Suspended Walgreens project under fire | TheUnion.com

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Suspended Walgreens project under fire

The suspended Walgreens project will come up for review Tuesday at the Grass Valley Planning Commission ” and is already facing local discord and scrutiny.

Only one area contractor has been hired for the Glenbrook Basin job now sitting in a lake of Sierra mud, drawing criticism from the Nevada County Contractors Association.

In addition, critics of the project charge that Sacramento-area developer Interra-Vision Development is trying to get out of an agreement made last year with the city to build two 800-square-foot retail buildings on the site.

The buildings were added to the project after former City Councilman Steve Enos complained the pharmacy giant was not adhering to design guidelines the city has embraced to make new construction more amenable to pedestrians and evoke mining-era facades.

When Interra-Vision’s Brian Kisling shut down the 14,550-square-foot drugstore job Feb. 4, he said it was for economic reasons and “the resolution of issues” concerning the extra retail buildings. Kisling will ask to put off erecting the two small stores at the commission meeting.

That attempt “smells like a pile of six-day old fish in the middle of the Mojave Desert on the Fourth of July,” Enos said. The City Council “needs to hold these folks to the … requirements that they … accepted when the project was approved.”

The retail buildings will be built when tenants are found for them, Kisling said. To do so otherwise would not make sense in the current financial market, he added.

The lone 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.

Bids from Nevada County subcontractors were submitted for almost every portion of the job but were rejected “because they were 10 percent higher than contractors from outside your area,” Kisling said. “I was disappointed. We really tried to get some local contractors.”

The main contractor of the job at Brunswick Road and Sutton Way is Huff Construction of Modesto, which has built several Walgreens in the past.

When the project will resume is unknown now that the wet season has begun in the Sierra, Kisling said. He hopes to have the project done some time this summer, he added.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.