“The location will increase our delivery and will-call efficiencies throughout Central California” Corona-based Tire’s Warehouse Inc. says it is opening its eighth distribution facility in Fresno.
The 122,000 square foot facility, to open in July, will bridge the gap between TWI’s Southern and Northern California branches. It will be the 8th warehouse for TWI, three of which have opened within the last three years, and brings their total distribution center square footage to over 700,000.
The new Fresno distribution center will service the Central Valley – TWI’s largest geographical service region to date.
“The new facility in Fresno will build upon the customer focused service Tire’s Warehouse has established for nearly 50 years,” says Dan King, TWI president.
“The location will increase our delivery and will-call efficiencies throughout Central California, providing our customers improved access to our portfolio of brands and the support they need to be successful.“
Spring has sprung around Modesto and that means new retail construction projects are popping up all over.
Take a drive up McHenry Avenue these days and you’ll notice a handful of new buildings going up — and about to go up. Two of the largest profile projects are car dealerships with lots being leveled across from each other at the intersection of McHenry and Pelandale/Claratina avenues. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what exactly is going into the big soon-to-be-not empty lots, and the answer should please you Audi and Mazda fans out there.
Modesto will get its first Audi dealership, on the southwest corner of the McHenry/Pelandale intersection, next to the existing Hope Chest Thrift Store. The new Audi Modesto at 4201 McHenry Ave. is being built by a Las Vegas-based company that owns 33 car dealerships in other states. This will be its first California dealership. The new Audi location is slated to open sometime in late September.
Across the street, just south of the existing Infinity dealership, a new Mazda store is going up. The city has been without a Mazda dealership since 2009 when the old Modesto Mazda closed, a causality of The Great Recession. The new car seller will be part of the Central Valley Automotive stable of dealerships which already includes Nissan, Infiniti, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Volkswagen and Hyundai. No official word yet on when it will open, but it seems likely it would be completed toward the end of the year.
A little ways down on McHenry you’ve no doubt noticed the progress on a new Burger King going up in the site of the former Teriyaki King. The old building was torn down and the new fast food spot is being built from the ground up at 2320 McHenry Ave. The restaurant is being constructed by QSR West, which owns several Burger King franchises. QRS West is advertising team member positions at its Modesto-area Burger King locations currently, so check them out if you’re looking for work.
Also along McHenry, the husk of the former Lee’s Chinese Kitchen is still sitting empty and untouched. The family which owns the longtime favorite Chinese food spot is waiting for final permit approval from the city to begin rebuilding the restaurant, which burned down in an early morning fine June 10, 2017. It’s been an impatient wait for the many of you who have called or emailed me to ask when it will return. Opened in 1973, current owner Henry Ma has been operating the restaurant continuously for more than 40 years since taking over the place.
Once final city approval is granted, he said work should take about three months. The fire damaged much of the back kitchen area of the restaurant, and Ma said renovations will include the kitchen and bathrooms, in addition to some cosmetic changes to the dining area. Until that project gets underway, members of the same family run the China Garden Restaurant on Coffee Road just south of Briggsmore Avenue. Ma’s brother, who used to work at Lee’s Chinese Kitchen, has owned the eatery for more than seven years.
Building also continues on the new Modesto offices of West Orthodontics at at 1500 McHenry Ave. The building at the corner of McHenry and Coolidge avenues has undergone extensive renovations over the past year. The site was once home to the dermatology office of Dr. Gary Wagner, but now will be the new Modesto site for the orthodontics practice which also has offices in Riverbank and Patterson. Work is projected to be done in July.
But McHenry isn’t the only major thoroughfare to see construction projects. Work continues apace on some projects on Pelandale Avenue as well. The biggest is the Valley Children’s Pelandale Specialty Care Center going up in north Modesto. Ground broke on the project about a year ago with a special visit from Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. The specialty care center is expected to open toward the end of this year.
Major construction work has also been completed on the next door NorthPointe Shopping Center addition. A new strip of retail space has been built across from the Save Mart, and next to the existing Tri Counties Bank and Round Table Pizza. The new 6,503-square-foot space will include a 2,750-square-foot dental office. The city did not have information on other potential tenants for the remaining retail space yet. But I feel fairly confident in saying it probably won’t be a Cheesecake Factory.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
Aaron Brothers Art & Framing is closing its doors for good.
The company is closing nearly all of its retail locations, including its shop in north Modesto at 3801 Pelandale Ave. The business is instead focusing on providing its custom framing services through existing Michaels stores. The Modesto location is expected to shutter by June 30. But be sure to use any existing Aaron Brothers gift cards, because they will not be transferable to Micahels. No word yet on what will go into its space, which sits in the same complex as Cost Plus World Market and Pier 1 Imports.
Ulta Beauty, one of the nation’s biggest retailers of cosmetics and beauty supplies, is ramping up the staffing of a major distribution center in Fresno to serve 400 stores and fill online orders from customers across the western U.S.
When it opens later this year, the 670,500-square-foot center near Central and East avenues will employ about 540 workers – a workforce that could expand to as many as 1,000 employees during peak retail seasons. It will be one of six distribution warehouses that Ulta operates, and the only one in California.
The center is less than a half-mile from the site where online retailer Amazon is getting ready to open its own fulfillment warehouse near Central and Orange avenues. Amazon expects to have about 1,500 employees by the time it hits its full stride. Together, Ulta and Amazon are expected to account for more than 2,000 new jobs in the warehouse sector.
Ulta Inc., a major retailer of cosmetics and beauty supplies, is opening a distribution center at the southern edge of Fresno, not far from Amazon’s new fulfillment center. Both buildings are scheduled to open later this year.
Tim Sheehan The Fresno Bee
“We have spent the past three months hiring our initial leadership team,” said Carolyn Sutphen, an Ulta spokeswoman. “We are continuing to hire leadership positions and have recently started hiring key specialty positions such as mechanics, clerks and equipment operators.”
According to the employment page of Ulta’s website, these various positions include industrial engineers, production controllers, maintenance supervisors, distribution center supervisors and warehouse management system analysts.
Now, as the center’s summer opening draws nearer, “we just posted positions for material handlers, our primary hourly warehouse associates position,” Sutphen said. “This hiring will continue for the next six months.”
Starting pay for positions at the Ulta warehouse ranges from $13 to $18 per hour, Sutphen said. Positions that require more certification or technical training are paid at higher rates.
Applicants for materials handlers need to be at least 18 years old and have basic math skills. The company prefers people who have a high school diploma or GED, a year or more of related experience or training, or a combination of experience and education. Ulta also prefers that employees have basic computer skills and be knowledgeable about scanners that track inventory through the distribution process.
The work may involve constant exposure to loud noises, occasional work in high places, variations in temperature, dusty environments, strong scents from cosmetics and fragrances and work in narrow aisles or trailers.
Ulta, which has 1,074 stores in 48 states plus the District of Columbia, reported sales of nearly $5.9 billion in 2017, generating a profit of about $555.2 million.
The funds from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program to the Valley Rail Project come mostly from the state’s recently increased gasoline tax. The grant will benefit both Amtrak’s San Joaquin train service that runs through the Valley from Bakersfield through Fresno to Oakland and Sacramento and the Altamont Corridor Express, or ACE, which runs passenger trains from Sacramento and Stockton to San Jose.
One of the projects planned is a new Amtrak station to serve Madera. The existing Amtrak stop in Madera is little more than a shelter with restrooms and an automated ticket kiosk and a parking lot along the BNSF Railway freight line at the northern fringes of the city.
“We’ve been working with folks in Madera for quite some time about relocating that station,” said David Lipari, marketing director for the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the San Joaquin train service. “It’s off the beaten path and it doesn’t serve any of the development plans for Madera County.”
Lipari said no location has been selected for the station, but considerations include having a site that is more convenient to either downtown or the State Center Community College District’s Madera Center southeast of the city. The rail agency is also coordinating its efforts with the California High-Speed Rail Authority in expectation that it will serve as a transfer point for passengers between the high-speed trains and Amtrak service.
Another component is the addition of two round trips on the Amtrak San Joaquin line directly to and from Sacramento. Amtrak currently runs 14 trains daily through the Valley – seven northbound and seven southbound. Of those, however, only two northbound trains and two southbound trains connect directly at Sacramento. The dozen other trains go to and from Oakland and require an Amtrak Thruway bus ride between Stockton and Sacramento.
“We really think two daily trains to the Sacramento market isn’t sufficient for a market like Sacramento,” Lipari said, adding that Amtrak’s new Morning Express train service – which begins May 7 – can get passengers from Fresno to the state capital before 8 a.m., but still provides only two daily trains directly to Sacramento from the Valley.
The additional Sacramento trains are anticipated to commence service in about 2020, Lipari said.
Published On April 12, 2018 – 2:12 PM Written By Gabriel Dillard
The Gap, Inc. has been awarded a $4.25 million tax credit to support its expansion plans at its Fresno campus, where an e-commerce fulfillment center has been planned.
A committee of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, or GO-Biz, today approved a total of $76 million in tax credits for 63 companies as part of the California Competes program to help businesses create new jobs in the Golden State.
San Francisco-based Gap was awarded a tax credit for the expansion of its San Francisco headquarters as well as a new e-commerce fulfillment center planned near Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The retailer plans to invest $100 million in the expansion, according to its tax credit agreement, which would create an additional 698 jobs. According to the GO-Biz agreement, at least 75 percent of the net increase in full-time employees will work at least 75 percent of the time in Fresno.
The Gap indicates it will add 162 new full-time positions in the 2018 tax year, 502 for 2019 ramping up to 698 by 2021.
Panorea Avdis, GO-Biz director and chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee, said in a statement: “In the last four years, hundreds of companies have made commitments to expand in the state and GO-Biz will continue to host informational workshops and work with our regional and local partners to ensure companies of all sizes know about and apply for these tax credits.”
The City of Fresno announced last month that The Gap would relocate its e-commerce operation to Fresno, bringing at least 515 new full-time employees. Full operation will ramp up over a three-year period.
The agreement is made possible through a 30-year economic incentive agreement that will provide performance-based incentives based on the creation of at least 500 new net jobs, and possibly hundreds more for part-time and seasonal needs.
The agreement will also ensure continued sustainability for the 351 employees currently working at the Fresno Gap distribution center, which opened in 1999.
Low-cost grocery store chain ALDI is planning to open two new stores in the central San Joaquin Valley – and probably more in the rest of the Valley.
The Bee reported the German grocery store giant’s interest in Hanford and Porterville last summer. Commercial real estate firms reported that leases were finalized for each location in the Bee’s leases section that published over the weekend.
The Hanford ALDI will take up 22,500 square feet in new construction at the southwest corner of 12th Avenue and Lacey Boulevard. That’s the same corner that already has Chipotle, Jimmy Johns and The Habit Burger Grill.
The Porterville store will be built on 2.13 acres of land at the northeast corner of Jaye Street and Highway 190.
As both are new construction, the stores won’t be open for a while.
ALDI is partway through a massive expansion, with plans to open 900 more stores by the end of 2020. A Bakersfield store opened in May and Southern California has dozens of stores.
The grocery store has more than 7,600 stores worldwide and already has a strong presence in the United States, with 1,600 stores in 35 states.
The stores average about 15,000 square feet – bigger than a Trader Joe’s but smaller than a traditional grocery store.
ALDI carries only the “weekly must-haves,” according to the company. That means its stores are smaller with lower rent and electrical costs, savings that are passed on to shoppers. The company says shoppers can save up to 50 percent on brands carried only at ALDI.
Another difference from a traditional grocery store is the carts. They are stored in one place in the store. Shoppers pay a quarter to use a cart, and get it back when the cart is returned.
Fresno is getting another big e-commerce fulfillment center – and more than 500 new jobs.
Fresno city officials and San Francisco-based clothing apparel company Gap, Inc. have reached an agreement to establish the company’s e-commerce fulfillment center near its current distribution facility, Mayor Lee Brand announced Thursday morning. The city says the move is expected to add at least 515 full-time jobs to the retailer’s operations here over a three-year period.
The agreement is being made possible by the mayor’s Economic Expansion Act, which provides performance-based job incentives for companies looking to grow and move to Fresno.
Brand called the relocation of the fulfillment center from out-of-state to the city “a shot in the arm for Fresno” and “a breath of fresh air.”
It’s unclear from where the fulfillment center is relocating. Gap has at least one western U.S. fulfillment center, in Phoenix, job postings on its website shows.
The mayor has a goal of 10,000 “new, good-paying” jobs for the city. The 515 full-time jobs will start at about $32,000 annual salary.
The impact of the deal will mean about $146 million over 30 years in property and sales tax for the city, county, Fresno Unified and other special districts. That’s about $58.6 million for the city of Fresno.
“Fresno continues to build momentum as more major corporations like Gap are establishing expanding their operations in our great city. Companies know we are open for business and will help them grow,” Brand said.
Under the agreement, the 351 existing employees at the company’s current 3400 Gap Drive distribution facility will remain.
The package also includes the potential for hundreds of additional part-time or seasonal employees during peak business periods, according to the release. The company will invest at least $80 million in equipment and improvements for the fulfillment center, which will be established inside an existing building owned by the Gap at its Fresno site.
“For over 18 years, our Fresno distribution campus has played a pivotal role in providing great service to our customers,” said Shawn Curran, Gap’s executive vice president of supply chain and product ops. “It serves as a key strategic location for growth and opportunity. We consider our Fresno team members to be the very best in the business. We are thrilled to move on to the next step in our journey as we expand our operations adding 500 new jobs in the next two years.”
Curran thanked the city of Fresno for its support in the planning process.
Gap has been in Fresno since 1999 with a huge distribution facility just north of Fresno-Yosemite International Airport. Gap bought 216 acres from the city of Fresno in 1997 for $2. The site includes a 5-acre, 1.9-megawatt solar farm to power its 2 million-square-foot distribution center.
The city later paid $5.8 million plus interest over 10 years in a settlement after the Federal Aviation Administration contended the city had a duty to sell the property at market value and reinvest the money into the airport.
The new agreement with Gap is expected to go before the City Council for final approval April 5.
Brand said he expects the fulfillment center to be fully functional by next year.
STOCKTON—A 2.06-acre property on West Lane across from the Kaiser Permanente campus was recently purchased for $1.25 million. It will be the home to a new outpatient clinic.
An existing building, occupying 7,500 square feet of the acreage, will be demolished, and the purchaser, San Ramon-based Meridian, will build a 13,600-square-foot outpatient clinic on the site.
“This location is perfect for our client who has experienced a strong demand for its services in this area,” said Lorenzo Brooks, Meridian’s director of Acquisitions, in statement. “We persevered for over 15 months to bring this deal to a close because of our confidence that this would be an ideal location to serve patients in the community.”
The property was purchased by The Builder’s Exchange of Stockton, who was represented by CBRE.
The facility is expected to be under construction in a few months, taking less than a year to complete, according to Brooks.
“We’re extremely proud of this acquisition as it shows our ability to unlock valuable real estate near major healthcare system hubs,” Brooks continued. “This deal marks the sixteenth outpatient clinic that we have developed in the last five years and we continue to solidify ourselves as experts in healthcare development.”
Meridian is also planning to build facilities in Modesto and Long Beach in the coming months, as well. The builds are part of Meridian’s pursuit of healthcare facility development throughout the western U.S.
There are new restaurants coming, a few saying goodbye and some places shaking things up a bit.
Empty restaurant spaces are getting snapped up quickly by newcomers, said Craig Holdener, a vice president at commercial real estate firm Newmark Grubb/Pearson Commercial.
Some of the new restaurants are taking over spaces that haven’t been empty for long, like the former Guadalajara and Mother Mary’s at Willow and Nees avenues.
Others are building new kitchens in existing buildings or in new shopping centers.
Here’s a look at what’s happening.
1. Butterfish California Poke opened its first Clovis restaurant late last month. At 1850 Herndon Ave., it’s in the new shopping center at Fowler Avenue, next to the Five Guys Burgers & Fries.
Like the original Butterfish at Friant Road and Fresno Street (and another in the works at Palm and Herndon avenues), the restaurant specializes in poke. That’s the Hawaiian-inspired dish of raw, bite-size pieces of tuna or other fish.
The new Butterfish offers some hot appetizers that the existing one doesn’t: Sriracha shrimp, Tokyo fries (sweet potatoes fries with a sweet-and-spicy drizzle) and maitake (tempura mushrooms served with a curry ranch dipping sauce).
In addition to the typical ingredients offered in poke bowls, the Clovis location has slow-cooked, thin-sliced beef and a few other new options.
“There’s quite a few new and different things out there,” said co-owner Rema Koligian. “We’re just trying to test the market and see what resonates with people.”
The new place is a little more colorful than the original too, with bright art and wall treatment that evokes an ocean wave. The restaurant also has a walk-up window where people can pick up food they’ve ordered via the Butterfish app.
The Napa Dog with Tioga-Sequoia beer in the background, shown at Rocket Dog Gourmet Brats and Brew Thursday, September 10, 2015 in Fresno, Calif. The eatery has opened its first Clovis location, at
The restaurant serves sausages piled high with toppings and house-made potato chips. The Napa dog, for example, is a sweet chicken sausage on a grilled baguette with fig-onion jam and crumbled goat cheese.
Rocket Dog also offers sandwiches and salads.
The restaurant has 24 taps stocked with craft beer, about double the number at its original location at on Shaw Avenue near Highway 41.
That same center has two restaurants in the works that probably won’t open for a while.
3. Clovis Pizza Subs Yogurt will open next to Slice of India, probably this summer.
4. 13 Prime Steak has signed a lease for the former Mother Mary’s pizza place, but still has a lot of work ahead of it before opening.
But after four years of planning, construction costs have quadrupled and the owners changed their minds, said Amy Rose, the director of operations who owns the Valley franchises with her father, Bob Rose.
This isn’t the end of Black Bear here, though. The owners are sniffing around for a location, especially in Fresno. Stay tuned for more on that.
At the Fresno Steak ‘n Shake, which opened last March, cook Daniel Aguilar, left, and other employees practice for opening day.
There’s a lot of buzz about what might be happening at the northeast corner of Willow and Alluvial avenues, but not a lot of answers.
Here’s what we know: On Feb. 5, the Clovis City Council approved a request for a general plan amendment that would change the corner’s low-density residential designation to one that would allow a convenience store and two restaurants.
That application identifies Steak ‘n Shake as one of the restaurants, confirmed Orlando Ramirez, a senior planner for the City of Clovis.
But that’s the only piece of evidence linking Steak ‘n Shake to Clovis. A barrage of phone calls to Steak ‘n Shake’s corporate office, other city departments, and firms that represent the applicant produced nothing – not one return phone call.
The Steak ‘n Shake name is not used in a conditional-use permit application and the company has not submitted any plans to the city.
What does all that mean? Steak ‘n Shake could very well be intending to come to Clovis. But there’s a reason they keep quiet early in a process like this. A lot can happen in the months, even years, it can take to develop a corner. And plans can fall through.
Old Town Donuts opened last week, serving all kinds of doughnuts.
Old Town Donuts
7. Old Town Donuts at 30 W. Shaw Ave. opened Saturday. The doughnut shop is in the same center as Elephant Lounge near Minnewawa Avenue.
It has colorfully frosted doughnuts, doughnut holes, bear claws and “jelly drops” – mini-doughnuts with fillings such as lemon.
Aurore Chhun and her husband run the shop, though it’s Chhun who has the background in restaurants. Born in France, her family moved to Cambodia when she was 10. At one point, she and her parents ran a restaurant on a boat, with her mother cooking as her father steered the boat.
But after the boat burned down, she ended up in Clovis, where her husband is from.
The former Forestiere’s Place, 401 Clovis Ave., bottom floor of the tall building at center, has been a new owner and will become The Bottleneck Bistro.
JOHN WALKER email@example.com
8. Bottleneck Bistro will eventually open in Old Town Clovis. You may have noticed Forestiere’s Place, at 401 Clovis Ave. Suite 106, has closed. It was bought by a new owner, Mark Kazanjian, who will reopen it in the coming weeks or months.
He’s redoing the interior and working on a new menu.
The restaurant will focus on quality wines, craft beer and spirits, with a full bar.
Although the menu will have sandwiches, burgers and salads, it will be a different from typical pub fare, Kazanjian said. It will include short ribs braised in red wine and dried mission figs, beer-battered fried cheese curds, and mac ‘n‘ cheese balls stuffed with cream cheese and bacon.
Chicago’s Pizza With-A-Twist is planning to open its third restaurant in the area, this one at 497 N. Clovis Ave. near Arsenio’s Mexican Food.
Chicago’s serves traditional pizza (like all-meat and vegetarian fare), but also pizza inspired by Indian food. It’s a bit like taking the dishes you get at Indian restaurants and turning them into toppings atop a typical American pizza. The menu includes the popular butter chicken pizza and Tandoori chicken pizza. Several pizzas have paneer, the Indian cheese sometimes mistaken for tofu.
Chicago’s is a chain with restaurants all over California. It has two locations in Fresno (at Kings Canyon Road and Clovis Avenue, and at Shaw and Marks avenues).
There’s still a lot of work left to be done inside, so it may be a few weeks or months until it opens.
Cool Hand Luke’s, 955 Shaw Ave., has changed hands and have added lunch and now open at 11 a.m. daily.
The restaurant pulled some favorites from the dinner menu to offer at lunch, including sandwiches, burgers and salads. It added six new lunch dishes. One – perhaps taking a page from Olive Garden’s popular lunch option – features unlimited soup, salad and sourdough rolls for $8.95.
Sergio Hinojosa, walking his bike, looks forward to the opening of Triangle Burgers Drive In, 200 W. Shaw Ave. in Clovis.
The popular old-school diner has three locations in Fresno and is known for its burgers, crinkle-cut fries and milkshakes.
Workers have ripped out the interior of the restaurant and are redoing it. The owner had hoped to open in December, but is now looking at an April debut.
Jersey Mike’s Subs has closed a Clovis location, but still has five locations in Fresno and Clovis.
12. Jersey Mike’s Subs, which opened in 2015 at the corner of Shaw and Villa avenues, closed Jan. 14. The company says it plans to relocate the restaurant, though just where and when haven’t been determined.
Mickey’s Yogurt is selling raw cookie dough that’s safe to eat.
13. Mickey’s Yogurt at Shaw and Armstrong avenues still is serving frozen yogurt, but has added something different: raw cookie dough.
We’ve all heard the warnings about raw cookie dough because of the potential for salmonella from raw eggs (and lately, E. coli from flour). So owner Tiffany Howell and business partner Daryl France – who is also her grandmother and Mickey is Howell’s grandfather – came up with a cookie dough recipe that’s safe to eat. There are no eggs in the recipe and it uses treated flour.
Customers can buy the cookie dough by the scoop, similar to scoops of ice cream. One scoop starts at $3.49 and toppings can be added.
The walls are up at Ulta Beauty’s new distribution center in Southwest Fresno. But it’s taken months to turn Ag land into a commercial business that will soon house hundreds of employees, sending beauty products around the country.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said, “We had the right business elements. The right geographical location in California, the right weather, a big enough urban base to have a substantial labor supply, the cost of the building. All of that works in our favor.”
Brand likes the progress he’s seeing, he said the area in Southwest Fresno, known as the “Reverse Triangle”, features an e-commerce business boom with Amazon and Ulta going up. The nearby 41 and 99 will help drivers goods get shipped far north to Canada and as far south as Mexico.
Both Ulta and Amazon combined are expected to fill about 3,000 positions for their new centers.
Brand said, “The bad news is we have a lot of underemployed people. The good news is, now we have solutions to fill these slots. These people are working with social services and other agency sought to get them trained.”
The city is working to get people trained and ready. Ulta has hired its leadership positions to work in the new 670,000 square foot distribution center at the Northeast corner of East and Central Avenues.
Recently they started hiring mechanics and clerks. Online, people can start applying for material handlers or associate positions.
Brand said, “The orders come in, the computerized labels, they’re sorted, probably electronically and robotically– but there’s always humans there making sure those things get out and are done properly.”
The city offered companies a tax incentive per job, which they say will in turn, over a long period of time, will bring a $40-million to $50-million impact to our area.
Now other companies are looking at expanding.
“I think we are on the forefront here in Fresno on this new type of economy, and we’re hoping to really capitalize on it,” said Brand.
Ulta will be hiring during the next six months. They plan to begin shipping to stores and online guests in July.