Multi-use building, including office spaces and coffee shop, coming to 224 Church St. in Nevada City |

Multi-use building, including office spaces and coffee shop, coming to 224 Church St. in Nevada City

John Conger recently bought a building across from the courthouse in Nevada City. He hopes to use the infrastructure for many things, including a coffee shop.
Sam Corey/

The space is dynamic.

Across from the courthouse in Nevada City sits a 1960s-style building undergoing renovation. John Conger, who in February bought the mixed-use building at 224 Church St. has design plans splayed out on a long table — and a lot of ideas.

Conger plans to put a hot tub and sauna on the rooftop, a coffee shop in one corner of the first floor, several office spaces along the back wall and residences in the basement, possibly to be used as Airbnb rentals.

The building most recently served as a thrift store for Women of Worth.

The reason for embarking on such an expansive project: “Roots,” he said.

Conger spent his 20s on the ocean, living half the time on sail boats and ships. A bit older now, he recently sold one of his boats to buy the building on Church Street. He wants to invest his life in the area. He said he’s been permitted by the city to build the offices, two residences and coffee shop.

“I love the county,” said Conger. “People are so cool. There’s always something to do.”

The building owner is trying to be flexible. The lobby area between the future coffee shop and office spaces still has no designation. Conger likes to call this aspect of his planning the “‘S’ turn of business.”

Conger said one can only plan so much — some things will have to be left to customer and tenant demand.

“You have an intention and then you get out of the way and just let it happen,” said Conger.

The timeline for the project is unknown. Conger said it could be a few years in the making. For now, the owner is enjoying the adventure of transferring his plans from the abstract to the tangible.

“This is the evolution of a business,” said Conger, “This is how it starts.”

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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