Teardown begins for Tractor Supply Company in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Teardown begins for Tractor Supply Company in Grass Valley

Loraine Jewett
Special to The Union

Tractor Supply Company is moving to Grass Valley and bringing with it up to 15 new jobs.

The company will open its newest store at the site of the old Meek's Lumber Company store in the Brunswick Basin.

"Tractor Supply has wanted to be in Grass Valley for several years," said owner/developer Brad Sobel of the Sobel Company, Inc. of Beverly Hills. "It finally found a suitable site and the company is super excited to be the new retailer in town."

Sobel, who said his company is the preferred developer for Tractor Supply Co. and has built nine of its stores over the last three years, said ground breaking will occur later this month once all demolition is complete. The store could open within six to eight months, depending on how the weather affects construction. Stores are usually staffed by 12 to 15 people, said Sobel.

The property at 2391 Nevada City Highway has been a lumber yard since 1935. Meek's Lumber & Hardware, a national building supply store, purchased the property from Yuba River Lumber in 2001. Meek's closed its doors on Nov. 23, 2011, blaming a drop in new home construction.

Movement on 'dormant' property

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"When Meek's decided to close that store, they contacted me and we've had it on the market a long time," said Lock Richards, managing director of SVN Highland Commercial Real Estate of Nevada City. "Six acres is a big property and even though it's zoned C-2 (Central Business District) retail, there aren't that many really large retailers around. Then we got into the recession years and land wasn't moving."

Richards suggested subdividing the 6.15 acres, which the city approved in 2014. Once six lots had been created, Richards started marketing them to a variety of retailers.

Sobel contacted Richards six months ago and negotiations got underway. Escrow closed late last month. None of the parties involved in the sale would reveal the purchase price.

Sobel bought two lots for Tractor Supply Co. and combined them into a three-acre parcel. Both of the two large buildings and several outbuildings on that parcel are being demolished.

The new store will consist of a 19,034-square-foot main retail building, a 1,500 square foot metal panel shed for hay storage, a 15,004 square foot outdoor display area, and a 55-space parking lot.

"Tractor Supply is adapting a property that has been dormant for nearly a decade," said Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine. "The business can add to the mix and provide services to a broad community of rural interests. I believe the community will welcome them."

"We're happy that we were able to work with the city in a cooperative way and find a buyer in Tractor Supply Company that is going to be a such good addition to the city's retail scene," said Gary Gearhart, the western division property manager for Meek's Lumber Company.

Still more room to grow

Site plans call for the creation of a cul de sac, dedicated to the city, to provide traffic circulation to reach all five lots, including the Tractor Supply store. The remaining lots range in size from 0.42 to 1.56 acres.

"With adjoining properties that are also for sale, one or two of the available lots would make an excellent hotel site," said Richards. "Alternatively, they could accommodate uses such as medical, retail, office, multi-family residential/mixed use, recreational, etcetera."

According to its website, Tractor Supply Co. is the largest U.S. operator of rural lifestyle retail stores. It sells welders, generators, and livestock products. The company operates more than 1,600 retail stores in 49 states, employs more than 24,000 people, has annual revenues of $6.8 billion, and is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee.

The company was founded in 1938 as a mail-order catalog business, offering tractor parts to farmers. Ironically, tractors are the only item for the rural lifestyle that Tractor Supply Co. does not sell today.

Lorraine Jewett is a freelance writer who lives in Nevada County. She can be reached at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com

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