Developer: Holiday Market could be a potential tenant at Higgins Marketplace |

Developer: Holiday Market could be a potential tenant at Higgins Marketplace

Plans remain nebulous for a south Nevada County commercial development stalled since 2013.

The developer of Higgins Marketplace, an 83,722-square-foot shopping center located at Highway 49 and Woodridge Court, just west of Lake of Pines, said Holiday Market might become a tenant at the commercial development, but stressed the deal is not sealed.

“They have expressed interest, but we haven’t made any firm commitment to them because we need more tenants, that will take a long time,” said Steve Kirkpatrick, a principal and general counsel of Roseville-based Katz Kirkpatrick Properties. “That is why we hired a broker to try to find new tenants.”

Higgins Marketplace recently appeared in an online listing by CBRE, a real estate agency. The listing’s project description, and a brochure posted online, indicate that Holiday Market will anchor the development.

“Coming in 2018, Holiday Market, a chain of 12 stores throughout Northern California will be opening a brand new 30,000 SF store including a Fuel Station as part of Higgins Marketplace,” the brochure stated.

Kirkpatrick declined to comment on the content of the pamphlet, saying he has not yet seen it. But he said it is normal for a real estate brochure to contain potential tenant information. He confirmed that the company had hired CBRE as its leasing agent.

“You see marketing brochures all the time that show proposed layouts and proposed tenants, and I am sure they would like to be there, but we don’t have any firm commitment from anybody right now,” Kirkpatrick said.

The Union reached out to Holiday Market President and CEO Richie Morgan for comment, but did not hear back despite repeated phone calls.

Mimi Simmons, founder of Cornerstone Realty Group in Nevada City, said the information from the brochure is probably true if it’s presented by a licensed agency.

“I would take it to be true, because they are licensed, and they have to represent what is truthful,” Simmons said. “So, I would say it is probably true, but it would probably be subject to verification by any interested parties.”

Eric Hatch, a broker partner from Century 21 Cornerstone Realty in Auburn, said when a tenant’s name appears in an advertisement, most of the time it means the developer has already obtained approval from the tenant to announce their occupancy.

“If they advertise it, then most likely they have permission from that tenant to display their name on an advertisement,” Hatch said. “But you never know, I’ve only seen it when they (the tenants) are already existing and they are already inside the building.”

Holiday Market operates an existing store at Lake Center Plaza, a cluster of shops and offices on Combie Road less than a mile from the Higgins Marketplace project. Jim Dennis, a real estate agent from Colliers International who represents the center, said he has heard whispers that Holiday Market is leaving the establishment.

“We are aware of the rumors, and we have had phone calls, we have had inquiries from other supermarkets to take their space, but we don’t have anything to offer until we hear one way or another from Holiday Market,” Dennis said.

The 56,033-square-foot Lake Center Plaza, located at 10868-10988 Combie Road, includes long-term anchor tenants such as the market, Ace Hardware, Molina DDS and Round Table Pizza.

Dennis said it would be costly for a business to stake out a place at Higgins Marketplace.

“The development cost on that site, the rent literally will be probably two to three times what a tenant pays at Lake Center, and the off-site charges, which are called the CAM charges, or the common area maintenance charges, will be probably 80 cents to $1.25 … and ours are 30 cents,” Dennis said. “So anyone who moves there literally could be out of business within months, because it’s just too expensive.”

Higgins Marketplace’s impact on traffic and on existing businesses at Lake Center Plaza were concerns raised by Margie Joehnck, who co-chairs the South County Citizens for Smart Growth with her husband.

The citizens group put forth a major roadblock on Higgins Marketplace’s approval. The project has been held up in court for four years after it received approval from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in 2009.

The group alleged Nevada County and the project developer violated the California Environmental Quality Act on multiple fronts during the project approval process. Group members and area store owners also argued the project, then proposed to be anchored by Bel Air market, would drive out neighboring businesses and negatively impact the Holiday Market store at Lake Center Plaza.

A Nevada County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the county and the developer, and an appellate court affirmed that decision in 2013.

Joehnck said the possibility of Holiday Market becoming an anchor tenant at Higgins Marketplace does not change her concerns. The project would still cause existing businesses at Lake Center Plaza to suffer, she said.

“It’s still traffic. It’s still abandoning the old shopping center and the old clients,” she said.

However, Joehnck said she doesn’t plan to take legal measures against Higgins Marketplace at this point.

“We are not planning any further actions as far as my husband and I are concerned,” Joehnck said. “But we do hope that the traffic pattern will be set up as best as possible because it does look like a possible disaster.”

Kirkpatrick said the company has conducted extensive traffic studies. In addition, the concerns raised by the group were answered by the litigation, which the company won.

“We have a fully entitled site, and we can move forward as soon as we get tenants,” Kirkpatrick said.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email, or call 530-477-4236.

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