South Sacramento's brick-and-mortar boon is no accident.

The land for the Delta Shores shopping center was purchased in 2006. The developers, Merlone Geier, worked with the city of Sacramento to fund the Cosumnes River Boulevard extension, which connects I-5 and Highway 99.

The shopping center alone is entitled to 5,000 residential units. Wal-Mart opened last week. RC Willey is scheduled to open in January with a 14-screen Regal Cinemas theater -- IMAX included -- to follow a month later.

"It means a lot to the existing folks as well," said Merlone Geier spokesman Gary Muljat. "South Sacramento does not have a lot in the way of shopping, for that community."

Outside of Delta Shores, a light rail stop is planned near Cosumnes River Boulevard. There will be a new Food 4 Less on Mack Road, replacing the former Raley's, as well.

Ryan DeVore is director of community development with the city. He said he's seen an overall all-time high in construction valuation. Existing centers are adding tenants too.

"We've seen, over the last year at least, a good investment in other retail centers interestingly, those who are perhaps comparing to compete with the new businesses coming in," said DeVore.