Category: New Developments

Software engineering school opens inStockton

Central Valley Business Times

August 10, 2018

  • Code Stack Academy seeks students
  • “We know firsthand the challenge in recruitment and retention of software engineers”

Stockton’s first immersive, accelerated software engineering school offering students paths to high-paying careers and source for businesses in need of highly skilled employees has opened.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education says it has officially launched “Code Stack Academy,” Stockton’s first accelerated software engineering school. The immersive  coding school provides a route for students pursuing careers in technology and will help build a community of software engineers in the region ready to meet the growing demand for a highly skilled workforce.

“Students will have opportunities to find well-paid jobs with local businesses in need of workers with software-engineering skills,” says San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas.

Code Stack Academy offers a combination of hands-on workshops, one-on-one mentoring with career-experienced developers, peer-to-peer learning, and real-world project experience. It uses project-based “gamification” to measure progress and provide a fun and engaging experience. Students gain points as they complete projects. Points allow progression through the curriculum.

In addition to the full, nine-month course, Code Stack offers three-day and one-day Foundation Workshops throughout the year that teach core concepts of web development and equip students with all the basics to develop simple websites.

No previous coding experience is required for either the workshops or the academy course. Students must be 18 years or older to enroll. The first nine-month Academy Course begins in November.

Code Stack Academy will be operated through the SJCOE’s Center for Educational Development and Research, a software engineering department responsible for building web, software, or mobile apps used by over 5,000 school districts nationwide and over a dozen state agencies.

“We have the resources, curriculum, expertise, and experience to provide a broad and deep dive into software engineering,” says Johnny Arguelles, director of CEDR. “And as an employer,

we know firsthand the challenge in recruitment and retention of

software engineers.”

Business and government leaders voiced their support for the new Code Stack Academy and its potential to benefit San Joaquin County.

“Our community needs a workforce trained in technology to support growth of our current businesses and attract others to our area. This program will help to meet those needs,” says Jane Butterfield, president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of San Joaquin.

For more information:

https://codestackacademy.org/

City of Tehachapi approves permits for Walmart construction

TEHACHAPI — The city of Tehachapi finalized and approved building permits Tuesday with Eleven Western Builders, Inc., clearing the path for construction of the new Walmart store to begin next week.

City officials gathered in the city hall annex with Eleven Western Builder’s Superintendent Craig Stewart for the start of what City Manager Greg Garrett called “the next chapter in the Walmart book.”

The process of getting the new Walmart has been going on for about nine years due to legal hurdles and the process of contracts and permits, said city Development Services Director Jay Schlosser.

Now that permits are complete, Eleven Western Builders can begin construction July 30 with the intent of finishing by spring 2019. The company, Stewart said, is familiar with building in small towns and recently constructed a new Walmart store in Ridgecrest.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Susan Wiggins.

Schlosser said the 12-month construction time frame seems reasonable, especially considering the impacts that winter weather may have on the project.

Schlosser and Garrett both said the city has a partnership with the construction company to help see the project through, and that more shopping opportunities should be coming down the road.

You can watch for dirt and construction equipment to soon begin moving around the lot on Tucker Road and Tehachapi Boulevard.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/city-of-tehachapi-approves-permits-for-walmart-construction/article_dbeabb5e-8f96-11e8-a937-8b822f3767d2.html

City Council says yes to program to spur downtown

July 25, 2018

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
A view of buildings in downtown Madera. Hoping to spur redevelopment and revitalization of parts of downtown Madera, the Madera City Council has voted to waive 75 to 100 percent of city plan review and building permit fees for a period of at least the next one to possibly two years.

Hoping to spur redevelopment and revitalization of parts of downtown Madera, the Madera City Council has voted to waive 75 to 100 percent of city plan review and building permit fees for a period of at least the next one to possibly two years.The affected area is bordered by North Gateway Drive and East Yosemite Avenue business corridors, and by East Central Avenue and North Lake Street.

The City Council voted unanimously for the plan July 18.

City Council Member Will Oliver said the plan, called  the Downtown Development Incentive Program, came about after interaction with many residents, business owners and City Council members grappling with high vacancy rates, blight and a long, steady decline of Madera’s downtown business area.

Council Members Jose Rodriguez and Charles Rigby also served on the action subcommittee.

“In my day job as a director of business services, I have been able to see how communities put their best foot forward and become competitive to recruit, and support prospective businesses,” said Oliver. “I really wanted to make this a priority, and began that conversation last year to move forward with incentives, for businesses with aging buildings or in the downtown corridors to reinvest in those spaces,” Oliver said.

The program will allow the waiver of 100 percent of engineering fees and 75 percent of planning and building inspection fees, potentially a savings of $7,000 to $10,000 for a small- to medium-sized commercial business such as a restaurant or retail shop, Oliver said, possibly enough to make or break an improvement project. More in-depth information on the incentive program can be viewed at www.cityofmadera.ca.gov/incentives or contact the city of Madera development department at 661-5430.

The business enterprise zone project will also allow older buildings, 40 years or older, or with those long vacancies anywhere in the city to be remodeled or re purposed with a significant cost savings, designed to provide tax benefits and incentives to business investors.

The program covers the waiver of most city fees for commercial new construction, redevelopment, interior improvements, facade improvements, ADA improvements, or improvements to city streets, sidewalks, or utilities by owners or tenants.  Fees are also waived for buildings also used in conjunction with a tax exempt or non profit operation under the new and temporary program.

Oliver said the effort was a good step in the right direction. “We’d like to be a ‘yes, if’ city, not a ‘no because’ city.” he said. “The results of this should be greater occupancy in and more reinvestment in our downtown, leading to more job creation and more reinvestment in Madera. It should show as a City Council we are committed to business prosperity with this incentive. I think it’s going to work (well) for the community,” he said.

A recent report by a municipal consultant revealed that the city of Madera had failed to collect appropriate and high enough development impact fees (DIF’s) from most developers building in the city for the last three decades, likely to incentivize the entire area for growth, but that decision by city officials and councils had been costly and had severely underfunded the city’s ability to maintain or extend it’s essential infrastructure now.

Targeting just the existing, older downtown corridors for improvement should be cost effective, and help spur and revitalize the areas most in need, Oliver said, and should improve the entire atmosphere for area residents and businesses.

Oliver also said that as chair of the Madera Housing Authority he was taking the first steps and looking into multi-million-dollar state grant funding programs available for Madera downtown, mixed-use residential-commercial and affordable housing projects that prioritize walk-ability, ride sharing, transit projects, etc.

“It’s very preliminary, the menu of projects we’ve submitted to the state.  But we are right now identifying residential properties downtown that could fall within the mixed use, affordable (residential) housing under the California Cap and Trade Programs. This speaks to (significant funding for) our veterans, our seniors, perhaps even our millennials who are early in their careers for the second and maybe third floor, of our downtown spaces. Madera has a great shot (at these state dollars) as long as we put our name in the hat. And we are preparing, and putting in that effort right now.” Oliver said.

Director of Community Development David Merchen did not respond for comment on the project..

http://www.maderatribune.com/single-post/2018/07/25/City-Council-says-yes-to-program-to-spur-downtown?mc_cid=812a0a5fe9&mc_eid=a126ded657&utm_campaign=812a0a5fe9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_26_02_53&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Morning%2BRoundup&utm_term=0_165ffe36b2-812a0a5fe9-78934377

Three new-to-Fresno restaurants to bring Korean fried chicken, giant sandwiches, more

July 09, 2018 

Tree Fresno breathing new life into an empty lot in Southwest Fresno

Tree Fresno along with a group of volunteers is hoping to turn a dusty plot of land into a new lush green community space

Tree Fresno along with a group of volunteers is hoping to turn a dusty plot of land into a new lush green community space.

The process involves a few steps– first is making sure that the ground is level. Then you take the tree out of the pot. You score it, put in the ground, cover it with dirt and repeat– 452 Times.

Thanks to grant funded by the High Speed Rail Authority, the non-profit is able to accomplish this feat. They will be planting Ginkgo Biloba, Scarlet Oak, and other trees on the 24 acre space along Annadale Avenue, next to West Fresno Middle School.

CEO of Tree Fresno Lee Ayres said, “They are going to help with the air quality, these are large trees so that overtime they can absorb up to three tons of carbon.”

Ayres said the project will have a lasting impact on the community. In the future the location might serve as the new site for a school. It will also provide tons of shade, a new gathering space and will encourage more people to go outside.

“When I come out and check this place early in the morning, like six in the morning on a Saturday, there are people out here working out.”

Eryn Roberts, who recently moved to Fresno, saw this as the perfect opportunity to give back to her community.

“It is definitely hot out here but it is really good enjoying getting to plant trees and seeing this new area, I’ve never been on this side of Fresno before.”

The non-profit will be planting trees from 8:00 a.m. to noon until the 12th, and they said the need all the help they can get.

Prologis pays $47 Million for two Stockton buildings

Central Valley Business Times

June, 29, 2018

  • The seller is CT of Newport Beach
  • “Reflect the high demand for world-class logistics facilities in major distribution markets”

Newport Beach industrial developer CT says it has sold two newly-constructed buildings at its NorCal Logistics Center in Stockton. to Prologis for $47 million. The two buildings total 575,127 square feet and mark the initial completion of CT’s three-building Phase I development of the larger 4.4 m

Prologis (NYSE: PLD), the largest owner of industrial space in the U.S., paid approximately $82 per square foot for the buildings, which were unleased and in shell condition at closing.

CT was represented in the sale by Kevin Dal Porto, Blake Rasmussen and John McManus of Cushman & Wakefield; Prologis was self-represented.

“These transactions reflect the high demand for world-class logistics facilities in major distribution markets nationwide,” says Carter Ewing, managing partner of CT. “In this case, the transaction allows Prologis to enjoy a fair profit on their investment going forward while providing CT with a sizeable return and well ahead of schedule – a true win-win.”

NorCal Logistics Center is home to General Mills, KeHE Foods, Allen Distributors and Fox Head, and is in the heart of California’s Central Valley, a 185 million-square-foot industrial market. The region is an extension of a global logistics supply chain infrastructure directly linked to West Coast ports in  Stockton, Oakland, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Portland, Oregon and Seattle/Tacoma, Washington.

CT purchased the 345-acre industrial site for NorCal Logistics Center in May 2017 and has now completed the first phase development, including a third 1,122,341-square-foot building, one of the single largest speculative industrial buildings in Northern California.

The second phase of development will begin toward the end of 2018 and include three buildings totaling approximately 1.6 million square feet of space, the company says.

HOTEL, UNIVERSITY BUILDING APPROVED IN VISALIA

Published On June 27, 2018 – 10:59 AM
Written By David Castellon,

The Visalia Planning Commission has approved a revised conditional use permit to allow construction of a four-story hotel off Plaza Drive and Highway 198.

Under the amended application, the 86-room Hilton Home 2 Hotel would be part of the 25-acre Square at Plaza Drive just north of the freeway, an area that already has a hotel and an ARCO AM/PM convenience store and gas station under construction and already includes two car dealerships and a Fresno Pacific University satellite campus.

The new hotel’s architect, Steven L. Keike, had requested the Planning Commission allow a change in the location of the building to the northwest corner of North Plaza Drive and West Crowley Avenue, and the commission on Monday approved it.

In a separate matter, the members also voted to approve a conditional use permit allowing Brandman University to build a new, 7,071-square-foot building for classrooms and administrative space near the Square at Plaza Drive, within the Plaza Business Park.

Brandman officials intend to vacate the 18,240-square-foot building they now occupy in the Visalia Marketplace Shopping Center, next to the city’s Kmart department store, and move into the smaller site, according to a Planning Commission report.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/hotel-university-building-approved-in-visalia/

Old Town Clovis becoming a hot spot for tiny homes. Others come to see how it’s done

Updated June 24, 2018 09:06 AM

San Joaquin RTD picked for new PG&E electric vehicle pilot program

Central Valley Business Times

June 23, 2018

In a first for San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Stockton, Pacific Gas and Electric Company says it will conduct an electric vehicle pilot program to support RTD’s long-term electric transportation needs with chargers and infrastructure improvements.

Recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, this pilot will be a test case for PG&E’s new “FleetReady” program, which supports electric charging for customers with medium-duty, heavy-duty, and off-road fleets such as transit agencies, school districts, and delivery fleets.

For this new pilot with San Joaquin RTD, PG&E will test how smart charging and battery storage can lower operating costs and maximize efficiencies for the agency.

Seeking to partner with a transit agency located in a disadvantaged community which already had electric buses and plans for more in the future in order to meet the timelines of the project proposal, PG&E chose RTD.

“Because we already had a plan for adding more electric buses to our fleet and have a long-term goal around electrification, PG&E approached us with this pilot opportunity,” says CEO Donna DeMartino. “Due to our focus on electric transportation, PG&E can jump right into creating the specifics of the pilot, which aligns with our goal of being powered by 100 percent electric vehicles by 2025.”

The budget for this pilot is $3.35 million, which includes:

  • Design of the sites
  • Cost of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Construction from the electric grid to the chargers and battery system
  • Installation of the chargers and battery storage system
  • Software for charge management
  • Collection of data
  • Ongoing analysis and evaluation
  • Handbook that other transit agencies can use to learn more about electrification

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/1708b9fc-8b7e-4db7-a9f1-408e3ef3f803.pdf

COMMUTER TRAIN THROUGH KINGS, TULARE COUNTIES PROPOSED

The green line in this map shows the route of an existing train track proposed to be used for a commuter rail line between Huron and Porterville, with stops at several cities, Lemoore Naval Air Station and the California High-Speed Rail station planned near Hanford. Source: Tulare County Association of Governments

Published On June 19, 2018 – 1:33 PM
Written By David Castellon

Imagine living in Porterville and heading to work daily via a 60-miles-plus drive west to Lemoore Naval Air Station.

Now imagine that lengthy commute without driving, but instead taking a commuter train to work and back.

That may one day be an option, and the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) took the first step to make that happen, with its governing board—composed of representatives from each city in the county and the county government—approving the Cross Valley Corridor Plan.

That plan essentially involved taking an existing freight rail line stretching more than 80 miles between Porterville and Huron and running on it commuter trains, like those used in major cities to transport passengers.

Those freight tracks go through several cities in Tulare and Kings Counties, including Huron, Lemoore, Hanford, Goshen, Visalia, Farmersville, Exeter, Lindsay and Porterville, along with Lemoore Naval Air Station. The current plan is to have the commuter train stop at each, though transit centers would have to be built in some of the cities.

Ben Kimball, executive director of TCAG —which plans, coordinates and obtains funding for commuter and transit programs in Tulare County—said Visalia already has a transit center, and the train tracks run right by it, so a train platform would need to be added to the site.

While a train would allow easier east-west commuting between the two counties than the existing bus services, the train also would have a stop near the proposed site for the California High-Speed Rail station near Hanford. So between the two rail lines, a person could live in Kings or Tulare County and commute to and from the Silicon Valley, once both rail lines are completed.

“This plan represents an opportunity to transform public transit in the region,” TCAG Executive Director, Ted Smalley said in a written statement.

His statement goes on to say that in 2016 TCAG partnered with the High-Speed Rail Authority to launch a corridor planning and community engagement campaign to identify how transportation can be improved and to look at public transit alternatives for the future.

“Our goal here is to identify how the corridor can provide convenient transit service, but to also plan how the High-Speed Rail station will connect our communities throughout the state,” Smalley’s statement continues.

Current estimates are that the High-Speed Rail line between the Central Valley and the Silicon Valley may not be completed until 2026, and it likely will take longer for the commuter line between Huron and Porterville to be up and running.

“The horizon year of the plan is 30 years,” with initial planning occurring in the first decade, which would include seeking funds for the project and making sure busses run between the transit stations in each city and outlying communities, so more people can take the train, Kimball said.

As for how TCAG and the Kings County Association of Governments —which hasn’t yet voted on whether to approve the Cross Valley Corridor Plan—would pay for all this, he said, “It would basically be who pays for transit now – a combination of federal and state transit funds,” along with savings from eliminating some bus routes and seeking other funding.

Kimball added that no cost estimate for the project had yet been determined.

And don’t expect to see any commuter trains running any time soon in the two Valley counties. Kimball said the reason this is a 30-year plan is to let expected population growth in and around the cities along the rail line—including Strathmore and Armona—to increase enough to create a sufficient demand for commuter rail service.

As such, the plan is for Phase Two to occur in about 20 years, a launch of rail service between Visalia west to Lemoore and Huron.

And in 30 years, the plan calls for fully launching the service along the full line, all the way to Porterville.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/commuter-train-through-kings-tulare-counties-proposed/