CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — There’s no shortage of parking at the Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, but what you see now won’t be forever. After years of the community wondering what would happen to the lot, the city council finally nailed down a plan for the dwindling mall.

City leaders voted unanimously to approve the Sunrise Tomorrow Specific plan.

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“They should picture a downtown area that has all the convenience and necessities within the community, walkability and a place where you can come and gather,” said city Vice Mayor Porsche Middleton.

Middleton blames a lot of change in ownership with the mall for the years of planning. The vice mayor says it took strategic planning to get all the players involved on board including businesses, developers and even the community.

“They want something exciting to happen there, and I think this is the thing that is going to be that dream and that vision for that piece of real estate,” said Kathilynn Carpenter, Sunrise Marketplace Executive Director.

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The executive director of the business improvement district says phasing in the plan is critical in an ever-changing COVID economy.

“As we exit sort of a COVID economy and see what is the post-COVID marketplace is going to be like, I think we have to be flexible to see what sort of uses are going to be viable,” said Carpenter.

The plans that have been a longtime in the making are expected to change the center of Citrus Heights as everyone knows it. They’re plans that have been a long time in the making — and will change Citrus Heights as you know it.

“It’s going to become the new heart of Citrus Heights. So we’re going to be a new community vision so people can build new memories with their children, grandchildren over the next 20 years,” said Middleton.

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A major goal in the redevelopment is to diversify the city’s economy. The plan is set to be completed in phases likely starting with converting all that extra parking.