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New development taking shape

A new development on South Auburn Street near Whiting Street is taking shape, roundabout and all.

Steve Elder, a Nevada City developer, proposes to build townhouses, offices and commercial buildings on 10.9 acres near Adams Lane, all within walking distance of historic downtown Grass Valley. A roundabout would also be built at the intersection of South Auburn and Whiting streets to make the intersection safer and improve access in and out of the development, project representatives say.

Plans for the future “Village at South Auburn,” currently estimated at $15 million, could be reviewed early next year, city officials said at a Grass Valley Planning Commission workshop Tuesday. The plans indicate 35 townhouses, 14 apartments, retail shops and offices.



The project will provide “work-force housing,” the developer’s representatives told the commission.

Prices do fluctuate but as things stand today, the one- and two-bedroom apartments could be rented for $550 a month to $750 a month depending on their size, said Brian Bisnett, the planner hired by Elder to design the project. The townhouses will be sold, he said.




A path will link the project to the Empire Mine Historic Park, he also said.

The apartments will be built above the shops, and the townhouses will have three different types of looks, Robert Walker, the Nevada City-based architect who drew the plans, said at the workshop.

The goal is to create a village atmosphere. Single- and two-story-high buildings will be mixed, he said.

Tim Crough, associate civil engineer with the city’s department of public works, said the roundabout will improve the intersection while providing access to the project.

Planning Commission Chairwoman Lisa Swarthout voiced support for the project, saying it will enhance the look of South Auburn Street. But she and Commissioner Gloria Hyde also wondered about the roundabout.

The Planning Commission has yet to see the traffic study for the development.

The biggest issue will be traffic, Swarthout warned.

Elder and Walker said they hope to break ground in late summer 2003.


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