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Looking back at 2022: Top stories about Citrus Heights from the past year

File photo, a portion of Sunrise Mall’s parking areas is shown dark, after what the mall’s general manager said was vandalism from homeless individuals attempting to tap into the mall’s electricity to charge devices. // M. Hazlip

As Citrus Heights emerged from the pandemic in 2022, the city saw new development projects and business openings, along with changes in the housing market, and more.

Below are the top local stories that drew the most interest from readers in 2022:

Real estate. The housing market continued to be a top-trending subject of interest, with a price drop on a million-dollar listing in Citrus Heights drawing attention from readers in May. The home eventually dropped in price again, down to $895,500, before being removed from the market in November, apparently without being sold. In August, the city also broke a record with a residential property selling for $1.25 million.

Commercial real estate news also drew reader attention, with the sale of the Raley’s-anchored retail center at Lichen Drive and Antelope Road being announced in January. The property was sold for $16.75 million to buyer Ethan Conrad, who later bought the former Sears building at Sunrise Mall the same year.

Construction. Development news and construction drew reader eyes in March, with controversy over an 8-unit townhouse development on a small lot on Auburn Boulevard, next to Walmart. Neighbors complained of a fence being removed that caused privacy concerns, but action was quickly taken to install temporary privacy screening while crews worked to build a masonry wall.

Also drawing significant reader interest was a proposal filed in April to demolish a coffee kiosk and liquor store along the Roseville border in order to build another Starbucks. The proposal is still under review by the City of Citrus Heights, according to an update last month.

Business. The opening of new stores in the Sunrise Village shopping center at the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and Madison Avenue drew readers eyes in February and March. Renovation continues at the center, but Firehouse Subs, Starbucks and Joann Fabrics are among the first businesses to have opened.

Sunrise Mall. News about the mall continued to draw reader interest, with a top-read story in December about a portion of the parking lot being unlit at night. Temporary lighting was quickly set up following the story being published, and the mall’s manager said repairs were slated to take place before the end of the year to provide a permanent solution.

Auburn Boulevard. A story in April about the city modifying plans for Auburn Boulevard improvements drew attention from readers, after The Sentinel reported earlier that business owners had raised concerns that planned changes with a center divide on the street would negatively impact access to businesses. Plans were modified to address the concerns, with one vocal business owner calling the city’s response a “positive experience.”

According to the city’s latest update, construction on the second phase of the Auburn Boulevard project is now expected to begin in 2024. Plans include roadway repaving, undergrounding of overhead utility lines, installation of bike lanes and wider sidewalks, upgrading signals, adding decorative street lighting, planting of new landscaping and trees, enhancing transit stops and adding a new signalized gateway sign over the boulevard.

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