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July 2, 2013
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2 buildings on Walgreens property in foreclosure

Two small retail buildings on the nearly 2-acre property that also houses a Walgreens store in Grass Valley are entering the foreclosure process, according to a notice of trustee’s sale.

The two small buildings that front Sutton Way, which have remained vacant since development of the property was completed in 2011, are available for buyers for an estimated $2 million.

The notice lists the property owner as Interra-Vision Development, a Chicago-based limited liability company, which received permission from the Grass Valley City Council in 2008 to transform a defunct auto dealership into a retail complex with a pharmacy as its anchor.

The development project was marred by delays, road construction hiccups, public outrage, widespread criticism and financial problems.

The two 800-square-foot retail buildings in foreclosure proceedings were the center of controversy in 2009, when the developer attempted to back out of an agreement to build them.

Walgreens was initially slated to open the store in spring 2009, but had to repeatedly push back opening dates after the $430,000 road-widening project on Sutton and Brunswick Road stalled. Walgreens representatives expressed frustration at the repeated postponements.

The delays were due to Interra-Vision’s inability to secure enough financing to pay the contractors tasked with execution of the road construction portion of the project. Financial problems continued to plague the developer, as eight different contractors filed almost $500,000 in liens against Interra-Vision in 2010.

The developer paid off the liens at the end of that calendar year.

Criticism toward the developer also focused on its refusal to hire local subcontractors, which drew the ire of the Nevada County Contractor’s Association in 2009.

The lone local subcontractor hired for the project was Mitch’s Drywall Co. of Grass Valley, Nevada County Contractors Association Executive Director Barbara Bashall said.

“We’re really disappointed that on a job of that scope, they didn’t do more outreach for local subcontractors,” Bashall told The Union in 2009.

Brian Kisling of Interra-Vision said local contractors’ bids were too high.

Steve Enos, a former Grass Valley City Council member, who appealed the project after it was approved by the Planning Commission, blamed both the city council and the developer for the current foreclosure of the unoccupied buildings.

He characterized the representative from Interra-Vision as a “scammy developer guy.”

He said the city council created a subcommittee to review alternatives to the submitted plans, but only consulted the developer.

Enos, who was not on the council at the time, said he and others specifically asked for the two buildings to be removed from the project, and the commercial space to be reconfigured.

“This is a direct result of the city council’s decision,” Enos said.

Walgreens’ long-term tenancy is not at issue, as the company has a 25-year lease, with 50 one-year options to renew, according to previous reports. Walgreens spends about $795,000 in annual rent.

Interra-Vision could not be reached for comment.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email mrenda@theunion.com or 530-477-4239.


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The Union Updated Jul 19, 2013 02:37PM Published Jul 6, 2013 02:35AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.