Coffee drive-thru, retail could replace aging building on Sunrise Blvd

ARCO, Citrus Heights
A developer withdrew plans last year for constructing an ARCO gas station at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Sungarden Drive. // CH Sentinel

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
What once was the site of a controversial proposal to build an ARCO gas station at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Sungarden Drive two years ago is now on track for a new 9,500-square-foot building with a coffee shop and two other retailers.

From last year: Developer withdraws controversial proposal for new ARCO on Sunrise Blvd

John Sechser, leasing agent for TRI Commercial Inc., in Walnut Creek, said in a phone interview on Wednesday that an agreement is being finalized for a “national coffee retailer” to anchor one of three retail spaces on a new commercial building planned for 7056 Sunrise Blvd. in Citrus Heights.

According to a leasing brochure for the property, the new three-tenant retail building will feature a wrap-around drive-thru lane, new landscaping, and additional ADA-compliant parking. If plans are approved by the city, the existing two-story former bank building would be demolished.

Although Sechser said he could not disclose the name of the coffee chain, Starbucks is listed as a preferred retail tenant in the company’s leasing brochure for the site. He said the name of the tenant will be released after the leasing agreement is finalized, which he expects to happen within two weeks. Plans will then be submitted to the city.

New signage reflecting TRI Commercial as the leasing company of record are expected to soon replace the existing Transwestern signage on the property site, Sechser said.

The prior proposal for a gas station at the location drew significant opposition from nearby residents in the Sunrise Oaks Neighborhood Association (SONA), but plans were withdrawn last year. New plans likely won’t draw the same opposition.

From 2016: Residents pack out meeting to oppose new ARCO on Sunrise Blvd

“I’m glad that they’re working on developing it,” said resident Nancy Graham, who led the effort to stop the ARCO from being built at the location. “Right now it looks terrible.”

Graham, who previously served as president of the area’s neighborhood association, said traffic concerns were a major reason for her opposition to the ARCO and will continue to be a concern for any future use. She noted that a high-volume coffee retailer like Starbucks with a drive-thru would bring more traffic in her neighborhood and also expressed concern about possible asbestos hazards if the building is demolished.

Rhonda Sherman, who heads the city’s Community and Economic Development Department, said plans for the property had not been submitted to the city as of Jan. 23.

Thomas Sullivan
Thomas Sullivan

Editor’s note: This story was written by Thomas J. Sullivan, who has joined the Citrus Heights Sentinel as a general assignment reporter. Sullivan moved to Citrus Heights in August 2018 from Pacifica, Calif., and is a former reporter turned classroom teacher. Sullivan will be working the small business and commercial real estate beat, as well as writing feature stories.

Since leaving the Bay Area, Sullivan says he’s thoroughly enjoying getting to know the community here. In addition to his reporting duties, Sullivan is also an active substitute teacher in the San Juan Unified School District. He has taught history and social science in the middle and high school levels.

He has written for business and legal weekly newspapers including the Arizona Business Gazette, San Diego Business Journal and San Diego Daily Transcript in his professional writing career. The enlisted Navy veteran of the 1991 Gulf War earned his B.A. degree in journalism in 1978 from the University of Rhode Island.

We welcome Thomas to the staff of the Citrus Heights Sentinel and sincerely thank our subscribers for making this possible.