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Village at Loomis Economic Impact Study presented to Council

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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A balance of retail and dining could revitalize downtown Loomis, which could work with the Village at Loomis, according to a new study. A town consultant said that Raley’s and Homewood Lumber are currently the town of Loomis’ only good sources of taxable retail revenue compared with other surrounding communities.

That was just some of the findings during Wednesday’s presentation regarding the economic impact study that Loomis Town Council asked for at a May 24 meeting.

The study’s purpose was to prepare a retail impact analysis of the proposed Village at Loomis. The development would include a 44,000-square-foot commercial center, a 12,000-square-foot mixed-use center and 381 housing units, according to a town staff report.

The consultant presenting the study was Stan Hoffman of Stanley R. Hoffman Associates, Inc. Hoffman summarized the study’s key findings that addressed many of Loomis Town Council’s questions and reasons for commissioning the study. Hoffman's findings and conclusions follow:

  • The analysis indicates that a balance of retail and dining development could allow both the Village to develop and downtown Loomis to continue to expand, consistent with the downtown’s plans goal of facilitating revitalizing efforts.   

  • Regarding the issue of whether additional retail development could be supported in the commercial districts at the Village at Loomis, it raises the question of “At what level would it generate competition that would not allow downtown Loomis to maintain a balanced commercial expansion that continues to serve the needs of local households and employment, as well as being a destination draw?”

  • Given the need to capture a high proportion of new and existing households and employment in the market area and to capture an increased level of destination and visitor shoppers from outside of Loomis, adding more retail square footage at The Village at Loomis is seen as counter to having the two commercial districts complement each other.  

  • With the importance and policy priority given to the ongoing revitalization and expansion of the downtown commercial district, joint marketing efforts should be undertaken and streetscape and pedestrian linkages should be facilitated between the western border of the Village at Loomis and the central area of downtown Loomis.

 

Hoffman also stressed that Loomis is behind the curve in capturing sales tax revenue in relation to surrounding communities.

“Years ago from retail market analysis studies, we found that Rocklin was losing retail opportunity to Roseville. Now, Rocklin is capturing that retail revenue with the Rocklin Commons. If the Costco goes through, that would be beneficial for Loomis as well,” Hoffman said. “Rocklin doubles its total per capita taxable sales from the retail growth after the Rocklin Commons were built. Loomis has dropped about 10 percent since that time. A lot of the retail leakage from Loomis is still happening. Only now instead of Roseville, Loomis is losing it to Roseville and Rocklin now.”   

According to the economic impact study, 72 percent of retail leakage comes from areas excluding the Raley’s shopping center and the Homewood Lumber area, which are doing “very well” according to Hoffman.

Loomis Town Councilman Jeff Duncan asked whether the economic impact study found evidence to support a big retail “anchor” that could help Loomis.

“No but you could probably get small ones. But you won’t get any big anchors if the Village is approved. There’s not enough demand to expand the Village,” Hoffman replied. “If you do expand the project, the less you will get in the downtown area.”

Loomis Town Councilman Tim Onderko wanted clarification and confirmation on that point.

“Mr. Hoffman, to be clear, our focus is growing and strengthening the downtown. I want to make sure I understand your report. I understand it to say that adding more commercial to the Village than they propose would hurt, not help our downtown.”

Hoffman confirmed that was correct.  

“More commercial is not necessarily going to be better,” Onderko said. “We still have to prove to ourselves to the commercial market.”

Vinall Perkins, owner of Perkins Commercial Group Inc, which owns a large parcel on Horseshoe Bar Road spoke about the study.

“We are looking at 36,000 square feet on our parcel if the Village goes through,” Perkins said.

Perkins highlighted what Loomis can do to capitalize on the lost market share to Rocklin and Roseville.

“Rocklin now has a major retail center. You have all these smaller retail shops that cater to it. Loomis does not have that but one thing Loomis does have is a small-town feel,” Perkins said. “That's a major marketing strategy. We want to compliment the High Hand. If given the opportunity, we can do a lot with landscape buildings and we can even do more retail.”

Perkins told the council what he would do if the Village is approved.

“If it’s a cool restaurant you’re after or a boutique-style shopping experience, Loomis is where you go, much like Grass Valley or Nevada City. We have to create something,” Perkins said. “The bigger tenants you have, the less rent it’s going to be. We will not waste any time if the Village gets approved. We will hit the ground running with incoming tenants. If the Village is denied, I really can’t do anything at all. I’m ready to tie in the Village with downtown. I think that Loomis is ready.”

Loomis Mayor Rhonda Morillas and Onderko thanked Perkins for his insight.  

“What we’re trying to do is find a balance and I’m going to listen to a guy that has his skin in the game,” Onderko said. “If you’re telling us that too much commercial will water down your tenants, I’m listening.”  

The big vote Loomis residents have been waiting for that will either approve or deny the Village at Loomis will take place at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the H. Clarke Powers Elementary auditorium, 3296 Humphrey Road.