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Sentinel staff report–
Following nearly a year of stalled construction activity and a bankruptcy filing, Studio Movie Grill has confirmed that its planned location in Citrus Heights won’t be opening.
“[T]he Citrus Heights location will not be moving forward with SMG,” said Studio Movie Grill Spokeswoman Lynne McQuaker in an email last week. She said the company plans to reopen its nearest Rocklin location “as soon as mandates allow.”
In May of last year, McQuaker told The Sentinel that construction had halted “due to COVID-19 mitigation measures” and confirmed at the time that “we are still planning to open the Citrus Heights location.” The company later filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in October, citing the “unparalleled impact of COVID-19” on the theater chain.
City Spokeswoman Nichole Baxter said she couldn’t comment on the Studio Movie Grill project, but said “the shopping center continues to be a focus for the economic development team.” She also did not comment on whether there has been any movement on attracting a new tenant for the 22,000-square-foot former Smart & Final location located in the center, but the city said previously it did not expect that location to be vacant for long.
“The area is unique, with visibility from the freeway, sitting along a popular corridor, with proximity to residential and schools,” said Baxter.
The city has long-looked at improving Auburn Boulevard and making it a “destination point” for commerce. The Auburn Boulevard Business Association was also formed several years ago to help improve the commercial strip.
Plans for a $22 million second phase of roadway improvements on Auburn Boulevard are in the works, along with an archway crossing over the boulevard at the northern end of the city. Construction was anticipated to begin in 2021, but that date has since been pushed back.
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