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Auburn shopping center moves ahead

North Auburn development mum on tenants
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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It’s “easy does it” for tree-cutting work at the North Auburn site of a new commercial center.

Chainsaws and heavy equipment are staying clear of protected wetlands to be preserved on the property around a tributary of Rock Creek.

And work is being done in advance of raptor nesting season.

“We have taken every environmental precautionary step to ensure the protection of the wetland, along with protected species whose habitat is within the wetland area,” Kelsie Bosman of Chico’s Pacific Properties Group said.

Pacific Properties has been moving toward construction on part of the 13.38-acre parcel on the north side of the Target store lot for nearly a quarter century, with plans to build a total of 93,000 square feet of commercial space in three or four buildings. Half of the acreage would be utilized for commercial activities, with the other half split between wetlands conservation and a road right-of-way linking to Education Street across Highway 49. The center would sit across Highway 49 from Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital buildings.

Pacific Properties remains as tight-lipped on tenants as it was when the initial development in its current form was proposed in 2004.

“We are not releasing any names of confirmed tenants at this time but are actively looking for tenants and have put our focus on engaging ones not already in the trade area,” Bosman said. “We want the tenants to be a good fit for the community of Auburn.”

Pacific Properties is currently in talks with mid-size soft-goods retailers along with specialty grocers, she said.

Major anchor tenants would be in the rear of the property and have a building footprint of between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet, Bosman added.

Work this week involves taking down approved trees to a 3-foot stump. Those efforts are happening now because raptor nesting season starts March 1.

“We are not doing any grading at this time but we are making progress and grading will occur in the very near future,” Bosman said.

Bosman added that the project has been a long time coming.

“We have made our best efforts to not only be sensitive to the environmental aspects but also in the selection of tenants and architectural design of the center to fit the neighborhood,” she added. “We believe this development will be a wonderful addition to the Auburn community.”