Thomson says it’s not moving, despite property for sale |

Thomson says it’s not moving, despite property for sale

Thomson Grass Valley said Tuesday it has no intention of pulling up stakes at its Nevada City campus, even though the land that it sits on might be sold down the road.

The 60-acre parcel is owned by JMA Ventures of San Francisco and is leased to Thomson under a long-term arrangement. The land has been informally up for sale, with a price of around $17 million, said one prospective buyer. JMA declined comment.

“We have no forseeable plans to move,” regardless of who owns the land, Dave Perillo, vice president of global operations for Thomson Broadcast and Professional Services Thomson Grass Valley, told The Union.

Thomson has an estimated 300 workers in Nevada City and is one of the city’s largest – if not the largest – provider of sales tax revenue.

Losing Thomson, which makes a wide range of broadcast and TV film equipment, would be a major blow to the area, already suffering from an economic slump and a recent decline in sales tax revenue.

Though stating that Thomson had no foreseeable plans to relocate, Perillo cautioned this was not a “lifetime statement,” as with any business. Factors such as being able to recruit workers with the right training, skills and talent always play a role in any business, he added.

Attracting and expanding businesses, not just retaining them, has become a focus of business and public leaders. Last week, local government officials held an economic development summit, examining a consultant’s report that reiterated what many business people have been arguing for years: The county needs to attract more higher-paying jobs.

JMA, which bought the property in December 2006, also owns Ghirardelli Square, as well as Homewood Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe. It has ambitious plans to spruce up both well-known properties.

Meanwhile, some interested buyers are emerging for JMA’s 60-acre parcel in Nevada City.

Virtu Investments is “looking at and evaluating” the parcel, said Mike Green, managing principal of the San Francisco-based investment real estate firm. But he was quick to add the analysis was in the “early stages.”

“We’re constantly kicking tires,” Green said.

Whether it bids for JMA’s land in Nevada City -much less whether the offer is accepted -remains to be seen. Thomson is a stable, well-heeled tenant for whoever owns the land.

Green said retaining Thomson would be a chief reason for purchasing the land. Green also confirmed the ballpark sales price of $17 million and that it was “quietly” on the market. Thomson Grass Valley is a business within French-based Thomson. It used to be known as Grass Valley Group.

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