City of Elk Grove looking to partner on project bringing upscale shopping to city

City of Elk Grove looking to partner on project bringing high end retail to city

 

The City of Elk Grove is looking into partnering with local developers and architects to develop what they hope will be a higher end retail project to the area near the Elk Grove Aquatics Center.  City leaders hope the project could be similar to the Fountains in Roseville or the Palladio in Folsom, and feature higher end stores and restaurants.

 

The city currently owns 20 acres in the area.  Pappas Development, developer of the proposed Costco location, owns 10 acres. City staff is proposing combining the two parcels, located between the Aquatics Center and Elk Grove Blvd, into one parcel and creating a “lifestyle shopping center”.  Still undetermined is who would own and develop the project.

 

Staff is evaluating the potential for development of a lifestyle shopping center project on City-owned land (approximately 20 acres) along Elk Grove Boulevard just north of the City’s Civic Center, which is currently under construction. Staff is also evaluating partnership opportunities with adjacent land owners. The project envisioned by staff would be similar in concept to The Fountains in Roseville and would consist of an elevated mix of entertainment, restaurants, and shopping. Following evaluation of development feasibility, if warranted, staff will return to Council to seek authorization to proceed with the project, possibly in the first half of 2018.

 

Another idea in the works is something called “Brewspace” that would possibly be located in the same development. City Development Director Darrel Doan likened the project to the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, but with craft breweries instead of wineries.

 

Staff is working with a developer to evaluate the feasibility of constructing a “brew hall” project in Elk Grove. In concept, the project would consist of a large facility containing multiple small brewing operations, a shared brew house, and tasting rooms contained in a single building open to the public. The project would also contain a restaurant component. Following evaluation of development feasibility, if warranted, staff will return to Council to seek authorization to participate in the project, possibly in the first half of 2018.

 

The staff report also addresses what many residents feel is the lack of upscale retail and dining.  Many residents have complained about the lack of shopping and dining that forces them to go outside the city. The city staff report also mentions “leakage” in sales revenue to other cities in the region like Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville.

 

Elk Grove’s current retail offerings are often described by residents and others as being of average quality, lacking high-end brands, and overly value and commodity focused. While staff disagrees, retail brokers often opine that Elk Grove consumers don’t have high-end tastes, and this is why high-end brands don’t seek out the City. While value and commodity retail are important to Elk Grove’s residents and tax base, and must be maintained, the City’s immediate retail opportunity is the attraction of higher quality retail to the City in the form of national upscale lifestyle brands, elevated entertainment options, and polished and elevated dining (both national and regional).

 

The staff report also discussed the still unfinished mall. It noted that leasing picked up in 2017 and construction could start this year, with an yet to be determined opening date.  Elk Grove Laguna News spoke to one business owner with knowledge of the mall development, they stated they were told that construction should start this year with the opening now pushed back to 2019.  It is also possible that construction on the proposed casino, adjacent to the mall, could start in 2018 as well and be completed in 18 months.

 

Elk Grove’s current retail offerings are often described by residents and others as being of average quality, lacking high-end brands, and overly value and commodity focused. While staff disagrees, retail brokers often opine that Elk Grove consumers don’t have high-end tastes, and this is why high-end brands don’t seek out the City. While value and commodity retail are important to Elk Grove’s residents and tax base, and must be maintained, the City’s immediate retail opportunity is the attraction of higher quality retail to the City in the form of national upscale lifestyle brands, elevated entertainment options, and polished and elevated dining (both national and regional).

 

For the city, the question is, if you build it, will they come? Only time will tell, but Elk Grove residents have heard all this before.  Until they see actual construction on any of these projects, they will remain pessimistic.

 

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