Category: Economy

California’s Central Valley Named as Third Location for New T-Mobile Customer Experience Center

Third of Five Announced New T-Mobile Customer Experience Centers will create 1000 new jobs in area, pending merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

T-Mobile US (NASDAQ: TMUS) and Sprint Corporation (NYSE: S) today announced that, pending the close of their merger, they have selected the Central Valley in California as the area for the third of five new Customer Experience Centers to serve New T-Mobile customers. The facility will create approximately 1,000 local jobs.

As with the other previously announced locations in Kansas and New York, the new California facility, once integrated, will bring top-notch support to New T-Mobile customers. The state-of-the-art facilities will offer T-Mobile’s innovative Team of Experts (TEX) service model, which allows customers to have direct personal access to a dedicated team of specialists when they call or message for assistance. The specialists work with local retail and engineering to address a wide variety of topics and tackle complex challenges for customers.

The five new TEX-enabled facilities are just one part of the future New T-Mobile’s plans to put customers first and bring jobs to communities. The companies also previously announced that two existing T-Mobile Customer Experience Centers will be expanding. These cumulative efforts will create up to 5,600 additional American jobs by 2021. The combined companies will have 7,500 more customer care professionals in 2024 than the stand-alone companies would have employed.

“We needed to find just the right area for our next New T-Mobile Customer Experience Center – and we found it in the Golden State! California and the Central Valley have everything we need to take care of customers – amazing energy, a commitment to innovation and business, and most importantly skilled and diverse people who we can’t wait to join our team of Magenta heroes!” said T-Mobile US CEO and New T-Mobile CEO, John Legere.

T-Mobile has consistently been featured on numerous “Best Place to Work” lists year over year. The newest Care team members will be eligible to receive benefits and opportunities such as significant management preparation experience, career development paths and college tuition reimbursement.

The new Customer Experience Centers are just one way the New T-Mobile will invest billions of dollars in job creation and infrastructure in the United States. Sprint and T-Mobile together will employ more people in the U.S. than both companies would separately. Other investments include building out an industry-leading nationwide 5G network, delivering more competition and new choice to customers like broadband, and opening new stores to an expanding customer base.

The completion of the combination remains subject to regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur during the first half of 2019. Additional information regarding T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint can be found at: www.NewTMobile.com.

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobile-sprint-california-customer-service-center

Valley Children’s Hospital to open new Modesto medical center

• Official opening comes Friday
• A 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical center

Valley Children’s Hospital officially opens its new Modesto medical center on Pelandale Road on Friday. The Specialty Care Center, a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-theart medical center, is expected to bring more pediatric specialists closer to families who need care. Valley Children’s will continue to provide expert care in several service lines, including pediatric cardiology, pediatric neurology, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric orthopaedics.

Pelandale Specialty Care Center will help Valley Children’s meet the needs of families in Stanislaus County and nearby communities, and keep them closer to home and to their own primary care physicians.

Last year, providers at Valley Children’s former outpatient center saw more than 12,000 visits. That number is expected to grow
to more than 27,500 within the next decade.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/6149bd34-6f27-464e-8a22-0c1f1f9b73f1.pdfhttps://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/6149bd34-6f27-464e-8a22-0c1f1f9b73f1.pdf

Here’s why Foster Farms will be adding new jobs at its Livingston chicken plant

Foster Farms employee’s protest for better wages, affordable insurance, new contract
Employees at the Foster Farms Livingston chicken plant protested on Thursday, April 27, 2017, for better wages, affordable insurance and a new labor union contract. (Monica Velez/mvelez@mercedsun-star.com) 

MAGIC TOUCH: $3M ONLINE FRESNO BUSINESS BRINGS ILLUSION TO THE WORLD

Written By David Castellon

Paul Gross is vehement in stating his opinion on magic.

“There is no such thing as real magic. I can’t make you disappear for real,” the 63-year-old said.

That may seem an odd stance, considering the Fresno resident founded and owns Hocus Pocus, among the most prolific online vendors of magic tricks, props and paraphernalia in the country, selling everything from trick playing cards and how-to books to the various swords, escape boxes, restraints and other items used by amateurs to professional magicians.

What Gross doesn’t believe in is actual magic — love potions, spells, totems, the occult, etc. — that some people mistakenly believe his business can supply.

Gross’ stock in trade is illusion, in which the seemingly impossible is done through sleight of hand, mirrors, diversions and hidden compartments that all are explainable, if you know how the tricks work.

Gross believes in that sort of magic strongly, so much so that he has dedicated most of his life to it, first as an amateur turned professional illusionist by his teen years, then going into in the retail side of magic, initially opening a magic shop in Fresno in his late teens and a couple of decades later converting to a mail-order business and then to an online vendor of supplies, props and memorabilia with sales last year totaling about $3 million.

“If it wasn’t for the Internet, this business wouldn’t be where it is,” Gross said, noting that the vast number of YouTube postings and other online sources teaching people how to perform illusions has magnified the public’s interest in buying magic supplies and to see magicians perform, both of which benefit Hocus Pocus.

“We’re in a 30,000-square-foot building whereas we used to be in 500 square feet.”

Even the larger space in a nondescript Fresno industrial building barely has room to contain all of the items for sale.

The back portion of the building is a veritable museum to illusions, because besides selling new supplies and books, magicians, their families and their heirs often sell their old props and supplies to Hocus Pocus or consign the business to sell the items for them.

Need a guillotine or a basket to impale with swords after an assistant shimmies inside of a mock mummy’s tomb or a strait jacket or a big wooden box and saw for sawing a lady in half? Hocus Pocus might have one or more any given week and be able to pack and ship it to you.

Hollywood is a frequent customer, with studios often buying thousands of dollars worth of props and other magic-related goods to use in movies and television shows.

Gross’ magician clientele has included Mark Wilson — a staple of 1960s and 1970s television — Criss Angel and Shin Lim, last year’s America’s Got Talent television show winner. Hocus Pocus also sells the magic supplies Lim endorses.

“We’re open every day of the year, 24 hours a day, and we never close, and we have such a wide base. Thirty five, almost 40 percent of our [orders] go overseas,” Gross said. “We probably have an active member base of maybe 60,000 online members.”

A Fresno native, Gross began his love of magic at the age of 8, when his grandparents took him to a movie theater — back when they put on vaudeville-style acts before matinees — and he saw his first magician.

“He did three tricks, which I still remember to this day — got my grandfather up to help him [with one], and that was it. I got bit,” Gross recalled.

Back then, there were no magic shops in Fresno, so Gross ordered tricks and instructions on performing illusions via mail-order catalogues and later via trips with his parents to a San Francesco magic shop.

“I bought every single trick until I opened my own business,” said Gross, who got skilled enough that between the ages of 12 and 18 he worked paid gigs as a magician between school and working at the furniture store his father ran.

After high school, his father co-signed a $2,500 loan for him to open a magic, gag and novelty shop in 1973 in southeast Fresno, and while it did well, Gross closed it 15 years later because he had to take over running the furniture store his father had opened after he fell ill to cancer.

Nine months later, Gross said, he reopened the magic shop in Clovis, “and we ended up getting out of the furniture business, because it wasn’t my cup of tea,” after four years of running it.

In the years that followed, Gross changed locations and his business model, converting from a walk-in magic and novelty store to adding a side venture as a mail-order magic supplier in the late 1990s.

But that wasn’t a particularly fruitful change, as business by mail order went so badly that “we might have gone out of business after that first year.”

But that changed in 1999 after a friend introduced Gross to his first home computer, and he decided that online ordering and offering an online catalog bigger than what any other magic and novelty suppliers were offering on the Web was the way to go.

Business since then has been good, so much so that Gross stopped operating a walk-in store to sell just online.

“We probably have a thousand people a day visit our site. When we had a retail store, we probably didn’t have that many people visit us in a year.”

But Gross never forgot his brick-and-mortar roots. With no other magic shops in the Fresno area, people often walk into Hocus Pocus looking for tricks or advice from Gross or his son and partner, Max Gross, 26, who has never performed magic professionally but is skilled in many of the tricks the family business sells.

The two also spend a lot of time speaking with customers calling in for advice, “But they don’t always listen to me,” the senior Gross noted.

“It could be a thousand-dollar item, but what good is it going to do me to sell that to you if you’re going to get it and you’re not going to use it?”

https://thebusinessjournal.com/magic-touch-3m-online-fresno-business-brings-illusion-to-the-world/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=a5cecd36c1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_30_09_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-a5cecd36c1-78934409&mc_cid=a5cecd36c1&mc_eid=a126ded657

 

Visalia has the most affordable homes in the state, says study

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 04:51PM

Visalia has the most affordable homes in the state, according to a new study.

HomeArea.com looked at 142 California cities with a population of 60,000 or more, calculating what’s called the “median multiple” for each one.

The median multiple is the ratio of the median house price by the median gross household income.

Visalia’s median multiple is a 3.6, putting it at the top of the list for most affordable homes in the state.

Other Valley cities in the top 10 include Clovis and Bakersfield.

At the very bottom? The City of Newport Beach, whose median multiple is nearly three times higher than Visalia’s.

$25.4M FRESNO LEASE TOPS 2018 REAL ESTATE DEALS

Published On January 28, 2019 – 1:51 PM
Written By David Castellon

At a cost of more than $24.4 million, you might expect that in the Valley’s most expensive real estate transaction of 2018, you’d get to keep the building.

Not that there’s any building up yet on the 20-acre parcel slated to become Phase 2 of the Marketplace at El Paseo shopping center south of West Herndon Avenue and North Riverside Drive.

Currently there’s Phase 1 of the shopping center, which includes Target, Old Navy, Tillys and Burlington stores. Just to the south, off Riverside Drive, is a former fig grove, now barren, with workers driving heavy equipment along the dirt over the past three weeks to level out the land ahead of planned construction of an expansion to the Marketplace.

Owners of the property have lease agreements to locate businesses on the new site that include Hobby Lobby; Carter’s, Inc.; Wayback Burgers; Que Pasa Mexican Café and the expansion of an undisclosed, locally-based Japanese restaurant.

And talks are underway to also lease space there as an added site for a local brew pub and restaurant, the name of which also hasn’t been disclosed.

But the biggest lease agreement in Phase 2 is with Regal Entertainment Group for a planned 49,950-square-foot, 12-screen movie theater on the site.

But Regal will not build the new Regal Cinema theater. Instead, the developers of the shopping center — Manhattan Beach-based Gryphon Capital and Rich Development Enterprises, LLC, out of Santa Ana — have agreed to build the theater and lease it to Regal for the $24.4 million-plus lease price.

Chris Shane, managing partner for Gryphon, declined to disclose the length of the lease, confirming only that it would last multiple years. Efforts to contact officials representing Regal weren’t successful.

While not an actual property purchase, the lease agreement, which was finalized in July 2018, still was the highest-valued commercial real estate transaction last year in Fresno, Kings, Tulare or Madera counties, according to The Business Journal’s annual list of the Largest Commercial Real Estate Transactions.

Besides being in a prime retail space off busy Highway 99, “It’s a build-to-suit with a very large national tenant. The building is very expensive, therefore the rent adjusts accordingly, Then you have a multi-year lease, so you have a high transaction number,” Lewis Smith, a leasing agent for Fresno’s Retail California, said of the deal he helped broker between the developers and Regal Entertainment, which operate the Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards chains, which already have four theaters in Fresno and Clovis.

“This has been about three years in the works,” he said of the negotiations.

Work to develop the Marketplace on 75 acres began in 2006 and continued through and after the Great Recession.

Northwest Fresno near the Highway 99 and Herndon intersection was chosen as the site in part because of the growing number of homes being developed in the area, its increasingly upscale demographics and its proximity to the freeway, Shane said.

He added that much of Fresno’s growth is occurring in the northwest part of the city, also making it a good spot to locate the Marketplace.

And along 99 there is no shopping center like it for at least 30 miles north or south, he said, adding that over the five years Phase 1 businesses have been open, operators have reported customers coming from farther distances to shop there.

Plans are to expand Phase 1 beyond its current 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant spaces, with efforts underway to find tenants for three small retail or restaurant spaces to be built in current parking lot spaces off Herndon Avenue and Riverside Drive.

As for Phase 2, the plan is to build 200,000 square feet of leasable space there, and early on it was decided a movie theater would be included in the mix, said Shane, whose company developed the Trading Post shopping center in Clovis, which includes a Sprouts Farmers Market, Skechers USA and a Ross store.

“Even though we are from Southern California, we know the [Fresno] market very well,” he said. “Northwest Fresno is underserved in terms of quality movie theaters.

“We felt that the competition from the [retail] markets that access 99 didn’t have theaters, either.”

The theater, expected to open in the first quarter of 2020, would allow families to do things at the Marketplace beyond shopping and eating, Shane said.

“We’re going to have a nice mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment that people will drive to from pretty far away,” Smith added.

As for the theater, “It’s just going to be the most state-of-the-art, nicest, most upscale theater in the Valley,” said Smith, citing that it will include gourmet food options, wine and beer sales, reclining seats and high-quality sound and visual systems, and it will be one of at least five prototypes for a new style of movie theaters Regal is developing.

Coming in at No. 2 in the real estate transactions list was the $11.6 million sale of a 191,341 square-foot commercial building at 200 W. Pontiac Way in Clovis.

Rounding out the top 3 was the sale of an 82,000 square-foot commercial building at 1177 Fulton St. in Fresno for $10.68 million.

This is the former Guarantee Savings building purchased by State Center Community College District.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/25-4m-fresno-lease-tops-2018-real-estate-deals/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=26d02d6fa7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_28_09_30&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-26d02d6fa7-78934409&mc_cid=26d02d6fa7&mc_eid=a126ded657

Report: California tops $50 Billion in ag revenue

Central Valley Business TImes

January 8, 2019

  • Nearly 6 percent higher than in 2017
  • “These are still exciting times for agriculture”

California’s farmers and ranchers had more than $50 billion in cash receipts for their output last year, an increase of almost 6 percent compared to 2016, according to the new California Agricultural Statistics Review for crop year 2017. That is nearly double the next highest state, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The Number 2 state is Iowa, followed by Texas, Nebraska and Minnesota. Seven out of the top ten counties for agricultural output value are in the Central Valley: California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities.

Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California. California is the leading state for cash farm receipts, accounting for over 13 percent of the nation’s total agricultural value. The top producing commodities for 2017 include: Dairy products, milk — $6.56 billion Grapes— $5.79 billion Almonds— $5.60 billion Strawberries— $3.10 billion Cattle and calves — $2.53 billion Lettuce— $2.41 billion Walnuts— $1.59 billion Tomatoes— $1.05 billion Pistachios— $1.01 billion Broilers— $939 million.

“As you know, farming and ranching can be a tough business. But these are still exciting times for agriculture,” says Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in the report.

“As we move further into the 21st Century we see a worldwide demand for food that is growing rapidly, and a corresponding demand for Californiagrown products that will bring tremendous opportunity for producers able to maintain sustainability in the face of climate change.”

California agricultural exports totaled $20.56 billion for 2017. Top commodities for export in 2017 included almonds, dairy and dairy products, pistachios, wine and walnuts.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/a854fb07-0e00-4ef3-8c8b-cfc37345e907.pdf

On the rise? The Central Valley is beating the Bay Area and L.A. in key measures

UC Merced working to open new management school

UC Merced is growing and changing and one of the biggest changes will be a new standalone business and management school.By Nathalie GrandaFriday, December 14, 2018 04:18PMMERCED, Calif. (KFSN) –UC Merced is growing and changing and one of the biggest changes will be a new standalone business and management school.

The university is working to create a new interdiscplinary school, one that university officials are calling the “management school of the future”.

“We’re taking existing programs, putting them together and focusing them together on this complex system,” Gallo School Planning Initiative Director Paul Maglio said.

The new Gallo school will bring together educators from the schools of engineering, natural sciences and humanities to teach students under one main focus. The university is already known for its focus on research and science, and the new school will be incorporating those science components into their program.

“In a business school, you tend to focus on profit. In natural resources you tend to focus on the planet. In cognitive science, you tend to focus on people. We’re bringing all that together to have a sustained focus all at the same time,” Maglio said.

The university’s Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management already has graduate business programs.

Graduate student Taylor Fugere said the science-based business program is what drew her to UC merced, and she’s hopes a new school will bring more interested students.

“I think UC merced moving in that more specialized direction is going to be really helpful in people being able to explore different career options, and being able to have more opportunities for a hands-on educational experience.”

The process will take a few years. Ultimately, the new school will need to be reviewed and approved by several campus administrators, and the University of California regents. University officials hope to have the school in place by 2021.

https://abc30.com/education/uc-merced-working-to-open-new-management-school/4898598/

So Long Silicon Valley, Hello Heartland: Top 10 Markets and Neighborhoods to Watch in 2019

The hot markets that drove U.S. housing in recent years (we’re looking at you, coastal tech hubs) will give way in 2019 to a new group of affordable, young, opportunity-filled, desirable – and largely inland – cities primed to drive growth in the years to come.

Of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, Trulia identified 10 that we think are poised for takeoff, based on the following five key metrics:

  • Job growth over the past year, as a measure of a robust economy.
  • Vacancy rates, as an indicator that housing supply does not exceed demand.
  • Good starter-home affordability, as a signal that first-time home buyers stand a chance at buying a home.
  • More inbound than outbound home searches on Trulia, as a gauge that more people are interested in that market than those looking to leave.
  • A large share of the adult population under the age of 35, which represents more potential first-time buyers.

These are the markets to watch. So long Silicon Valley, and hello Heartland:

Trulia’s Top 10 Housing Markets to Watch in 2019
# U.S. Metro Y-o-Y Job Growth (Rank) Vacancy Rate (Rank) Share of Income Needed
to Afford Median Priced Starter Home (Rank)
Ratio of Inbound-to-Outbound Home Searches on Trulia (Rank) Share of Population Under 35 (Rank) Overall Score
1 Colorado Springs, Colo. 3.3% (8) 4.8% (35) 35.4% (63) 1.8 (17) 23.6% (8) 26.2
2 Grand Rapids, Mich. 2.0% (22) 3.7% (16) 23.2% (34) 1.1 (41) 21.7% (30) 28.6
3 Jacksonville, Fla. 2.0% (24) 4.2% (26) 23.4% (35) 2.4 (7) 20.7% (52) 28.8
4 Bakersfield, Calif. 0.6% (56) 6.4% (68) 14.3% (6) 2.3 (8) 23.1% (12) 30.0
5 Austin, Texas 2.5% (14) 3.4% (12) 45.0% (79) 1.1 (47) 24.4% (4) 31.2
6 Fresno, Calif. 1.6% (32) 3.5% (13) 47.1% (81) 1.6 (22) 22.6% (16) 32.8
7 Phoenix, Ariz. 2.9% (9) 4.0% (20) 33.7% (59) 1.3 (32) 20.9% (47) 33.4
8 Columbia, S.C. 0.4% (69) 6.1% (63) 13.7% (5) 2.1 (12) 22.3% (20) 33.8
9 El Paso, Texas 1.0% (51) 5.5% (48) 33.5% (58) 2.4 (6) 23.2% (11) 34.8
10 Oklahoma City, Okla. 2.0% (20) 6.9% (76) 21.1% (27) 1.3 (33) 22.3% (21) 35.4
Note: Rankings from among the 100 largest metros.

Strong employment growth and a large share of young residents helped put Colorado Springs, Colo. at the top of the list of markets to watch (the area ranked in the top 10 of the largest 100 metros for both metrics). After topping last year’s list, Grand Rapids, Mich., came in second this year, with employment growth and low vacancy rates contributing to its strong performance. Jacksonville, Fla., is third due in large part to its strong inbound-to-outbound search ratio. Two Central California markets – Bakersfield and Fresno, the lowest-priced California housing markets among the largest 100 metros – also made the list this year.

Keen-eyed readers will notice a few things in common amongst the 2019 stars on this list. It does include a couple well-known growth areas including Phoenix, Ariz., and Austin, Texas. But it also highlights markets relatively close to more-expensive metros, but far enough away to offer their own attractions and opportunities without many of the mounting affordability concerns that mark those marquee names. Think Colorado Springs instead of Denver, and Bakersfield and Fresno instead of Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

We also identified the hottest neighborhoods in these markets, based on both local price appreciation and how quickly homes are flying off the market.

Hottest Neighborhoods By Metro
# Housing Markets to Watch Hottest Neighborhood Y-o-Y Change in Home Values (Rank) Median Days on Market (Rank) Y-o-Y Change in Days on Market (Rank)
1 Colorado Springs, Colo. Southeast Colorado Springs 12.6% (1) 42.2 (1) -12.0 (6)
2 Grand Rapids, Mich. Alger Heights 16.2% (3)  46.5 (4) -8.5 (4)
3 Jacksonville, Fla. Normandy Estate 13.2% (8) 56.8 (10) -21.5 (19)
4 Bakersfield, Calif. Northeast Bakersfield  7.2% (4) 56.5 (4)  -30.0 (3)
5 Austin, Texas Southeast 16.0% (4) 43.0 (5) -5.0 (24)
6 Fresno, Calif. Mclane 9.8% (3) 52.8 (2) -12.8 (1)
7 Phoenix, Ariz. Agritopia 14.6% (1) 48 (34) -18.0 (23)
8 Columbia, S.C. South Kilbourne 14.5% (2) 69.5 (3) -59.3 (1)
9 El Paso, Texas Album Park  7.9% (2) 82 (3) 1.0 (15)
10 Oklahoma City, Okla. The Village  5.7% (5) 46.5 (1) -19.3 (3)
Note: Rankings for housing markets to watch from among the 100 largest metros.

While there will certainly be local bright spots like the ones we’ve identified, in general we expect 2019 to be a year of moderation and continued transition in the U.S. housing market. After several years of breakneck appreciation following the end of the housing recession, the latter half of 2018 may have marked a turning point and the beginning of a return to more normalcy and balance in the market. Next year will continue to bring more sanity to the market for home buyers frustrated by years of stiff competition and chronically low inventory. But affordability concerns will still plague the market, especially as mortgage rates rise, putting buyers in a wait-and-see mode. Sellers will also respond to changes, potentially thinking twice before listing in an environment that may not be as lucrative as it was in recent years and further slowing buying and selling activity.

For more on Trulia’s outlook on housing next year, check out our predictions for 2019 here.

 

Methodology

To calculate the markets-to-watch metrics, we used a number of data sources:

  • Employment growth is measured as the percentage increase in employment between September 2017 and September 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics program.
  • Residential vacancy rates (October 2018) are reported by the U.S. Postal Service’s Delivery Statistics and retrieved through Moody’s Data Buffet.
  • Starter home affordability is determined using the median listing price of starter homes on Trulia in the third quarter of 2018. Household incomes are derived from 2016 American Community Survey microdata, adjusted to the current period using the Employment Cost Index.
  • The ratio of inbound-to-outbound searches on Trulia is calculated using site traffic from October 2017 to the present.
  • The share of population under 35 comes from U.S. Census Bureau estimates as of July 2017, released in June 2018.

 

The final score is tabulated by averaging the rank of these five metrics.

The “hot hoods index” is calculated by ranking neighborhoods within metros by:

  • Year-over-year change in home values (faster price appreciation indicates a hotter market)
  • Median days on market (fewer days on market indicates a hotter market)
  • The change in days on market since last year (where bigger drops in days on market indicate a hotter market).

A neighborhood’s “hotness” is based on the sum of these ranks. Neighborhood-level days on market metrics are calculated using data for the 12 months ending September 2018. Neighborhood-level home values are based on the month of September 2018.

https://www.trulia.com/research/2019-markets-to-watch/