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River Islands grand opening event today
A boater tests out the water behind the Community Boat House on Sunset Point on Thursday at River Islands in Lathrop. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

River Islands at Lathrop — situated to become the most high-profile community development in the 209 for the next 20 years — is marking its grand opening today.

The celebration from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. will include food and entertainment and a chance not just to check out the models of the three current home builders, the school, and the natural attractions but also the recently landscaped Michael Vega Park and the community boathouse now under construction.

The 11,000-home planned community features universal riverside access plus access to manmade interior lakes. It also is the best protected area in the valley against floods with massive 300-foot wide levees that not only earned the highest possible rating from federal regulatory agencies but also will offer stunning home sites and unparalleled access to the San Joaquin River.

It also has passive systems that cleanse storm water, its own retail electric service that delivers power at rates lower than PG&E’s, and had a school in place before the first home was built. Not are only all the essentials addressed for the long-haul to add value to homes and eliminate the need for costly flood insurance, but River Islands also addresses quality of life concerns with a director already on board to coordinate community gatherings and celebrations, plans in the works to install license plate scanners at all entrances to the community and cameras throughout the community so those driving stolen vehicles who typically also commit crimes such as burglaries can be detected and monitored until police arrive, a town center planned with a commons overlooking the river, and an employment center that is being developed.

In short, it is the complete package.

Those are things that most developers don’t openly brag about mainly because they can’t. And while heightened security, a secure water source, and less expensive electricity may not be as attractive at first glance as the latest floor plans and furnishings in model homes, it is the type of things that sets River Islands apart from the competition.

It also explains why the three builders have sold 40 homes so far in just two months. That’s the briskest pace of any builder in the 209.

River Islands is a well-planned, well-funded undertaking that’s been 25 years in the making.

The three builders —Waterpointe by Van Daele Homes, Windrift byBrookfield Residential, and Edgewater by DeNova Homes — were selected in the same deliberate fashion. They are family concerns that take pride in the neighborhoods they help build and not massive builders. It shows in the model homes that are now open.

Edgewater also has homes available with boat docks.

Models are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To reach River Islands, take the Manthey Road exit on Interstate 5 just south of the San Joaquin River, and follow that road north to a three-way stop and turn left on Stewart Road.

For more information go to  or call 209.808.5168.