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By Mike Hazlip–
Heavy duty earth-moving equipment can now be seen at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Sungarden Drive, as crews excavate the site where a future corner retail plaza is to be built.
The plaza will be constructed where a bank building once stood at 7056 Sunrise Blvd. The building was demolished earlier this year to make way for a new 7,759-square-foot retail building. Prior plans for an ARCO gas station at the site were withdrawn amid vocal opposition from residents.
Roseville-based Wells Construction is working on the project, with a target opening date in Spring 2021.
A sign announcing Starbucks will be operating at the site can be seen from Sunrise Boulevard. The building is planned to have a total of six retail suites with a drive through for the coffee shop, according to Construction Superintendent Steve Johnston.
Johnston told The Sentinel in an interview Monday that workers had to excavate five feet below the planned site elevation to ensure the ground is stable. He said water tables were found at the site, and crews are now conducting an engineered fill. Building foundation and framing is still months away, he said.
Although he said recent wildfires have adversely affected the price and availability of wood for construction projects, Johnston hopes to stay on schedule. He said a project this size can employ more than a hundred skilled workers throughout the course of construction, with his company making an effort to hire local contractors for the job.
“We always try to make sure that we’re in the community with who we can use, who’s local around here,” he said, later adding “I’ve never seen so many grown men excited to go to work.”
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