Auburn company takes first steps at Grass Valley development |

Auburn company takes first steps at Grass Valley development

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

Drivers headed along Whispering Pines Lane on the cusp of Grass Valley's city limits this week might have noticed industrial equipment grading the foundation of what is poised to become a three-building facility for commercial and industrial uses.

The 7.73-acre lot, located south of Whispering Pines Lane and west of Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply near Crown Point Circle, is being developed by MilCo Development Inc., an Auburn-based company.

MilCo also developed the two complexes across the street at 1020 and 1050 Whispering Pines Lane, said President John Miller, a Grass Valley resident.

"When I did those across the street 10 years ago, I was told I could only do one building at a time," Miller said.

"From what I am seeing, we would probably get 50 percent occupancy already if we built (the three new buildings) tomorrow. There is definitely a need."

Miller said he has several interested tenants for the 15 separate units, though he would not specify which businesses were in talks, citing a need to complete agreements first.

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"I've designed it so I can have existing tenants looking to expand," Miller said, hinting at a business currently located on Loma Rica Drive.

Construction of three single-story light industrial buildings is slated to create 57,315 total square feet of space, and the project includes 169 parking spaces, a bocce court, a horseshoe pit area and a picnic area.

Landscaping includes the use of boulders and shrubs throughout the site and shade trees located in the parking lot and around the buildings, according to city planning documents.

"As far as I know, it could be manufacturing, light manufacturing, some type of storage or retailing warehousing," said Tom Last, Grass Valley's economic development director.

Miller estimates construction could take seven months, so he said it will be at least nine months before the buildings are completed. This week's grading was to set the stage of the development and allow the dirt to settle a while with the winter precipitation ahead of construction.

"We need to get the bid out," Miller said.

This week's grading comes after seven years of work toward the project, Miller said. Originally, the land was part of Nevada County and required an annexation and a zoning change and was then stalled because of the 2008 real estate crisis, Miller said.

He noted that if he had begun it during the economic downturn, he would have gone broke.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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