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Sentinel staff report–
An aging shopping center in Citrus Heights with numerous vacancies could soon get a major face-lift and expansion, if planning commissioners give approval to the owner’s proposal on Wednesday night.
The proposal calls for adding 18,000 square feet to the existing 150,000+ square foot Sunrise Village shopping plaza, located on the northwest corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Madison Avenue. It would include demolition of the former Coco’s Bakery building and construction of a new 5,500-square-foot building with a drive-thru.
If approved, large archway signage branding the center as “Sunrise Village” would also appear across two of the center’s driveways, according to a planning division staff report. The facades of existing buildings would all receive “significant exterior enhancements” that include canopies above walkways, the creation of outdoor patio spaces and modifications to the existing roofline.
The staff report says proposed changes “will significantly enhance the center’s appearance within one of the city’s major shopping centers.” More landscaping, pedestrian pathways and “other associated site improvements” are also described in the report.
In 2017, the Sunrise Village property was purchased by the San Francisco-based Merlone Geier investment company for $25.7 million. The center is currently occupied by Jo-Ann Fabrics, Rite Aid, Benihana, Olive Garden, and several other businesses and restaurants.
A marketing brochure for the property currently shows a dozen vacancies at the center. Recent closures at the center include Coco’s Bakery and a Lyon’s restaurant.
A new 50,000-square-foot fitness center is planned to take up a large portion of the plaza, as shown in visuals and reported previously in The Sentinel. According to a representative for Merlone Geier, City Sports Fitness will take up a portion of the building currently occupied by Jo-Ann Fabrics and Tuesday Morning.
In an interview with The Sentinel earlier this month, Citrus Heights Economic Development Manager Meghan Huber called plans for Sunrise Village “a renaissance of sorts,” and said it’s indicative of trends in retail nationwide as property owners respond to changing market demand. A similar change is being seen at the former Kmart shopping center on Auburn Boulevard, where a new Studio Movie Grill is being built.
Huber also noted the city is currently in the process of re-envisioning Sunrise Mall to adapt to the era of online shopping, which has contributed to a decline in brick-and-mortar retail. The city last summer changed its General Plan to re-define the mall from being a commercial hub to instead becoming a “premier destination to shop, work, live and play,” allowing for mixed-use in the future.
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding proposed changes to Sunrise Village on Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. The commission will also hear a proposal regarding changes sought at the 260-home Mitchell Farms housing project near Sunrise Mall.
The full Jan. 22 agenda packet for the Planning Commission can be viewed online here.
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