Pocket Greenhaven

Greenhaven and Pocket neighborhoods in Sacramento, California


Sitting only a few miles south of Sacramento’s central grid, the well-established neighborhood of the Pocket-Greenhaven, usually simply called ‘The Pocket’ spans 7.18 square miles of suburban housing, parks and riverside. The Greenhaven neighborhood was first officially incorporated into the City of Sacramento in 1959, and now has grown to a population of 42,281 residents, almost all in the 98831 zip code. The Sacramento River winds around the area on three sides, forming the “pocket” that originated its name.

From swampland to prime real estate.

The area where the affluent and desirable Pocket neighborhood sits today was mostly uninhabitable swampland prone to flooding when the first settlers to Sacramento arrived. Drawn by the Gold Rush, Portuguese immigrants first moved into the area in the mid 1800s, draining the land and constructing levies to control the river and cultivate agriculture. The communities thrived, producing cattle, pigs, chickens, pears, walnuts, and oranges on the fertile land, with ferries shuttling the goods to market at the nearest town of Freeport across the river in West Sacramento.

Other immigrants, like the Chinese, settled into the Pocket along with the Portuguese, and soon the Upper and Lower Lisbon Schools were founded to educate the youth and teach traditional culture. Historians recount that the Pocket was a harmonious, tight-knit community then, when farmers and neighbors left their equipment on the edge of their properties for others to share.

In 1854, the Sacramento Brickyard opened in the Pocket, the first of its kind in Northern California, along with a gasoline service station, Grangers Dairy, Da Rosa Grocery, Pimentel's Ingleside Café, and a slaughterhouse.

Post WWII home buying in the Pocket.

Residential real estate development started in earnest in the Pocket in the 1950s, as the city and the nation tried to meet the need of GIs returning from the war looking to settle and start families. The first planned community came in 1958 when the Lincoln and Parker Development Co. purchased 700 aces from the King and Zacharias ranches, called "Greenhaven 70."

Upon its completion in 1961, Greenhaven 70 was awarded the "Best Planned Community of the Year" by the National Association of Home Builders. While Greenhaven 70 and the Pocket were being established as ideal family neighborhoods for homebuyers, the rising property taxes forced a lot of farmers and ranchers to sell their plots, which where often converted into more subdivisions.

In the 1980s, several high-end gated communities, custom homes, condominiums, and apartments sprung up in the Pocket, along with schools and retail shipping.

Real estate and homeownership in The Pocket.

There are currently about 18,576 housing units in the Pocket and 57% of the population own homes, with a current median sale price of $353,000. Homes in the Pocket sell for approximately  $196 per square foot and the average rental price is $1,288. There is always high demand of those looking to buy a home in one of the distinguished gated communities like the Riverlake, and at one time, Hollywood actor and funnyman Eddie Murphy and many of the Sacramento Kings basketball players lived in Riverlake. Real estate in the Pocket and Greenhaven still attracts homebuyers who are looking for that traditional community feel not far from downtown with plenty of parks and access to the river

The economy and affluence.

The median household income in the Pocket and Greenhaven stands at a strong $66,197, with low unemployment numbers and a cost of living that’s consistent with other areas of Sacramento and lower than many urban centers in California.

Parks, water, and recreation galore.

The Pocket and Greenhaven neighborhoods are the best-kept secrets when it comes to the number of parks, waterways, and recreational areas for residents to enjoy. Despite the fact that it only spans 7 square miles, the neighborhoods feature two private lakes, river access at several points, plenty of bike trails, and numerous parks, including the Portuguese Community Park, Seymour Park, Parkway Oaks Park, Sojourner Truth Park, Renfree Park, Pocket Canal Parkway, Charter Pointe Park, Garcia Bend Park, Shore Park, Sacramento River Parkway, Pony Express School Park, Marriott Park, Reichmuth Park, Birney School Park, Wenzel School Park, Didion School Park, Lewis Park, Kennedy School Park, Bear Flag School Park, and Dutra Park.


Pocket residents have a markedly high 92% high school graduation rate thanks to their well-rated school system, including John F. Kennedy High School a mainstay since 1967. Elementary and middle schools include the Caroline Wenzel School, Genevieve Didion School, Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School, Merryhill School, and the Matsuyama Elementary School. In 2010, a vocational secondary school for Engineering and Sciences opened its doors.

Restaurants, shopping, and convenience.

Some of the most popular restaurants in the Pocket area and nearby neighborhoods include Banzai sushi, Ravenous Café, Pocket Bistro, and Sai Varee, as well as plenty of mom-and-pop diners, cafes, and eateries. Residents enjoy the convenience of several retail plazas like the Greenhaven Plaza, The Promenade, Riverside Plaza, and large retail stores in the neighboring Florin area.

Education and community centers:

High school graduation rates in the Pocket hover around the 92% mark in thanks to their notable school systems, including John F. Kennedy High School, the Caroline Wenzel Middle School, Genevieve Didion Middle School, Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School, Merryhill and Matsuyama Elementary Schools.

Thanks to its strong community values and family neighborhoods, the Pocket enjoys generally low crime rates.

The Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library has been a center of educational experience for school kids in the Pocket for generations.

On hot days, plenty of Pocket families flock to The Greenhaven Cabana Club, where they can swim, dive, or just lounge by the pool.

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