Business & Real Estate

Citrus Heights shopping center moves forward on former Capital Nursery site

A Smart & Final store was part of the City Gate shopping center in Modesto when it opened in 2006. Developers plan to anchor a new Citrus Heights shopping center with a Smart & Final store on the former Capital Nursery property.
A Smart & Final store was part of the City Gate shopping center in Modesto when it opened in 2006. Developers plan to anchor a new Citrus Heights shopping center with a Smart & Final store on the former Capital Nursery property. Modesto Bee file

A new Citrus Heights shopping center anchored by Smart & Final is moving forward on the former Capital Nursery site after escrow closed last week.

Petaluma-based PMB Development and a partner completed the deal Friday, said Ken Noack Jr., who brokered the transaction as senior vice president of land and retail service at the Sacramento commercial real estate firm Newmark Cornish & Carey.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but the planned Capital Nursery Village will be anchored by warehouse retailer Smart & Final, Noack said. Conceptual plans also show space for retail and two eateries – a Mo’s Southwest Grill and Mel’s Diner.

“It should be an exciting project with other high-profile tenants,” Noack said, adding that construction will likely start in the spring.

The Citrus Heights property is one of a trio that once housed the iconic Capital Nursery chain in the Sacramento area, including sites in Elk Grove and Sacramento. The family-owned nurseries had become an almost essential part of Sacramento life for generations of gardeners and homeowners.

Capital Nursery’s Sacramento location on Freeport Boulevard first opened in 1936. Locations in Elk Grove and in Citrus Heights opened later but enjoyed similar popularity – and longevity – in their communities.

The advent of big-box stores, intense competition from other retailers and then deep recession finally ended Capital Nursery’s long regional run. Capital closed its doors for good in 2012.

But a revived Sacramento economy and commercial real estate market drew renewed interest to the nursery properties.

In Elk Grove, Phoenix-based developer Pappas is moving ahead on plans for 84 single-family homes and about 400,000 square feet of commercial space at Elk Grove Boulevard between Highway 99 and Laguna Springs Boulevard.

Noack said undeveloped Capital Nursery land in Rocklin is under contract to an undisclosed buyer with plans to button up the deal by midsummer.

West Sacramento-based Raley’s bought Capital’s flagship Freeport location back in 2012 but has not set a timetable for developing the land, officials at the supermarket chain have said.

In Citrus Heights, the deal for the old nursery property, along with the sale in December of another locally iconic site, the former Hubacher Cadillac property at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Howe Avenue, is another encouraging sign for the current commercial real estate market, Noack said.

“It shows that the retail market for strong real estate is rebounding,” he said. “It’s a strong barometer.”

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

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