Dressed in a T-shirt and shorts and pushing a broom, Gladys Martines didn’t look like the owner of the Penn Valley Shopping Center. But there she was last week, sweeping debris out of the old Penn Valley Market as work crews began the task of rehabilitating the building.
Martines, who has owned the center since 2001, had an acrimonious parting of the ways last month with longtime store leaseholder Amos Seghezzi, who took all of the fixtures with him. What remained was not pretty.
But Martines is confident that she will have a “new, clean and beautiful” building in three months that can be turned into a grocery store that residents will like. A new operator has been found, she said.
“We want to cater to the people who may just need some milk or bread,” she said. “But we know the population is changing, and we want to meet their needs, too.”
While Martines has lived most of her life in the Bay Area and still divides her time between Lake Wildwood and Woodside, she knows western Nevada County well from her youth. She said she used to dance at the old Empire House (now the Swiss House restaurant) as a teenager and would swim in Lake Olympia, now the Brunswick Basin.
Martines got her start building homes and managing property. She started looking at property in western Nevada County after a bout with cancer. “I fell in love with the shopping center … I made the owner an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
She has since cleaned up and painted the center and has instituted a Christmas party that attracted over 250 parents and children last year. There are 27 businesses and services in the center, located on Penn Valley Drive.
“I think Penn Valley is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “I think Penn Valley is Woodside 40 years ago.”
Officials of the county Economic Resource Council will review the organization’s programs and activities at an Investor/Partner Update Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., July 20, at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley.
Guests are welcome at the breakfast. Cost is $12 per person, and reservations can be made by phoning 274-8455.
Dave Neuharth, a former managing editor of The Union, has received the distinguished service award of the Association of Free Community Newspapers.
Neuharth was honored for his contributions to the industry. He is currently executive director of Community Papers of Florida and vice president of PaperChain LLC.
Got area business news? Contact George Boardman at email@example.com or at 477-4236.
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