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Sentinel staff report–
Following last month’s closure of a popular Chinese restaurant in the Sunrise Village shopping plaza, several other businesses will also be closing their doors in advance of plans for a major remodel and expansion at the center.
Plans for remodeling the 15-acre shopping center, located on the northwest corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Madison Avenue, received a unanimous recommendation from the Planning Commission in January. The proposal is slated for a final vote by the City Council on Feb. 27.
Benihana, a popular Japanese restaurant with over 70 locations nationwide, is among businesses slated to close at the center, with Sunday, Feb. 23, being its final day. “Our lease at Benihana Sacramento has expired and the landlord is redeveloping the center,” restaurant spokeswoman Jeannie Means told The Sentinel in an email Wednesday.
Planning Commission Chairman Tim Schaefer told The Sentinel on Wednesday there wasn’t much discussion of what would happen to existing tenants at the center during last month’s public hearing about the project, other than a spokesman for the developer confirmed that Benihana would be closing. Schaefer said commissioners were “all very disappointed” to hear about the impending closure.
Tuesday Morning is also closing its location at the center and will be re-locating to 7255 Greenback Lane, in the same shopping center as Sam’s Club. As of Wednesday, the store at Sunrise Village was almost completely empty, with only clearance items remaining. A sign outside the new location on Greenback Lane lists Feb. 29 as the opening date.
Benihana also indicated plans to relocate in the future, with their spokeswoman saying “we would like to return when we find an ideal location.”
Benihana’s current location in Sunrise Village is slated for demolition, as part of property owner Merlone Geier Partners’ plans for the center. A leasing map on Merlone Geier’s website shows the northern portion of the building where Benihana is located will be occupied by JoAnn Fabrics, which will relocate several doors down from its current spot in the center to the new building.
Next to JoAnn’s will be a new 50,000-square-foot City Sports Club, with a 21,500-square-foot available space between the sports club and Rite Aid, according to leasing information.
Curves is also currently located behind Benihana’s and will be relocating to 8106 Madison Ave., in Fair Oaks, according to the business’s Facebook page.
It is unclear how other businesses may be affected by plans for the center. Messages left on Wednesday for several representatives of Merlone Geier were not returned as of Thursday morning.
As previously reported, the development proposal at Sunrise Village calls for adding 18,000 square feet to the existing 150,000+ square foot plaza. 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 by the City Council next week, large archway signage branding the center as “Sunrise Village” will be installed across two of the center’s driveways and the facades of existing buildings will all receive a significant face-lift, which includes canopies above walkways, the creation of outdoor patio spaces and modifications to the existing roofline.
The $15-20 million remodel and expansion project “will significantly enhance the center’s appearance within one of the city’s major shopping centers,” according to a city staff report.
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