Russ Jeter: ‘Dorsey Marketplace’ designed to meet Grass Valley needs
This is an open letter to the residents of Grass Valley. I’m Russ Jeter, since 2008 my family has owned the vacant property at the southeast corner of Highway 49 and Dorsey Drive.
We will soon submit an application for a mixed use, commercial retail and office project.
We chose this site as an investment years ago because it was an extremely well-located “infill” site on Highway 49 with a planned interchange. With the completion of the Dorsey Drive Interchange, the site is now ideally suited for a retail project.
Our goal is build a retail center that attracts the type of tenants that are lacking in Grass Valley and provide a center that we can all be proud of.
As an owner of this property for the past seven years, we have followed closely Grass Valley’s issues and concerns. We believe this center will be a major piece in helping to solve Grass Valley’s financial shortfall.
In addition, it will also help to reduce the carbon footprint made by Grass Valley residents.
In the following paragraphs we discuss the benefits of developing this infill site with our community-oriented retail project.
The property encompasses the former “Spring Hill Mine,” closed in the 1940s. The property is an identified “Brownfield” site.
The proposed redevelopment of the site includes cleanup of the legacy mining impacts. Site testing has been completed and the cleanup plan is approved by the state of California.
The property is “infill” redevelopment that reduces sprawl. It’s centrally located, not at the outskirts of town. Its neighbors are high density, affordable and senior housing, making it extremely walkable to a large segment of the city.
The development of this retail site will reduce emissions, by both cutting down the number of shopping trips local residents take to Placer County to buy goods they cannot get in Grass Valley and it will reduce emissions from the residents who are shopping locally through its central location and direct access from the freeway.
Spending and working locally has many economic and environmental benefits. Sales taxes, property taxes and jobs need to stay local. The growing loss of local sales is a key reason cited by the City Council for the multimillion dollar budget deficit now facing Grass Valley.
The project will capture and grow desperately needed sales and property taxes and provide new, local jobs. It will help plug the growing leakage of over $200,000,000 in local sales going “down the hill” each year.
An independent economic study will be prepared for the project. It is estimated that “Dorsey Marketplace” once leased up and fully operating will provide between $75,000,000 and $100,000,000 in annual taxable sales as well as employ on a permanent basis between 400 to 450 Grass Valley residents.
What is also unique about our site versus other proposed retail locations is that the city will not be required to share the significant sales and property taxes generated as they are with the Glenbrook Basin area and other proposed retail locations outside of the city limits.
Those locations are all subject to a city/county tax-sharing agreement, whereas the Dorsey Marketplace site is not. This is a significant economic benefit to the city of Grass Valley.
To address growing economic and budget issues, the City Council reached out to the community, prepared and adopted a thoughtful, comprehensive “Economic Development Strategy”. Next the City Council commissioned a comprehensive Retail Market Study.
The city then undertook the Community Retail Shopping Survey and conducted focus groups to identify uses and businesses desired by the community.
The City Council’s adopted economic goals include “pursuing new opportunities for retail and commercial business” and “grow and reshape the retail and commercial business sector to capture a greater share of business activity”.
The strategic plan calls for the recruitment of new retail and commercial uses and to “work with 2-5 national/regional level retailers to locate in Grass Valley”. The proposed Dorsey Marketplace project is in response to the goals and objectives of the City Councils adopted economic strategic plan.
We understand the need for quality design that respects Grass Valley. The design is pedestrian and people oriented with plazas, seating areas and extensive landscaping. It includes water features, fire pit gathering area, tables, benches and outdoor eating and sitting areas.
As the process evolves, we want the community’s ideas and suggestions on project design and amenities. We will provide an information website in addition to the city’s public information and outreach efforts.
We want to make it easy for the community to get information and provide ideas back to us.
We look forward to working with the city, the community and local businesses to insure the opportunity of the Dorsey Marketplace is respectful of the desires and needs of Grass Valley.
Russ Jeter lives in Washington state and is owner of the “Dorsey Marketplace” property site in Grass Valley.
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