Permitting issues lead to delay in Higgins Marketplace project | TheUnion.com

Permitting issues lead to delay in Higgins Marketplace project

Construction of the first building at Higgins Marketplace now is slated for completion around August 2020, almost a year after officials anticipated.

Nevada County and project developer Katz Kirkpatrick Properties had an agreement which set this coming November as the deadline for the first building. However, the developer late last year stepped away from the agreement, citing issues with a Caltrans permit necessary for construction.

"There was a time frame under the old agreement that we couldn't meet," said Fred Katz, principal of Katz Kirkpatrick Properties.

The first two buildings — a 30,000-square-foot Holiday Market and an 8,500-square-foot multi-tenant building — should be completed by late summer 2020. The other two buildings would be ready by January 2021, Katz said.

Higgins Marketplace is on Highway 49, just south of Combie Road.

"We're working with a bank, a cellular store," Katz said of the multi-tenant building. "We have a lease signed with a nail salon and we're working with a sandwich shop and a hair cutter."

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The agreement between Nevada County and the developer, approved in January 2018 by the Board of Supervisors, meant Katz Kirkpatrick Properties would forego paying some $1.4 million in infrastructure improvement costs. It would have still paid about $1.2 million in other fees.

In return, the county implemented a series of deadlines ensuring a quick turnaround on construction.

Both sides now look toward the possibility of a new agreement.

"The timing just wasn't right with it," said Sean Powers, director of the county's Community Development Agency. "It's still an active project. They are still working on it."

According to Katz, his company applied last July for the Caltrans permit necessary to move forward on the project. He anticipated approval within 30 days, which would have enabled him to meet the deadlines under the agreement.

However, a back-and-forth with the permit over changes delayed its approval. Now Caltrans doesn't anticipate granting the permit until May 6. Construction would begin that month, Katz said.

"We're going to be as cooperative as possible," Powers said. "It's a great project."

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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