Demolition began this week to redo the facade on one of the main buildings at the Sonora Plaza on Mono Way in anticipation of a Wilco farm-supply store moving in.

The work is the first phase of a larger project to improve the appearance of the shopping center, which was originally constructed in the early 1970s. 

All businesses remain open during the construction, said Tim Newhoff, manager of the Sonora Plaza.

Newhoff said they expected to get the demolition work finished by Thursday on the vacant building formerly occupied by Orchard Supply Hardware, where the Wilco store will be located.

Wilco is a farmer-owned cooperative based in Oregon that specializes in farm-supply products. The company recently applied for permits to do interior work on the building.

The plaza is owned by the Larkspur-based firm Argonaut Investments, which got approval from the City of Sonora last year for redoing the facades on the main buildings from the 99 Cents Only store to the Be Wok & Sushi restaurant.

Newhoff said they are awaiting approval on a building permit to start constructing the new facade on the former OSH building, but they are still working with the 99 Cents Only store on when they will start on that building.

Hilbers Inc. based in Yuba City is the general contractor for both the demolition and construction work. Newhoff said there’s no set timeline for completion of the project.

The plan was to complete the improvements in phases, starting with the former OSH and 99 Cents Only store before moving onto the former Cost-U-Less building and Be Wok & Sushi.

Newhoff said there remains to be no interest from potential new tenants for the former Cost-U-Less, which shut down in spring of last year after decades in business, but they’re hoping the facade improvements will change that.

It’s the first major renovation of the plaza since the mid-1990s, according to Newhoff.

In addition, the owners and architects will seek approval on Monday from the city’s Planning Commission on proposed designs for matching facade upgrades to the section of the plaza from Pinocchio’s restaurant to Sierra Veterinary Care.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, at City Hall, 94 N. Washington St.


Contact Alex MacLean at or (209) 588-4530.


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