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Hillside Shopping Center To Get Makeover

What kinds of businesses would you like to see there?

A Carmichael couple hopes to bring an economic miracle of sorts to town.

Investors Allan and Nancy Davis started a company called Milagro Investments and have purchased the mostly vacant Hillside Shopping Center on Fair Oaks Boulevard, southwest of the intersection with Marconi Avenue.

"It's got a central location in town so what better place to start redeveloping Carmichael," Allan Davis said.

They intend to redevelop it into a tree-lined gathering place with local and national dining and retail options. The Milagro project, which is set to begin renovation work in June and open this fall, is going forward at the same time as the , for which construction has begun at the Fair Oaks/Marconi/Palm intersection.

"Everyone needs a place to go hang out, grab a glass of wine," said Chris Meyer, the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce president. "This will be a great retail starting point for what Carmichael can become."

The four-acre complex rents about 42,400 square feet and was built in the 1970's, the Davises say. Three out of 10 businesses remain open- , and catering.

"We had been eating at Waffle Barn and would say 'when is somebody going to do something with that place?'," Nancy Davis said. "People would say it was too far back from the road."

The Davises bought the property for $1.8 million and say the current tenants can stay if their owners wish to do so. The Davises say plans call for an emphasis on a central courtyard and pushing the center out closer to Fair Oaks Boulevard.

The Davises are going through the approval process with Sacramento County and seeking tenants before starting demolishing work inside the buildings. Allan Davis said he hopes to attract a small grocer/retailer similar to a Fresh & Easy or Trader Joe's.

They said they're also looking to bring in restaurants and specialty retails including a bakery and florist. The design of the projects is from architects Michael Martin and Kenton Russell.

Nancy Davis said she has lived in Carmichael for 46 years and that the Hillside was a viable shopping center 20 to 25 years ago.

"Carmichael just wasn't seeing its potential," she said. "There are many auto-related businesses and thrift shops but not enough options to eat or shop; we deserve better."

Nancy Davis added that she hopes the remodeled center inspires other small-business owners to invest in a new-look Carmichael.

The Davises decided on the Milagro Centre name ('milagro' means miracle in Spanish) because Allan beat throat cancer eight years ago and Nancy overcame an unspecified illness, both of which they said were miracles.

"I saw a bottle of tequila and I bought it for him and said when you feel better, we'll toast but now we want to crack it against the wall when we open the center," Nancy Davis said.

The center won't only bring more dining and shopping options for Carmichael residents but also create much-needed jobs, they said.

"This will be a small miracle in Carmichael," Allan Davis said.

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Sandra May 23, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I don't think it sits too far back - enough parking is essential. We definitely need a Trader Joe's and maybe even an Ice Cream Parlor and an over the top sandwich shop for folks on the go. Maybe even a garden shop with great outdoor decor. Sandra
Kirsten Ruiz May 23, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I would love to see Trader Joe's for the large staple and small eateries such as Rubio's, Beach Hut Deli, Panerra Bread, or Quiznos. What we don't need is another Starbucks or Subway or pizza joint. Small eateries with outdoor dining...Maybe a wine shop or a small clothing boutique or a nice used book store...the new owners should be creative and innovative and invite businesses that are farther away for Carmichael shoppers and places that don't invite riff raff like bars and dollar stores.
Victor Calderon (Editor) May 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Thanks Sandra and Kirsten. I agree that Carmichael residents need new jobs and that it's better for residents to shop local than have to drive to Arden or Citrus Heights. I'm hoping for a mix of national chains like Trader Joe's, Jamba Juice and Pinkberry and local businesses along with a venue for live music.
Linda Comeau May 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I would like to see a good quality but priced right restaurant. Something along the lines of a Black Angus or a Texas roadhouse. Casual but not fast food. Needs to have a fun atmosphere. friends agree there just isn't enough of this type of food in the neighborhood. Even an ice cream shop would be a fun addition Linda C
Victor Calderon (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Thanks for your suggestions Linda. I agree on the Black Angus or Texas Roadhouse. The closest for us are in Citrus Heights and Elk Grove, respectively. As for ice cream, we have Dairy Queen and Hagen's Orange Freeze, though I suppose a Jamba Juice or frozen yogurt place like Big Spoon Yogurt wouldn't hurt.

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