other field crops to the southeast side of the development.
“To see The Cannery today becoming a viable farm community is not only personally exciting for me, but also one of the most fulfilling accomplishments in my career,” said Craig McNamara, founder of the Center for Land-Based Learning. “The Cannery Urban Farm honors what I believe in most: Connecting eaters directly to food.”
As part of Saturday’s Model Home Grand Opening, sales also got underway at the community’s first four neighborhoods.
Those sites included:
Sage: A neighborhood of 73 Park Homes with up to six bedrooms and five baths, ranging from 1,943 to 3,702 square feet. Residences include bonus rooms, covered porches, California room, and up to three-car garages with bike storage. One of the plans features a private suite option, and two plans feature optional covered balconies off the master bedroom. Sage is priced from the high $700,000s to the low $1 millions.
Heirloom: Heirloom is a collection of 72 townhomes with up to four bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths, ranging from 1,404 to 2,016 square feet. Featuring a row townhome design, Heirloom has primarily three-story arrangements, although one plan will be offered with two stories plus a loft as a third floor option. Each residence includes attached two-car garages with bike storage and direct access, as well as private decks or patios. Heirloom is priced from the mid $400,000s.
Tilton: Tilton will be made up of 76 cottages with up to four bedrooms and three baths, ranging from 1,706 to 3,024 square feet. The cottage-style homes at Tilton feature stunning great rooms and kitchens, ideal for a growing family. The majority of the home plans include an attached two-car garage, with plenty of room for bike storage. Tilton is priced from the mid $700,000s.
Persimmon: Persimmon is a neighborhood of 44 bungalows with up to five bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths, ranging from 2,189 to 2,892 square feet. Each Persimmon home features open-concept living, as well as an outdoor room and a porch to connect residents to the fresh lifestyle at The Cannery. Two of these bungalow-style homes feature a separate multi-generational Suite Home ideal for college students or family members. A Suite Home consists of a private entry, living space, one bedroom, a full bath and kitchen. Persimmon is priced from the low $700,000s.
In addition to residences, New Home is developing numerous community amenities, including retail shops called The Cannery Village, a recreational center called The Ranch House, The Cannery Amphitheatre, The Farm House Welcome Center and the Urban Farm. The Cannery has also been designed with alternative modes of transportation in mind, including 10 miles of bike trails and bicycle storage alcoves in every garage.
A transit plaza in the southern portion of The Cannery has been designed as an outdoor gathering space with easy access to the neighborhood’s retail experience, and will feature covered bicycle parking and dedicated places to use and charge personal electronic devices.
All of the homes, condominiums and townhouse are energy efficient and have built-in Livable Design features, and most of the landscaping in public areas features drought-tolerant vegetation.