BriarPatch won’t move into planned development |

BriarPatch won’t move into planned development

The BriarPatch Community Market, the largest food cooperative in western Nevada County, will not move to a planned shopping center off Sutton Way in the Glenbrook Basin.

The cooperative’s board of directors has voted not to sign a lease at the future Olympia Plaza, the nonprofit’s newsletter for August and September says.

The co-op had been touted as the anchor store at the center.

“In the end, we were unable to arrive at an agreement that we felt comfortable with,” Paul Harton, BriarPatch’s operations manager, said in the newsletter mailed this week.

The nonprofit’s board voted June 24 against signing the lease, the newsletter said.

A lease agreement had not been signed when the Grass Valley Planning Commission approved the project May 21.

Julia Amaral, the developer and future landlord, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Harton declined to say exactly why the lease was not signed.

But in a May report to the board posted at the store, Harton called the proposed lease “very controlling.” The landlord wants to be able to change, add or delete things from the center’s rules and regulations, he reported. He was concerned about BriarPatch’s ability to control costs and continue its mission, he said.

Board member Dara Haskell said Wednesday, “I think it was a fair lease, and I voted for it.” Yet she supports the board’s decision, Haskell said. “I don’t feel I have the right to regret. In a co-op, the community rules.”

In hindsight, a shopping mall might not be the best place for a store like BriarPatch, Haskell said.

BriarPatch wanted to lease 10,000 square feet at Olympia Park Plaza. The current store on Joerschke Drive is 3,500 square feet, plus 3,000 square feet for a warehouse and office area.

Harton said he is looking for another space.

BriarPatch, founded in 1976, has 1,700 members and grosses $3.8 million a year, he said.

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