An Introduction

You perhaps haven’t thought of Nevada City in this way but, for many people, the general area is considered to have a highly spiritual vibration. For those interested in spiritual growth, it is as important a spiritual pilgrimage spot as cities such as Ojai, Mt. Shasta and Sedona. That spiritual tradition probably began thousands of years ago, blessed by the river and hills and forests, and the Native American community that called it their home. Today it is strongly maintained through such organizations as Inner Path, Ananda Village, the Sivananda Ashram, Ring of Bone Zendo, Mountain Stream and numerous Christian and other spiritual and serviceful organizations in the area.

At Inner Path, people comment on that “spiritual vibration” often, followed by the questions, “Why does this area feel so spiritual?” and “Where do I go from here?” It is these people, and the hundreds of other like-minded souls who we serve at Inner Path, for whom we have developed the concept of the Whole Life Center.

Our Intention

The Whole Life Center strives to meet the needs of the LOHAS community. LOHAS stands for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability/Spirituality. In Nevada City, our goal would be to develop the Alpha building at 210 Broad Street into a Whole Life Center; a busy, beautiful, uplifting and serviceful center featuring a vegetarian restaurant, quality products that support body, mind and soul, a multi-disciplinary holistic wellness center, a venue for spiritual and health-oriented classes and events, and other important services.

One of the primary purposes of the Whole Life Center is to create a hub for those interested in the ideals of a balanced and supported body, mind and soul. This would be done in coordination with a new website being developed called Conscious Community Nevada County. This website is meant to bring together the local LOHAS community by being the focal point for their services, events and ideas. The website,, is expected to go “live” later this year. Additionally, we are working on a website and booklet entitled Sacred Sites of Nevada County which would highlight many of the important spiritual aspects of the local area.

The Whole Life Center would strive to become the center point for numerous new events meant to strengthen and enliven the LOHAS community. This includes such projects as hosting a series of annual events and concerts such as a World Peace Day, a Sacred Music Festival, a Christmas Music Celebration, a county wide Yoga Festival, and a Holistic Health Festival. We expect this effort, in addition to the beauty and services of the Whole Life Center, will attract hundreds of visitors from many points, near and far.

The Center would also proactively develop a number of services that support the local community. This includes being available to host private and public meetings, such as weddings, club meetings, and special discussions and events. It is also meant, if needed, to serve as an emergency shelter during floods, fires and other incapacitating events, and to offer greater service to the local homeless community.

Concept Ideas

The Alpha Building
The Alpha building was built in 1917 and is one of the largest and most visible buildings in downtown Nevada City. Its three floors encompass over 21,000 sq. ft. Its first tenant was the Alpha Hardware Store. Its most recent use was Broad Street Furnishings which closed in 2008 after a run of 31 years. The building has been vacant since that time. It is presently for sale for $2,250,000.

Main Floor – Restaurant and Retail Sales – 8,000 sq. ft.
The restaurant would specialize in vegetarian fare and would include sit-down and take-out food service. The restaurant is expected to be cooperatively run by a number of chefs and would be open 7 days a week. It may take a “deli and bakery” feel with many “grab and go” options, as well as self-serve soup and salad for lunch, and possibly a more “restaurant” feel for dinners. The kitchen would also be used to prepare meals for large events that occur in the downstairs event space. Seating would be available both indoors and out.

Separating the restaurant and boutique would be a large light and water sculpture that would reach as high as the upper floor. The sculpture itself would be so beautiful and magnetic that it would be a primary reason some people enter the building. Beyond its visual beauty, its purpose is to make a visual and audible break between the restaurant and boutique.

The retail side would be primarily an expanded version of what Inner Path presently offers including a broader display of many of our products (ex: candles, statuary, musical instruments) and new products including handmade furniture, a flower and plant display, and outdoor fountains. Inner Path is already known for being a place of great beauty and peace. The new design would be like entering a place of upliftment that many people will have never experienced before.

Other amenities on the main floor include a children’s play area, a large resource board, and a “Free Store” with clothing, food and other items offered to anyone in need.

Top Floor – Multidisciplinary Wellness Center and Interfaith Meditation Rooms – 5,600 sq. ft.
The Wellness Center will be comprised of multiple health service rooms of different configurations. A few would be available on a “by the hour” basis, but most would be leased to a variety of health care practitioners. The rooms could have specialty uses including Chinese medicine, ayurveda, massage, chiropractic and osteopathic services, hypnotherapy, counseling and other disciplines.

The upstairs area would also include two or three meditation rooms. These would be designed to honor the primary religious faiths of our time. One room, for example, could have a Hindu and Buddhist theme. Other rooms could be designed to honor the Judaic and Christian faiths, Native American culture, or other themes.

The area of the top floor that looks out onto Broad Street would be a lounge for those wanting to read books or work on their computers, etc. and would include space for art exhibits and other special presentations.

Bottom Floor – Event Center and Health Spa – 8,000 sq. ft
The event center would consist of four large rooms that are interconnected. As needed, you would have the ability to move the interior walls and open the area into one large space. When combined as one, the room would be big enough to accommodate events of 250 to 300 people. The facility would include a stage and state-of-the-art sound and light system. Some of the specialty uses of the rooms could include a yoga studio, a dance studio, and general event rooms.

If space allows, a health spa would be along the periphery of the bottom floor, and may include such services as a sauna, hot tub, flotation tank, salt therapy room, lap pool and fitness room.

The downstairs would also have a reception area to receive visitors and guests to events and classes, as well as a shower and locker room, a small kitchen/food service space, and storage for tables, chairs and other items.

We envision the event rooms becoming an important meeting area for the downtown Nevada City community, as well as a major event space with nationally recognized teachers and musicians whose focus aligns with the LOHAS theme. We also see it being used as an emergency center, providing food and housing in time of need, as well as assisting the needs of the homeless community.

Notes and Information

Please Note
The Alpha Building has only been superficially studied. A thorough understanding of the building’s capabilities and design will determine the feasibility of many of the above ideas.

Project Developers
This is a project of Inner Path, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), dedicated to the upliftment of humankind in body, mind and soul, and Rajarshi Social Enterprises, a for profit investment company dedicated to building conscious communities.

Conscious Community
The Whole Life Center is part of a larger group of projects entitled “Conscious Community.” The intention is to create a full spectrum of community settings that uplift consciousness and aid in the upliftment of society.

Contact Information
John Ernst
Phone: 530-470-6057

Informational Websites

Updated: 10/9/23