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Work begins on new commercial center
Nanak Plaza
Underground improvements and concrete forms are being installed for the new 14,010-square-foot 14,010-square-foot commercial shopping center on Mitchell Road. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Construction is taking place on Mitchell Road on a 14,010-square-foot commercial shopping center that will include a 3,000-square-foot space for a restaurant.

Nanak Plaza was unanimously approved by the Ceres Planning Commission in August 2015.

The L-shaped center is backing up to the Orchard Park Center which is at the northwest corner of Mitchell and Don Pedro. The project had to seek a variance to be excused from a rear setback requirement.

Eight years ago project developers Harry and Karen Bhatti of Ceres won approval from the commission to not hold them to a required 10-foot distance between the building and the rear of the property line which abuts to three backyards of a residential neighborhood on Archcliffe Drive. The commission voted 5-0 to allow the building to be placed right on the property line.

At the time the couple sought the variance, the Bhattis feared that a 10-foot area behind the future building would provide a place for vagrants to congregate out of public view. The applicants further noted that the three adjacent homeowners west of the site preferred to have the building abutting the property line instead of an eight-foot-high masonry block wall and a 10-foot gap between buildings.

The Bhattis are proposing the new project look similar to neighboring Orchard Park. However, the new project will stray from the grey colors and implement brown earth tones.

To approve the variance, the commission had to make four findings.

The center will be feature brown hues consistent with the color schemes outlined in the Mitchell Road Corridor Specific Plan.