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Sunrise Mall revitalization still moving along, albeit slowly for now

City council adopted the Sunrise Tomorrow Specific Plan last year in hopes to redevelop the Sunrise Mall after years of decline.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. — The Sunrise Mall will be seeing change soon, but there is no current estimated time on when those changes will take place. 

City council adopted the Sunrise Tomorrow Specific Plan last year in hopes to redevelop the Sunrise Mall after years of decline. The plan is to revitalize the 100-acre Sunrise Mall and give it a facelift by adding housing, office space and more entertainment centers. 

The COVID-19 pandemic halted advancements on the plan, adding to the delay of the now decade long vision.

Not much progress has been made in the past year, but things have not come to a halt, according to Meghan Huber, Citrus Heights’ director of economic development and community engagement. 

“Just because we’re quiet doesn't mean we’re not hard at work,” said Huber. “This is the number one economic development priority for the city.”

Huber says the city is now working to figure out how to “break the project open more.” 

The issue comes with having a 75-acre blank canvas and trying to figure out project specific infrastructure like roundabouts, streets, crosswalks and more. Huber says they’re now working to “deep dive into development.” 

During the July 28 city council meeting, the board unanimously approved a request for proposal which allows city developers to gather bids for the project. This will allow the city to understand in more detail what infrastructure is needed, how much it may cost and who may contract to do the work. 

Huber says this proposal will look at the potential funding mix and help create a plan for getting funds and how to use them.

The project was originally estimated to cost $818 million over 20 years based on analysis gathered, but Huber says that data was conducted pre-COVID and is not reflective of real time numbers. 

Resident outreach began in 2020 and concluded in 2021 after many community workshops. These chats narrowed down the plan to three potential designs, eventually leading to the current plan

Conversations about redeveloping the Sunrise Mall and surrounding Sunrise MarketPlace have been ongoing since 2008. The “New Vision for Sunrise MarketPlace” introduced the vision of building housing, retail, office and mixed-use spaces on existing parking lots around the mall.

After opening in 1972, the mall was renovated in 1999 and was sold three times between 2008 and 2018. Originally, it was sold for $110 million in 2008, but it was purchased for just over $25 million in 2018. 

The Sunrise Tomorrow Plan aims to add 2,200 residential units, 960,000 square feet of office space, 480 hotel rooms and more retail space to the already existing Sunrise Mall over 20 years. 

All four property owners, and many business owners, are in talks to figure out how to continue the project, according to Huber.

The Sunrise Mall will continue to be opened throughout the redevelopment, according to the city of Citrus Heights.

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