Branden CA logo, a new mixed-use community in Sacramento, California

IT’S ON SACRAMENTO. The 2,600-acre property known as Cordova Hills, quiet since its 2013 approval for development, is waking up. With a new name. And a radically new approach that addresses some of our state’s — and world’s — toughest issues. From unaffordable housing to climate change.

The time is right, believes property owner Somers West. Because in the two decades that the Sacramento-based developer has owned the property, growth has reached its borders. So have major cultural shifts in how we live, work and gather — trends accelerated by the pandemic. The developer’s own experiences at its sister company, in a very different industry, also inspired the transformative community plan.

A mobility hub makes commuting green and easy into Town Center’s offices, shops and restaurants.

SBM Management Services is a worldwide provider of building management solutions. While serving some of Silicon Valley’s largest and highest profile businesses, SBM saw up close their challenges in attracting and retaining employees. This led to the creation of Somers West, which is breaking from the traditional developer mindset. Shaping Braden to improve Californians’ quality of life by addressing housing inequity, traffic and loss of talent. Even helping to reduce the carbon that is warming our planet.

Braden is designed as a true mixed-use community, where every part of your day is no more than 10 minutes away. Bringing a healthier balance to Californians’ lives with less time behind the wheel. More time on bikes, EV shuttles and walking in nature. Homes will come in a wide price range, accessible to everyone from CEO to entry-level. And with this higher quality of life, Braden will help retain California talent — and their employers. Kicking off the “new California town,” Braden’s first phase will include a town center with homes, green spaces and workplaces — traditional and very not, for the diverse ways we work today. As well as great places to eat, shop and even learn at a neighborhood K-8 school.

Shady “park blocks” wind throughout Braden, encouraging a foot-powered, outdoor lifestyle.
Homes with shared green spaces inspire barbecues, playdates and a tight-knit community.

“We’ve designed a community where the car really takes a backseat,” says Denise Gammon, Community Developer at Somers West. “They’re people-centered streets. Whether you’re biking to a food hall, walking to school with your kids, or working at the town center, everything’s all right here.” Eventually Braden will include 8,000 residences, 6 mobility hubs and a vast nature preserve in the middle of it all.

Somers West has assembled a team with some of the country’s top talent. Starting at the Irvine Company, Gammon has 35+ years of experience in developing high-profile projects from coast to coast, including the acclaimed, sustainable development of Stapleton in Denver (now known as Central Park). The team also includes world-renowned planner Peter Calthorpe of HDR/Calthorpe and town planner for the Stapleton redevelopment. And award-winning Lake Flato Architects.

Somers West plans to break ground for Phase 1 later in 2022. The company is currently pursuing collaborative partners for Braden’s innovative commercial and residential projects.