“Getting to the point”: several construction projects underway in western Nevada County



Site grading continues on the 235-unit Loma Rica Ranch development between Brunswick Road and Sutton Way in Grass Valley.
Photo credit: Elias Funez

The current level of active construction in western Nevada County is normal for this time of year, according to Barbara Bashall, head of government affairs at the Nevada County Contractors’ Association.

While “a fair amount” of projects have been approved, Bashall said, looking at the rate at which they are actually being built, it shows “a fairly normal year.”

Although lumber availability has improved, Bashall explained, the construction industry continues to experience further supply shortages as well as difficulties finding workers.

In other cases, she added, court challenges and their cost can slow down a project – such as in the case of the Dorsey Marketplace project, a 28.6-acre mixed-use development project that would be built accessible to readers of Dorsey and Spring Hill in Grass Valley.

A lawsuit filed against the project last year by local groups Community Environmental Advocates (CEA) and Protect Grass Valley was dismissed by Nevada County Superior Court Judge Tom Anderson earlier this year followed by plaintiffs appealing the ruling in July. The project was initially proposed in 2014.

Lone Oak Senior Apartments, comprising 31 apartments for low-income seniors on Broken Oak Court in Penn Valley, was recently completed, Bashall said, and is in the process of being approved for a second phase.

Construction workers are making sure future welcome blocks are level at the Loma Rica Ranch development this week in Grass Valley.
Photo credit: Elias Funez

The West Olympia Hotel, a 74-room project on East Main Street in Grass Valley, received city approval in December, Bashall noted, adding that she did not know when it would be built.

Among the active construction projects in the area is the Timberwood Estates project, a 45-lot development off Brunswick Road in Grass Valley, which Bashall said this week was about 30% complete.

Some projects in Grass Valley are expected to be completed in the coming years. For example, Bashall said, the 26-home neighborhood of Gilded Springs slated for an area off Linden Avenue is expected to be completed by the summer. The 235-unit Loma Rica Ranch development, which was slated to begin grading Sutton Way and Brunswick Road earlier this summer, will likely be completed in the spring of 2023, she added.

Bashall said on Monday it was generally a busy time for contractors as they anticipate wet weather in late fall and winter and rush to complete some stages of construction before qu ‘it does happen.

Other projects include:


Towne homes are sold even before completion along Berriman Loop in the Berriman Ranch subdivision in Grass Valley, currently under construction.

Progress on Berriman Ranch, a 30-lot development on Berriman Loop in Grass Valley, “is progressing well,” according to Seth Meadows, Managing Broker at Homes by Towne and Senior Salesperson for the Development.

Meadows said on Friday 16 of the lots had been sold so far, with 14 remaining under construction.

Ranking for development began in 2018, followed by framing from 2019, Meadows said. He estimated that the current construction would be completed in early spring.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has occasionally resulted in labor and supply issues, according to Meadows, those issues appear to be improving. “Everything is going well now,” he said.


Timber framing began on the three-story Brunswick Commons apartments off Old Tunnel Road. Forty percent of the housing units in the project are intended for low-income residents.

Mike Dent, director of the Nevada County Department of Child Support, Housing and Community Services, said earlier this month that the work on Brunswick Commons project in Grass Valley remains active.

The development, on county-owned property at 936 Old Tunnel Road, is expected to include 41 affordable housing units, with a focus on people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, according to Dent.

In the development, Dent said, 12 units will serve as permanent supportive housing under the county’s behavioral health department, intended to serve people with mental illnesses. Another 28 units will go into a partnership with the community shelter Hospitality House, in which the shelter will direct potential “housing-ready” residents to a waiting list for property.

“So, Behavioral Health and Hospitality House will have case managers assigned to everyone in this building to help them deal with any crisis that arises or resolve any issues that may arise, in partnership with the property managers,” said Tooth.

The last unit of the development is for an on-site manager.

The next three-story building was due to be completed this month around February, according to Dent.


Construction on the new Cashin’s Field affordable housing complex has started at 170 Ridge Road in Nevada City.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Cashin’s Field housing project was hosted in August by Nevada City, Nevada County, the Regional Housing Authority and the Affordable Housing Development Corporation.

Dent said the 51 affordable housing development project, located at 170 Ridge Road in Nevada City, was the first project to be funded by the Western Nevada County Regional Housing Trust Fund.

During its approval process, Dent said, the project matched a vision shared by Nevada City and the county, which was to “help increase the number of workforce housing in Nevada City.” . According to a county Press release, the project will be a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments, with rents targeted between 30% and 60% of the median income in the region.

Currently under active construction, the project was due for completion this month in fall 2022, according to Dent.


Automobile traffic along the Sierra College Highway passes through the Chapa De Indian Health construction area.

Chapa-De Indian Health, whose Grass Valley Health Center is located at 1350 East Main St., opened a new administration building in July.

The new 10,000 square foot administrative building is built next to the existing health center.

The addition is planned to include 14 offices; a workspace for the Chapa-De call center; meeting, training and conference spaces; and “much needed additional parking,” according to spokesperson Miranda Raulinaitis.

Morgan Tempus, project manager at RCP Construction, estimated in July that the project would be completed in the summer of 2022.


Several conditions of approval remain pending before a map can be registered – and thereafter, construction can begin – for Gracie Commons, a 16-unit residential complex planned on Gracie Road in Nevada City, the town planner said. Amy Wolfson earlier this month.

In 2019, the project, initially approved 10 years earlier by Nevada City Council, was granted a two-year extension by the Planning Commission.

After further expansion of the state due to the pandemic, the project’s current deadline is August 2022, Wolfson said.

The Grove, a project originally approved by the Nevada City Planning Commission and City Council in 2017, has yet to secure building permits this month, according to Wolfson.

The project, which is expected to include 59 individual lots on Providence Mine Road, returned to Nevada City Council and received approval in June, the council records show.

According to a project description listed by the city, The Grove’s first phase features the creation of 15 single-family lots suitable for custom homes, along with site preparation, grading and infrastructure for the entire site. The second phase proposes the development of 32 “grouped townhouse units” and 12 “grouped single-family lots”, with supporting infrastructure.


Construction of an apartment complex called The Pines of Grass Valley has been delayed from the start due to the necessary cleanup at the site, according to Grass Valley Community Development Director Tom Last. The project is listed as having East Bennett and Union Jack streets as cross streets.

The last time, earlier this month, although the project was approved, it was awaiting county and state approval for a site clean-up, necessitated by the spill that had occurred there.

Last said the cleanup would likely be expensive, although the exact cost has yet to be determined. He added that due to the magnitude of the cleanup required, construction will not begin this year.

Development of a Town Talk Village project, slated to include 11 homes on Town Talk Road in Grass Valley, had yet to progress to having a map registered earlier this month, according to Last.

In 2018, the project, initially approved by the city in 2005, was sold by its original developer to a new owner, before again receiving approval from the city’s planning commission.

Ridge Meadows, a 37-lot development on Ridge Road in Grass Valley, opened in early 2018, according to reports. Just across the road, according to Last, work was still underway this month on the Ridge Village project.

The Ridge Village project is expected to consist of 49 single-family residential units, according to city records. According to Last, this month the roads for development and other key infrastructure were underway.


The heavy equipment made it possible to quickly demolish and remove the remains of Paulette’s field kitchen in Grass Valley.

Construction is still ongoing at 875 Sutton Way in Grass Valley, the site of an upcoming Wendy’s restaurant with drive-thru.

Paulette’s Country Kitchen operated on the site for over 30 years, until the restaurant closed in mid-March. The building was demolished last month.

Karsen Dooley, superintendent and project manager at Holt Construction, said in late August that the fast food chain’s new building was due for completion in mid-December.

According to Dooley, the construction time of around four months is typical for this type of restaurant building.

Victoria Penate is a writer for The Union. She can be reached at [email protected]


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