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Tech Center moves ahead with plans for third building

The developers of the Nevada City Tech Center are poised to start work on a third building now that the city’s Planning Commission has approved architectural and landscaping plans for it.

Since Campus Property Group of San Rafael purchased the Providence Mine Road property in March 2007, it has finished two buildings, including the 29,000-square-foot research and development center leased by 2Wire Inc. of San Jose.

On Thursday night, the Nevada City Planning Commission approved plans for a two-story, 30,055-square-foot office building just up the road from 2Wire. Robert Upton, whose company is developing the project, said he is talking to prospective tenants and hopes construction will begin in the spring.



“We’re off to a wonderful start,” he said last week. “The first buildings are always the toughest.”

The first building Upton’s firm built was leased in May 2007 by 2Wire, a company in the broadband industry that has increased its workforce here from 28 to 59 employees in less than one year.




The Liberty Hill office complex was completed earlier this year and now has its first tenant, the financial firm Edward Jones. That 10,500-square-foot complex has a total of seven spaces that average around 1,400-square-feet.

One reason that Upton has been able to get relatively quick approval for his projects is that he inherited a development agreement when he purchased the property from Tektronix.

“The development agreement was a huge factor in this,” he said. “Now, all we have to do is go through design and review.”

Nevada City Planner Cindy Siegfried said the agreement was approved by the city in 1985 and extended in 2000. It means that Upton won’t need to have an environmental review done for each project and is exempt from the tree preservation ordinance although the Planning Commission still needs to approve building plans.

“The agreement spells out the rules for a project in specific terms,” Siegfried said.

Overall, Upton has approval to build 210,000 square feet of office space on the 45-acre property, which includes 25 acres of open space, trails, picnic tables, and basketball and bocce courts set amid a grove of towering trees in Nevada City.

Upton said his vision is to eventually construct a total of nine buildings for professional businesses and the high-tech industry, which can take advantage of a fiber-optic system that has already been installed.

“The essence of it is we have a combination of location, tranquility and natural beauty of the site along with amenities and brand new buildings,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail pbutler@theunion.com or call 477-4239.


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