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Citrus Heights to gain 200 jobs with proposed shopping center

The Citrus Heights Planning Commission gave unanimous approval Wednesday for a developer’s 5.7-acre proposal to bring several new restaurants, retail stores and a Smart & Final to the old Capital Nursery lot at Sunrise Boulevard and Madison Avenue.

Smart and Final, Citrus Heights
An artistic rendering from Planning Commission documents, showing the proposed new Smart & Final Extra! store at the old Capital Nursery site.

According to the Commission’s agenda packet, the proposal would demolish about 18,000 square feet of existing improvements, and construct nearly 50,000 square feet of commercial buildings in their place — along with adding an equal amount of landscaping, and 276 parking spots.

In addition to the Smart & Final Extra! store, a project description for “Capital Nursery Plaza” lists proposed tenants to be Moe’s Southwest Grill, Black Bear Diner, and potentially a financial institution as well as a “gelato/ice cream/frozen yogurt concept.” The drive-thru restaurant was not identified in the documents, but a use permit was requested to allow it to be in operation 24-hours-a-day.

The six new buildings are designed to have “complementary architectural features,” and range in size between 2,600 and 27,000 square feet, with heights between 21 and 41 feet, according to the proposal.

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Although passing a major hurdle this week, a City planner said the project proposal still has permits, paperwork and approvals to get through before work could start.

“It’s possible construction could begin as early as summertime,” said Citrus Heights Associate Planner Nick Lagura, mentioning construction documents and application for a building permit are yet to be submitted for approval. “As soon as our building official is able to approve the permit, the developer can begin construction.”

According to the project description submitted to the Commission, the proposal would bring over 200 permanent new jobs in Citrus Heights, with positions ranging from entry-level to franchise ownership.

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A City design permit analysis determined the proposal to be consistent with several of the City’s General Plan goals, including to “maintain the economic strength of retail centers by focusing retail activities at major intersections,” and to “revitalize and maintain corridors as economically viable and physically attractive.”

According to documents approved by the Commission this week, the developer, Sacto Retail Ventures, LLC, will also be required to provide frontage improvements to both Madison Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard, including new sidewalks, vertical curbs and LED street lights.

The site had been used as a retail nursery center since the 1960’s, but has been vacant for several years.

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