Nevada County staff: Construction on Higgins Marketplace expected to begin by mid-2019 |

Nevada County staff: Construction on Higgins Marketplace expected to begin by mid-2019

The revised site plan for the Higgins Marketplace.

Construction on the Higgins Marketplace development, granted a permit in 2010, is expected to begin within 18 months, Nevada County officials said Thursday.

The 73,650-square-foot commercial development, south of Combie Road on Highway 49, would consist of four commercial buildings, one of which would hold a 30,000- to 45,000-square-foot grocery store, according to county documents released Thursday.

Roseville-based Katz Kirkpatrick Properties is the project developer. It couldn't be reached for comment.

"We've been working with the developers to work out a timeline for the infrastructure improvements to the project to coincide with the county's capital improvement plans," county Planning Department Director Brian Foss said.

County officials have said they want to widen portions of Combie Road, regardless of the project. Sewer installation would occur simultaneously to avoid problems once the road work is done.

Additionally, the developer must make certain infrastructure improvements as part of its project.

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The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on an agreement that, if approved, will lead the county to pay for and build the improvements. The developer will then reimburse the county.

"However, to encourage and incentivize the expeditious completion of the project to realize economic benefits, the county may agree to waive reimbursements from the developer for the cost of installing the Improvements on condition that the developer construct and occupy the project by certain dates," documents state.

What that means is that if Katz Kirkpatrick Properties meets its deadlines, it must only pay $1.2 million in sewer and traffic fees. It won't have to pay an additional $1.4 million in infrastructure improvements, because the county will cover those costs, said Trisha Tillotson, the county's Public Works director.

The sewer installation is contingent on the development happening, Tillotson added.

"It sounds like the developer is really eager to start," she said.

The agreement between the county and project developers spells out a construction timeline that must be met for the developer to forego paying its portion of the road and sewer improvement costs.

The first building, slated for the grocery store, must be completed by Nov. 1, 2019, or one month after the road and sewer improvements are functional, county documents state.

The next building, about 8,250 square feet, must be done by Nov. 1, 2020, or 13 months after infrastructure improvements. The third, 11,400 square feet, and fourth, 6,000 square feet, buildings must be complete by Jan. 7, 2021, or 16 months after the improvements.

The construction permit for the project expires in 2021.

The project has long been in the works.

Supervisors almost 10 years ago approved the project, which initially included a Bel Air supermarket. A citizens group sued, claiming a violation of the state's environmental quality act. However, a local judge ruled in favor of the county in 2013. An appeals court upheld the decision later that year.

Reports in 2016 indicated a Holiday Market would fill the grocery space, though it's currently unknown what retailer will occupy the spot.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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