Developer Connections Second Quarter 2018

Sutter Park Development

 Site plan and aerial image of project

Once known as a landmark hospital for over 75 years, the former Sutter Memorial Hospital has been demolished, making way for a new mixed-use infill development. The hospital closed in 2015 and transitioned its services to an expanded midtown Medical Center.

Stonebridge Properties has commenced work on the 20-acre site in East Sacramento near 53rd and F Streets. The planned unit development will construct up to 125 single-family homes and a mixed-use building. The decommissioning and ultimate demolition of the former hospital was completed last summer, giving way for grading and on site improvements.

The Stonebridge team took extra steps in community outreach in their planning process to gather neighborhood input on the conceptual master plan, and to ensure the development reflects the historic look of the current neighborhood. Current plans for Sutter Park include open space, a 0.6 acre park with public art displays and walking trails to enhance its recreational space and infill amenities. Homes will feature classic architectural styles, from traditional park homes, row homes and cottages, to mixed-use housing on top of retail.  By summer 2018, Stonebridge anticipates having its builder selected and home construction to commence this fall, with homes coming online in spring 2019.

SMUD has been working with Stonebridge Properties and City of Sacramento staff in undergrounding existing electrical facilities along F Street in coordination with other utilities.           

Stonebridge Properties is a subsidiary of Teichert and is currently pursuing other development projects in Sacramento, Folsom, Truckee and the West Jackson Highway master plan. It assisted SMUD in initial due-diligence regarding conceptual reuse of SMUD’s former corporation yard at 59th Street.


A less expensive, faster and a more environmentally friendly approach to construction is now available and it’s not a new widget or an expensive rating system. Building electrification, also known as building decarbonization, is the process of strategically eliminating fossil fuels from buildings. Natural gas used to be considered the clean fuel that was hailed as a “bridge fuel” to transition the grid away from coal.  Now, we are nearing the end of that bridge as the electric grid becomes cleaner and the need for gas infrastructure in our buildings is passing. 

Electricity, with SMUD supplying more than 50% of its power from carbon free resources, is not only cleaner than burning fossil fuels, it lowers operating costs. SMUD is well known for its low electricity rates, energy innovation, pioneering incentive programs and now electrification. Electrification of buildings will become more prominent with each passing energy code. Not only will the building be less expensive to operate, but during construction, there will be one less utility infrastructure to plan, coordinate and install. And, there will be fewer inspections and corrections. This all leads to making buildings that will be faster to complete, cheaper to build and less expensive to operate.

Photo courtesy of Architectural Nexus, who committed to making their office space a Certified Living Building in 2015. 

Most of the emissions that come from buildings today are from space heating and water heating. Space heating is by far the largest contributor in Sacramento, where buildings use more heating energy than any other end use – even air conditioning. The technology at hand to make this transition to all-electric buildings principally relies upon heat pumps. A heat pump uses the same technology found in air conditioners and refrigerators. This technology has improved substantially over the past decade to where they are three times more efficient than their gas counterparts. 

Developers, architects, contractors and other practitioners in the construction industry have the ability to influence our environment one building at a time. Your clients, future occupants of the building you construct and society as a whole will reward those that embrace all-electric buildings. Contact SMUD's Gary Becker at 1-916-732-6427 to find out how your next project might qualify for electrification incentives. 

Developer Satisfaction Survey

In April of this year, SMUD’s Commercial Development team provided you our second annual “Developer Satisfaction Survey.” This survey was conducted among commercial development professionals in SMUD service territory. The survey was open from April 16 – April 30, 2018 and received 29 responses. 

We sincerely appreciate your time in completing this important survey. Your overall comments and rating of our Commercial Development team continues to reinforce that SMUD is on the right track, forging meaningful and interactive partnerships on your current and future development projects. We were glad to learn that over the past 6 months, 85% of survey respondents had engaged SMUD on a development project.

As a result of your responses and direct comments, we have identified one major theme: predictability. Generally, predictability is very real to the success of your projects. Specific themes in the survey related to predictability were, “timing, money and budget.” In fact, 74% of respondents noted that budgets and timing were their number one issue. And based upon our interactions with our SMUD colleagues and subject matter experts, predictability is crucial for the success of our organization, as well.

Over the ensuing months, we will keep you updated on our progress and any new process changes or services that will be available to you as a result of your feedback. Additionally, we will continue our efforts to obtain your feedback with our 3rd annual “Developer Satisfaction Survey” going out in the spring of 2019. Our goal is to continue improving our process and interactions with you. Your comments, feedback and insights are valued and greatly appreciated.

Survey highlights:

• 17% response rate to the survey (NOTE: national average to any survey is 4%).

• 65% of respondents are interested in renewable energy opportunities.

• 90% of respondents told us that involving SMUD early in your project is key to your success.

• 74% of respondents say that they are interested in financing assistance from SMUD for SMUD-related costs to the project.

• 62% of respondents have never used the SMUD developer portal to apply for SMUD service.