Last month, I wrote about the 2017 business and retail developments in Visalia. I ran out of space to describe the many new projects that are coming to Visalia in 2018.

INDUSTRIAL PARK: A new 6,000-square-foot location for Comfort Now Air Conditioning and a 6,600-square-foot expansion for Remedy Medical off of Shirk Street. There is a 7,284-square-foot warehouse user off N. Gateway Street and a new grain hopper trailer manufacturer in a new 4,000-square-foot building near Kelsey Drive off Doe Avenue. Smith Promotions, a local screen printing/ embroidery shop and full-service manufacturer of promotional materials, is expanding into a new 10,000-squarefoot facility. Two new 16,000-squarefoot shell buildings are proposed along Goshen Avenue behind Able Industries, and Breck’s Electric Motors will be moving to a new 8,85- square-foot site off Grove Court. A new 125,000-squarefoot industrial building is being proposed at the northwest corner of Neely Street at the future intersection with Hurley Avenue Pacific Dry Ice is proposing to occupy 7249 W. Goshen Ave. and is in the process of acquiring building permits. Huckleberry’s Restaurant, a Southern- themed breakfast and lunch restaurant, is considering a location in the Plaza Business Park. Local ag tech company Valley Ag Software (VAS) will be moving to a new 31,000-square-foot office in The Square at Plaza Drive. We hope to attract and grow tech companies like VAS in that area.

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN: Downtown may be seeing more residential space as residential is being proposed above Javi’s Taco Shack. A skywalk is being proposed to connect the third floor of the West Acequia Street parking garage to the building at 215 W. Main St. The project proposes new office and residential development in the upper floors. Visalia Emergency Aid is adding additional warehousing and office space to its N.E. Third Avenue location. A new grocery/meat market has been proposed behind the very popular Pho and Seafood Restaurant by the Lincoln Oval, in an existing building. Doc’s Drive-In is continuing the process to relocate to the southwest corner of Main and Willis streets.

MOONEY BOULEVARD: A new Jiffy Lube is being proposed just behind the Lowe’s at Mooney Boulevard and Cameron Avenue. A bridge over Packwood Creek onto Cameron is being proposed in the Sequoia Plaza Shopping Center (Walmart). This will improve traffic circulation in and out of that center. Family HealthCare Network is proposing a new full-service medical clinic in the former Dollar Tree location near Beech Street and Mooney. The 17,000-squarefoot facility will include full medical and dental services. The Orosco Group has demolished the old Weatherby’s site on the southeast corner of Walnut Avenue and Mooney, with new retail/food tenants expected to land there.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS: The storm basin located in the Riverway Sports Park has been filled with dirt and in 2018, the final phase of Riverway Sports Park will begin with the construction of four new lighted softball fields with corresponding concession stands, restroom facilities, parking and an additional picnic structure. The Walmart expansion at Noble Avenue near Ben Maddox Way is underway once again, after some delay caused by litigation. The expansion includes additional grocery sales, an outdoor garden center- and a fast-food tenant. There is a new drive-in concept proposed that will allow shoppers to call ahead to pick up pre-made grocery orders. Customers will get into a vehicle queue, enter a pass code, pull to a loading station, where Walmart employees will cart the orders out to the customers’ vehicles and allow customers the ability to inspect the fresh items before completing the transaction. A mini-market and gas station is being proposed at the southeast corner of Visalia Parkway and Demaree Road, located west of proposed multi-family and single-family housing. A pharmacy is proposed at 1400 E. Noble adjacent to Wienerschnitzel. The Sequoia Surgery Center on Akers Road near 198 is expanding by 18,860 square feet. A new 11,890-square-foot office building is being proposed at the southeast corner of Akers and Noble. Visalia will be first in the nation to execute an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation for the community flexibility pilot program, which was first authorized by Congress in 2004. Visalia will be receiving $3,703,368 in federal funds pursuant to a DOT grant agreement, which monies will fund a hangar development project at the Visalia Municipal Airport. These new hangars in turn will result in an estimated $131,000 in new airport revenue annually at build-out and full tenancy. A number of multi-family development projects are being proposed along Visalia Parkway, east of Demaree; at the northeast corner of Akers and Riggin Avenue, and at the southeast corner of Lovers Lane and Walnut Avenue. I thank Visalia’s economic development director, Devon Jones, for providing much of this information I’ve just shared with you. We’re always looking for new businesses to move to or develop in Visalia, and we believe that our area is the future of California.

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