Higgins Marketplace moving forward in south Nevada County? | TheUnion.com

Higgins Marketplace moving forward in south Nevada County?

Screenshot of Higgins Marketplace listing by CBRE.

Higgins Marketplace, a south Nevada County shopping center development stalled since 2013, might soon be moving forward again.

And, according to a listing by its leasing agency, it has an anchor tenant in the Holiday Market grocery store chain.

The 83,722-square-foot commercial property, located at Highway 49 and Woodridge Court in south Nevada County, recently appeared in an online real estate lease listing, but its developer said the project is not moving forward at this point.

“We have hired a leasing agent to try to find tenants for the property, but right now we don’t have any plans to commence construction. We haven’t started our construction drawings or anything,” said Steve Kirkpatrick, a principal and general counsel of the Roseville-based Katz Kirkpatrick Properties.

The project is listed for lease by CBRE, a Sacramento real estate agency. The listing’s project description, and a brochure posted online, indicates a Holiday Market store will anchor the development.

Higgins Marketplace Brochure by The Union on Scribd

“This is a retail development opportunity anchored by a new grocery store, Holiday Market in the Northern Auburn market that will entail many opportunities for shop and pad space serving the high traffic Highway 49 corridor,” the listing states.

Holiday Market operates 12 grocery stores throughout Northern California, including a location on Combie Road less than a mile to the east of the Higgins Marketplace project. A second Nevada County location operates near Lake Wildwood in the Penn Valley area.

On Wednesday, the company’s president declined comment on the project or Holiday Market’s involvement.

“I’m not at liberty to comment at this time, one way or the other,” Holiday Market President and CEO Richie Morgan said.

“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,” according to the listing updated “seven days ago.”

The listing offers three buildings for lease as of June 2016, including one at 11,400 square feet, a second at 8,400 square feet, and another at 3,230 square feet.

The project, just west of Lake of Pines, has been on a long path forward. In 2009, it received approval from Nevada County supervisors to begin construction on a 50,060 square foot anchor store, originally slated as a Bel Air supermarket, and 11,400 square feet of retail shops.

That same year, a group known as South County Citizens for Smart Growth brought a lawsuit against the company and Nevada County, alleging a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act on multiple fronts during the project approval process.

A Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the county and the company, and an appellate court affirmed that decision in 2013. But the developer told The Union at the time that project construction would not begin until 2014. Kirkpatrick said Wednesday that the company doesn’t plan to begin construction anytime soon.

“The project at this point is not economically feasible and we are trying to see whether we can get some tenants,” said Kirkpatrick. “But it’s a very expensive property to develop, and we are not yet prepared to move forward with the project. We have a long-term option on the property.”

Nevada County Planning Director Brian Foss said he has not received any permit applications from the developer.

“They do have an approved discretionary permit for the project, but they still need to pull grading and building permits,” Foss said Wednesday. “We haven’t seen any of those submitted, so I’m not familiar with any recent developments on that project.”

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

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