More electric vehicle charging stations are coming to California after the state approved an initiative to expand charging projects into low-income cities.
The Central Valley has opportunity to secure some of that infrastructure.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved the new projects, which totaled 15 proposals, on Jan. 11.
Approved projects include four PG&E pilots totaling $8 million to be added in PG&E coverage areas.
It’s part of a larger $1 billion investment that will add 5,300 new charging points to the state, representing a commitment to new EV infrastructure and related transportation electrification projects.
Sites for the new builds have yet to be determined.
PG&E will partner with businesses and individuals to advance its initiatives, which include bringing EV access and technology to medium/heavy-duty fleet vehicles, school buses, refrigeration trucks and parking spaces. PG&E will also provide better EV education for homeowners looking to install charging stations in their residence.
The San Joaquin Valley can look forward to one project that targets the region specifically: electrifying refrigeration units and other auxiliary power units of agricultural and long-haul trucks in the San Joaquin Valley by providing a minimum of 15 electrified parking spaces at one parking site.
The proposals were submitted last year by Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric under Senate Bill 350 and received expedited review.
Sunset Magazine calls Fresno “California’s most affordable big city,” which sounds like something you might see on the archway coming into town.
It’s better than nothing.
The lifestyle magazine put Fresno on its list of 20 game-changing places to live – in the western part of the United States, anyway. More specifically, the city ranked fourth out of four in the northern region of California, behind Sacramento, Eureka and Truckee.
In its brief description of the city, the magazine mentions the money (millions) spent to refurbish Fulton Street and the promise of the high-speed rail project.
“Once the nation’s first bullet train links it to Silicon Valley via high-speed rail, watch out,” it wrote.
This isn’t the first time Fresno has gotten love in the pages of Sunset. Sea Lion Cove at Fresno Chaffee Zoo was featured as on of the magazine’s favorite-things lists. Christmas Tree Lane was one of its favorite holiday lights displays. The magazine even ran a feature on the event.
What better way to celebrate the Central Valley than to exhibit photos that highlight life in this area?
The Carnegie Arts Center will be doing just that with an upcoming exhibit entitled Valley Focus. Eighty photo pieces by 50 photographers will be on display from Jan. 17 to Mar. 18.
Santa Cruz-based photographer Ted Orland selected the pieces from over 250 entries. Orland has worked for designer Charles Eames and was an assistant to Ansel Adams. He currently teaches master class workshops throughout the country.
An opening reception and awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 18, from 5-8 p.m. at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, 250 N. Broadway.
Artists Included in the Exhibition:
Leslee Adams, Modesto
Rosalva Aguilar, Escalon
Janet Alcalde, Murphys
Ann Bailey, Turlock
Clifford H. Bailey, Turlock
Martin Baker, Modesto
Anna Barber, Ripon
Tracy Barbutes, Groveland
Fred Benz, Fresno
Barry Buttress, Turlock
William Calvin, Modesto
Carrie Anne Castillo, Turlock
Neil Cervenka, Turlock
Roberto Chiesa, Modesto
Susan Conner, Altaville
Scott Fergusson, Modesto
Michael Frye, Mariposa
Franka Gabler, Coarsegold
Charlotte Gibb, Lafayette
Clayton Gomez, Turlock
William Harris, Modesto
David Hoffman, Mariposa
Greg Hubbard, Merced
Gary Hunter, Oakdale
Alexis Isley, Delhi
Karen Jensen, Hughson
Linda Knoll, Modesto
Peter David Lee, Modesto
Alice Lessard, Merced
Larry Lew, Ceres
Lisa Livingston, Modesto
Emela McLaren, Manteca
John Moses, Fresno
Jodie Parolini, Turlock
James Quinley, Turlock
Evan Russel, Yosemite Village
Cassaundra Salvanera, Modesto
Joseph Scalero, Modesto
Tara Schendel, Turlock
David Schroeder, Modesto
Roberto Serrato, Riverbank
Jen Smith, Turlock
Elisa Solorio-Ontiveros, Turlcok
Lindsey Tallcott, Modesto
Andy Tolsma, Merced
Arturo Velasquez, Modesto
Christopher Viney, Atwater
James Weber, Discovery Bay
Dennis Wister, Modesto
Roger Wyan, Merced
A small piece of developer Terance Frazier’s dream to turn a block of downtown Fresno into a housing and entertainment district is getting ready to open. But it may be awhile before the major transformation happens.
After plans for a brewery at 721 Broadway St. fell through, Frazier, whose partner told him to sell the building, decided to turn the 10,000-square-foot space into the Broadway Event Center for private parties, corporate and special events.
“There are very few urban event centers in downtown” that give the true urban feel of exposed brick walls, concrete floors and garage-style doors opening into a back alley, said Frazier, owner of TFS Investments.
“I love this building,” he said with a big smile. “There’s no way I’m going to sell it.”
Frazier painted the facade of the building, which was previously home to Pool Tables R Us. Inside, he installed decorative lights, put art work and wood shelves on the walls and had two custom wood bars made by Santiago’s Custom Made Furniture for the two rooms.
Developer Terance Frazier stands behind the bar in one of the rooms in his Broadway Event Center, located just south of Chukchansi Park, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The center features large warehouse rooms for corporate events or parties. It is possibly the first step to realizing Frazier’s dream of creating a housing, retail and entertainment superblock near Chukchansi Park.
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The front room has big windows letting in natural light and is a little fancier than the room in the rear, which Frazier describes as a speakeasy because of its underground, hidden feel.
Imagine the possibilities, Frazier said while pulling a garage door open to show the alley that separates the event center from a row of warehouses that he owns on H Street between Inyo and Mono, south of Chukchansi Park. People attending events at the center will be able to pull around to the back of the building and use valet service to park their cars, he said, then walk into the building for live performances.
The rear of the event center faces a section of the H Street warehouses where Frazier plans to open a bowling alley. Both buildings would have back patios that face each other.
Developer Terance Frazier looks over one of the rooms in his Broadway Event Center, located just south of Chukchansi Park, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The center features large warehouse rooms for corporate events or parties. It is possibly the first step to realizing Frazier’s dream of creating a housing, retail and entertainment superblock near Chukchansi Park.
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“People say, ‘oh my God, this is trash,’” Frazier said about the old buildings. “I’m like, ‘oh my God, this is beautiful.’”
The event center will host its first party on Dec. 15. It has two more events booked this month.
“This will be my best chance to figure out what people want,” Frazier said. “It’s going to teach me what I need to do on the block.”
Frazier wants to create a superblock of apartments, restaurants, brew pubs and entertainment in the area. He is also partnering with developer Mehmet Noyan to build 51 apartments on top of 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the south end of Fulton Street. Construction on the South Stadium project was slated to begin after the completion of Fulton Street.
Terance Frazier is working to develop a block of H Street and some of Broadway, seen at left center in this aerial drone photo on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, into a housing, retail and entertainment superblock near Chukchansi Park.
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But Frazier said the projects are on hold because they did not receive state Transformative Climate Communities grants to help cover the cost of road and utility improvements. He’s calling on the city to help.
“I’m fully invested by buying the block and trying to buy more,” Frazier said. “H Street is on hold until the city can say what it can do.”
• Entry-level community expected to open for sale in Spring 2018
• Latest development by San Joaquin Valley Homes and Presidio Residential Capital
A new residential community called “Brighton” with 115 detached single-family homes more than 72 acres in Tulare is to be built by San Joaquin Valley Homes and Presidio Residential Capital.
Construction on model homes is scheduled to begin in January 2018, and the neighborhood is expected to be open for sale next spring. The retail value of the project is estimated by the developers to exceed $30 million.
“Brighton is ideally located for families and professionals with easy access to employment and entertainment opportunities in the Central Valley,” says Danny Garcia, vice president of sales at SJV Homes.
The development will feature entry-level homes with five floor plans ranging from 1,574 to 2,314 square feet and a move-up line ranging from 2,000 to 2,831 square feet on lots averaging 7,226 square feet. It will include a community park and a pond.
Founded in 2013 by Joe Leal, Jim Robinson and Randy Merrill, SJV Homes sold its 1,000th home in September. Brighton is SJV Homes’ 16th joint venture project with Presidio Residential Capital, a San Diego-based real estate investment company that funds 100 percent of the projects and operations of SJV Homes.
According to the National Association of Home Builders’ formula to determine the local impact of single-family housing in typical metro areas, adding 115 single-family homes will generate $33 million in local income, $9 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 453 local jobs, says SJV Homes.
by Phillip Lan August 23, 2017 The Central Valley Business Journal
Chances are, when you think of the Central Valley, you think about tomato trucks rumbling down the freeway or shakers knocking down almonds amidst endless rows of trees. You probably don’t think about modern tech companies or millennials working while sipping lattes in open, co-working spaces. But an ever-increasing group of local techies and entrepreneurs are working to change that.
Over the last few decades, the Central Valley’s tech community has been growing — slowly and under the radar. Local commuters working in Bay Area tech companies and tech-related professionals in Central Valley companies now number thousands across the region. Many software developers, often known as coders or hackers, have begun gathering at fun local events such as the Modesto-based Valley Hackathon (https://valleyhackathon.com/), a programming contest where Star Wars-costumed teams furiously write computer code to win thousands in cash and prizes.
Local business leaders who see the economic benefit tech jobs can bring to the region have also jumped in to accelerate the development of a tech community in the Central Valley. Launched several years ago, The Huddle is a co-working space in downtown Stockton which provides entrepreneurs a place to collaborate and create synergies to help each other’s companies grow. Tech startups in Sacramento now have communities like Hacker Lab where they can co-locate with other companies and get access to mentors and resources to improve revenue trajectory. In Fresno, Geekwise Academy has trained thousands of people to develop software over the past few years and its parent company, Bitwise Industries (http://bitwiseindustries.com/), has helped create over 1,000 tech-related jobs in the region. Bitwise now partners with Amazon to train developers on the latest platforms and eventually plans to occupy 2.5 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Fresno.
In Modesto, ValleyWorx, a tech and digital design co-working hub, will begin taking applications from tech companies and entrepreneurs later this month. One of its first tenants will be Bay Valley Tech (http://bayvalleytech.com/), a code academy focused on providing affordable hands-on software skills to working professionals and students preparing to enter the work force. Locating tech students and tech companies in the same building will allow students to more easily find internships and jobs. At the same time, companies based out of ValleyWorx will have access to an ever-expanding talent pool proficient in the latest technologies.
You may be wondering how all of these “geeks” are going to help the rest of our non-tech economy. By creating a thriving tech community in the Central Valley, we will make it a more attractive place for software professionals to settle.
Senior software engineers in California now earn an average salary of $129,000, and some make over $200,000 annually, according to Indeed.com. Not only will ‘hackers’ infuse disposable income into our local economy, their presence will attract Bay Area firms looking for tech talent.
For example, Oportun, a Redwood City-based venture-backed company, set up a software development office in downtown Modesto two years ago and is already outgrowing their space due to rapid hiring. Their executives indicated availability of software talent as a key driver for expanding into the Central Valley.
Other Bay Area companies are also considering expanding to Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto due to the availability of high-tech talent.
In order to continue the momentum and attract even more tech companies to the Central Valley, local businesses, non-profits and government entities are working to do the following:
Launch co-working spaces such as The Huddle and ValleyWorx to facilitate collaboration, mentoring and growth.
Expand the Central Valley’s tech community by training thousands more local residents to become software literate through code academies such as Geekwise and Bay Valley Tech. Learning software development skills will help thousands of workers capitalize on upcoming transformative industries such as ag tech, manufacturing automation and self-driving transportation (which all heavily leverage software).
The creation of a growing tech-enabled workforce will make the Central Valley an attractive investment destination for Bay Area tech companies who are now overlooking this region and expanding out of state to cities such as Austin, Denver, Seattle and Portland.The Central Valley needs more high-paying jobs, local residents need a realistic path into software-related careers to prepare for the changing world and Bay Area tech workers need affordable housing.
According to a recent poll by the Bay Area Council, a staggering 46 percent of millennials (people age 18 to 39) living in the San Francisco Bay Area say they’re now ready to leave one of the nation’s most unaffordable housing markets. Many have already left California, expanding the tech talent pool in other states.
As high paying software job openings continue to outpace the supply of programmers in California, this is the perfect time for Central Valley leaders to come together and create a win-win-win solution. A tech ecosystem generating exciting, well-paying jobs will also encourage local students to participate in junior high, high school and college programming and robotics initiatives.
Jumpstarting a tech economy in our ag-focused Central Valley is undoubtedly a Herculean task requiring a community-wide effort. Here are a few opportunities for business and community leaders who would like to help:
If you can plop down a critical US Navy base 120 miles from the ocean, why scratch your head when you hear about a 155-acre competitive surfing event center, a ”Surf Ranch” located near Lemoore?
That’s the vision of famed surfer Kelly Slater, who owns a permitted wave generation complex originally built on a man-made lake, 700 yards long and 70 yards wide, designed for water-skiing. With some major upgrades and tweaks to the wave generation options, Slater and his investors now plan to expand the operation year-round. It will be open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., according to a new conditional use permit application filed with the county this summer.
The application says the ranch will be staffed with 50 employees, who will continue to do development of prototype wave generation systems.
The application also states the facility will offer recreational use and competitive surfing events with outdoor music and camping for visitors. They are asking for a permit to hold large events – attracting as many as 8,000 visitors for three-day events, six times a year.
By next month, local epilepsy patients won’t have to travel so far for complex procedures.
That’s because Kern Medical Center has partnered with the University of Southern California’s Neurorestoration Center to bring an epilepsy program and center to Bakersfield. It’s the first time USC has partnered with a Kern County healthcare provider.
“There is no comprehensive epilepsy center in the Central Valley. Fresno does not have one, the Central Coast does not have one, and Bakersfield did not have one,” said Dr. Joseph Chen, an adjunct associate professor at USC who serves as the new chief of neurosurgery at Kern Medical Center.
“It’s one of the most common neurological conditions. We knew there was a need here in the Central Valley.”
Chen estimates there are about 10,000 people suffering from medically intractable epilepsy in Kern County, but anticipates drawing patients from as far north as Fresno. The center would be the only one in the Central Valley that offers complex neurosurgery services for epileptics, Chen said.
Next month, for example, a patient is having an open brain surgery where Dr. Charles Yu Liu, the chief epilepsy surgeon, will remove a “focus of tissue” that is causing seizures, Chen said.
“My guess is that probably will be the first procedure of its kind performed anywhere in the area,” Chen said.
Patients needing those types of procedures have historically gone to hospitals in Los Angeles and Sacramento, Chen added.
“That’s a tremendous hardship for many of these patients. Many epileptic patients can’t work, so they have limited resources. Many depend upon caregivers, so making a journey of more than 100 miles can be an undue hardship for them,” Chen said.
The disorder is a complex service line that requires a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, radiologists, and sometimes psychiatrists during a course of treatment, Chen said.
Those are all things the partnership with USC would bring to KMC.
In other cases, USC and KMC plucked local doctors, like epilepsy neurologist Dr. Hari Veedu, to help lead the new center who have established private practices. They were wooed, he said, by the resources USC provides.
If a patient requires an investigational procedure, for example, he or she could be sent to Los Angeles but would be treated by the same team doing the surgery in Kern, Chen said.
Chen described it as proof “this can be done in a safety-net hospital,” and that a sophisticated center doesn’t have to be established through a wealthy privately-supported hospital.
USC’s first goal through the partnership, Chen said, is to provide care to the impoverished.