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File photo, Sunrise Mall. // CH Sentinel

By Mike Hazlip—
In the latest change at Sunrise Mall, news emerged this week that the vacant Sears property and accompanying parking space on the south end of the mall has been sold to a new owner.

Commercial real estate investment company Ethan Conrad Properties closed sale of the site earlier this week, according to a report by the Sacramento Business Journal. The Journal said Conrad paid just under $7 million for the site, which includes 21.3 acres, with over 281,000 square feet of building space.

The site includes the main three-story Sears building, a two-story automotive center, and another service building. Separate retail pads for the unused parking lots could potentially be developed, according to the report.

The Journal reports Conrad is looking to develop the site in accordance with the Sunrise Tomorrow plan, which lays out a vision for redeveloping the 100-acre site. The city has said the likely first phase of the 20-year plan involves developing unused parking areas on the perimeter of the site, with demolition of the existing mall slated for the end of the two-decade timeline.

Conrad told The Business Journal the best use of the land will be retail, and has been communicating with the City of Citrus Heights to determine “desirable retail uses for the property.” He reportedly told employees that retailers are already interested in some pieces of the site, according to The Journal.

Conrad said the purchase price was “about equal” to the value of the land, with no additional cost for existing improvements.

In 2019, Conrad bought a portion of the shopping center on the southeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Antelope Road for $5.5 million, which included 37,500 square feet of retail — excluding the California Fitness center, which is separately owned. The Sentinel also reported earlier this year that Conrad had purchased the Raley’s-anchored retail center at Lichen Drive and Antelope Road for $16.7 million.

The sale of Sears is the latest in recent development news for Sunrise Mall, as the city seeks to work with private developers to make the Sunrise Tomorrow plan a reality. Last month, the city announced an application was submitted last week that “lays out a footprint” for a potential hotel at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane.

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