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Large lot once slated to become church campus listed for $825k

A vacant parcel at 7828 Auburn Blvd. was once slated to become the site of a large church campus. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
Vacant land across from Rusch Park once slated to be home to a new church building is now on the market for $825,000.

A 2.79-acre site at 7828 Auburn Blvd. was listed by Synergize Realty President Robert Balina and includes 255 feet of frontage along Auburn Boulevard. A phone call to Balina on Thursday morning was not returned by press time.

The price works out to $295,699 per acre and is listed as commercial, according to the listing. An adjacent 1.14-acre parcel is also available, according to the listing.

The Sentinel previously reported the Planning Commission unanimously approved development of a 34,000-square-foot church building and auditorium at the site in 2021. Landowner Pioneer Baptist had plans to develop the property, but rising construction costs and a rapidly growing congregation influenced their decision to purchase an existing church facility, Pastor Kyle Conley told The Sentinel previously.

Records show Cripple Creek runs through the property, causing Pioneer Baptist to develop plans that would accommodate projected flood water levels. A document provided with the listing shows city approval of a use permit, design review permit and a tree permit was set to expire on July 28, 2023, but a request for a one-year extension was submitted by the church.

From 2020: Proposed future church site in Citrus Heights has not-so-holy past

Although the future of the property is unknown, The Sentinel previously reported that the smaller vacant parcel on northern side of Cripple Creek has had a seedy reputation and has changed hands several times over the years.

Citrus Heights historian Larry Fritz said early records show a bar called the Cripple Creek Tavern was located at the site and was known as “kind of a rowdy place.” In the documentary, Ladies to the Rescue, one first-responder recalled responding to emergencies in the middle of the night at the Cripple Creek Tavern in the 1960s, where said she would bring her dog for backup.

Sometime after the tavern shut down, the building became a nude bar called the Satin Lady, which later became Cheerleaders. Jeannie Bruins, a former councilwoman who led the city’s incorporation effort in the 1990s, previously told The Sentinel there was a concerted effort to stop the owner of Cheerleaders from expanding with a second location, and also to shut down the existing location.

A report from the Sacramento Business Journal from March of 1999 shows local citizens held a protest to stop the “invasion of our city by sexually oriented businesses.”

After the closure of Cheerleaders, Bruins said the city contacted the property owner who gave permission to bulldoze the building, and the property has sat vacant since then.

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