Press Room

Tire distribution facility to open in Fresno

By Central Valley Business Times

May15, 2018

  • It’s the 8th for SoCal-based Tire’s Warehouse •

“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.“

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/59d3f7c7-0350-482d-a540-ba62c2432bcc.pdf

Kern County named wind turbine capital of the world

  • BY STEVEN MAYER

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Kern has more wind turbines — 4,581 — than any other county in the nation.

The USGS has created a database that mapped all 57,636 of the nation’s wind machines, Energy Digital reported. Not only does the Golden Empire have more turbines, the USGS says it has the highest turbine density in the world.

 That’s a lot of juice.

According to the survey, Kern has a total wind power capacity of 4 gigawatts, and more turbines than the entire northeast region of the United States.

To put this in perspective, there are a billion watts in one gigawatt. That’s a lot of light bulbs. Now multiply by four.

 That’s enough to power between 1.2 million and 2.9 million homes, depending on the vagaries of seasonal demand. Obviously, most of that power is being exported outside of Kern.

Riverside County ranked second with 2,373 turbines, while Alameda County ranked third with 1,430 turbines. Nolan County in Texas ranked fourth with 1,374 turbines.

The USGS generated the database in partnership with the Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association.

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/kern-county-named-wind-capital-of-the-world/article_f4e22e40-5a34-11e8-a6a2-e7db220d3d8b.html?utm_source=bakersfield.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fheadlines%2F%3F-dc%3D1526641220&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

Amgen tour launches from Stockton

The Stockton Arena was abuzz with activity on May 17, as cycling enthusiasts and local businesses alike gathered to attend the start of stage 5 of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California, a 109.7-mile journey from Stockton to Elk Grove.

The course is relatively flat with only one major change of elevation, allowing the sprinters among the contestants to shine. “This is a tailor-made sprint stage for the sprinters, and they have been raring to go,” noted announcer Brian Stover.

The Amgen Tour of California is an annual business boon to host cities throughout the Central Valley. Tourism revenue is bolstered by cycling fans following the tour throughout the state. In addition, each stop along the way is an opportunity for local businesses to have booths at the event. This is the second time Stockton has hosted the start of the event, the last time being in 2007.  Modesto and Lodi have also been frequented by the Amgen Tour of California in recent years.

Nonprofit booths made a strong showing at this year’s Stockton start to stage 5.

“One of the things I’ve encouraged the staff to do is to be involved in events like this, bring out some of the food we have … so they can see we’re actually providing healthy, nutritious, good food to those who really need it,” said Rick Brewer, CEO of the Emergency Food Bank. “Sometimes people will come by and throw a dollar in our [donation] box too, so we’ll get a couple donations.”

Amgen tour launches from Stockton

Fresno annexes additional land west of highway 99

The city of Fresno continues to grow west.

The city council today approved annexing a new housing tract west of Highway 99.

Thie nearly 160-acre parcel is expected to be the site of more than two hundred homes. The site is bordered by Shaw, Gettysburg, Bryan, and Hayes.

The project was approved more than ten years ago, but the recession delayed development. The developer, Dennis Gaab is now ready and wants the county land annexed into the city. He told the council, “Insofar as we are aware, there’s no opposition to the annexation.”

There is a building boom going on west of Highway 99. The area is becoming is becoming more desirable, but one big problem is getting here.

“It’s awful, it’s awful.” That’s how longtime area resident Sharon Brown describes the traffic getting across the highway on Shaw or Ashlan. “In the morning, going over you have to time it just right, or it might take ten times just to get through the light.”

Getting across Highway 99 is a problem City Councilmember Steve Brandau is aware of. He told his fellow council members, “At some point, our city is going to have to get very serious about Shaw and 99 and Ashlan and 99.”

Putting in overpasses will cost tens of millions of dollars, and the city is working with Caltrans, trying to figure out where to get the money. Councilmember Paul Caprioglio said Fresno appeared to be putting “the cart before the horse” in dealing with traffic, police and fire protection.

City Manager Wilma Quan Shecter said those issues were being discussed.

City staff has given the project the green light, and despite expressing concerns, the city councilmembers approved the annexation. Council President Esmerelda Soria said, “This is a great housing project because it’s going to bring more housing units to our community.”

The developer says the 216 homes will have average prices of around $400,000.

Goodbye East Hills Mall, hello City Lights

  • By JOHN COX jcox@bakersfield.com
East Hills Mall
East Hills Mall in northeast Bakersfield remains boarded up and fenced off.

A few years ago, comparing the East Hills Mall in northeast Bakersfield to The Marketplace over in the southwest would have gotten you laughed out of any cocktail party.

But earlier this week, commercial property broker Duane Keathley kept a straight face when he said that, within maybe a year and a half, the two retail centers will be “not that much different.”

Seriously. Similar size, similar design, similar kind of entertainment-dining-shopping experience.

 In fact, forget the name East Hills Mall. After it’s demolished later this year, it’ll be called City Lights. And come late next year or early 2020, it’ll be Bakersfield’s new “it” spot, in the words of city Development Services Director Jacqui Kitchen.

“If done right, the ‘new East Hills’ center will bring a variety of much-needed amenities to the residents of northeast Bakersfield,” she wrote in an email Tuesday. “These residents have waited a long time for development of this magnitude and it looks like the time has finally arrived!”

Has someone been drinking the Kool-Aid? Perhaps. But northwest Bakersfield resident Tomeka Powell hasn’t, and during a visit Monday to the northeast to see her mom, she took a moment to reflect on the area’s shopping options.

“There’s nothing, really,” said Powell, 35, a stay-at-home mother. She’d like to see a Victoria’s Secret at City Lights, while her husband wants a Fry’s Electronics. “Yeah, it’s needed,” she said of the mall’s redevelopment.

For the record, not everyone agrees. Rebecca Withnell disapproves of the mall’s demolition.

“They should work with what they have and just refurbish what they have,” said the 33-year-old Bakersfield resident. She shops at stores next to the mall, like Target and Big Lots, and contends the area has plenty of shopping options.

There’s no word yet on who’ll set up shop at City Lights. Keathley and Vince Roche, one of his business partners at Cushman & Wakefield | Pacific Commercial Realty Advisors, aren’t allowed to name names, but they assure us tenants are signing up left and right.

What they could disclose is the kind of businesses that want to be part of the project: clothing stores, shoe retailers, specialty shops, cosmetics, jewelry. They said it’ll have chains that already exist in Bakersfield, just not in the city’s northeast.

As for who will shop there, think everyone in town south of Highway 58, and then some. Rio Bravo. Oildale. Tehachapi. “It’s a very diverse trade area,” Roche said, estimating the project’s trade area at 250,000 people or more.

If that’s the case, you ask, why wasn’t East Hills a runaway success? Well, it’s a long and unhappy story.

When the mall opened in 1986, there were four anchor tenants: department stores Gottschalks and Harris, a Mervyn’s clothing store and a United Artist Theatre.

The northeast area didn’t immediately rise to meet the population projections on which the mall was built. Then, in 1998, Gottschalks and Harris became one, leaving the mall with one fewer anchor. Gottschalks and Mervyn’s later closed during the economic recession, and it was downhill from there.

Malls aren’t generally as popular as they once were. While Valley Plaza still draws crowds, the trend in retail development these days is to build an outdoor setting. Like the Marketplace.

A site plan shared this week by Cushman & Wakefield shows row of stores as large as 40,000 square feet abutting the south side of Highway 178 just east of Mount Vernon Avenue. Included there is a 38,300-square-foot movie theater and a few small shop spaces.

South of that section would be a sea of parking spaces, 2,191 of them (more than the 1,329 required by regulation, by the way). Then, further south along Mall View Road would be a series of retail islands, or “pads,” Keathley said would house restaurants and other uses such as financial institutions.

All in all, City Lights would contain 323,313 square feet of space. In other words, pretty close to The Marketplace’s roughly 300,000 square feet. Who’s laughing now?

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/goodbye-east-hills-mall-hello-city-lights/article_e1b943d8-587e-11e8-8e75-af05116ef91b.html?utm_source=bakersfield.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fheadlines%2F%3F-dc%3D1526468413&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

Hey, what’s that going up over there? A look at retail construction around Modesto

California’s economy now globe’s 5th largest

California was in a bragging mode last week because the state’s economy has climbed in global rankings to 5th place behind only the United States as whole, China, Japan and Germany.

It’s a remarkable factoid, certainly, that one American state generated so much economic production – $2.7 trillion last year – that it could rank among global leaders.

It’s even more impressive that California produces so much even though in terms of population, its 40 million residents would be considered a fairly small country, about the size of Iraq.

California moved into 5th place by slipping past Great Britain, which has 63.5 million people, after previously topping France (65 million) and Italy (61 million).

Even more dramatically, California outproduced Russia (142.5 million) and even India, which has 32 times as many people (1.3 billion).

Okay, so it is something about which Californians should feel proud. It might even fuel those semi-serious efforts to separate California from the rest of the nation and restore the nationhood it briefly had in the 19th century.

However, it’s just as important to keep the new economic rankings in perspective, to wit:

—We’ve been there before. As the state Department of Finance points out, we were 5th in 2002, only to decline as the Great Recession struck a few years later, and we were in 10th place as recently as 2012.

—While the state’s economic output increased by 3 percent in 2017, the economies of five other states grew faster, topped by Washington at 4.4 percent, according to a new report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Others with larger increases than California were Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.

—The BEA report also underscored the narrowness of California’s economic growth of late. The big drivers, the agency reported, were the high-technology and health care sectors.

—Health care growth has been fueled by huge injections of federal Obamacare funds, primarily for expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s medical program for the poor, to about 14 million Californians, more than a third of the state’s population. Obamacare is, however, under assault in Washington and its future is cloudy.

—California’s technology industry is concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area and its explosive growth has come with high levels of transportation congestion and housing shortages and costs that threaten its future.

—The high cost of housing, born of an acute shortfall in new construction, is the primary reason why California, for all of its economic power, has the nation’s highest rate of poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “supplemental” poverty calculation that takes living costs into account.

—The Public Policy Institute of California, expanding on the Census Bureau methodology, says that nearly 40 percent of Californians are living in poverty or near-poverty, with the highest rates in Los Angeles County, home to a quarter of the state’s population.

—Finally, California is, as Gov. Jerry Brown continues to warn, overdue for an economic downturn. It’s the economic version of Newton’s Law. What goes up must inevitably come down, as we have seen several times in the recent past.

California’s economy now globe’s 5th largest

PG&E gives support to Stockton Scholars program, others

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is contributing $1 million in local workforce development and educational initiatives in the San Joaquin County area.

The utility company recently announced it will donate the half the funding to the Stockton Scholars program, and the other half will go to New Energy Venture Academy and other initiatives. The academy focuses on providing students with educations that support careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“For Stockton to succeed, our young people must succeed. However, the cost of higher education is expensive and can prevent some of our students from reaching their goals,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “Stockton Scholars was created with the belief that talent is universal, but opportunity is not.”

Tubbs went on to say that Stockton Scholars is committed to getting rid of the financial barriers preventing students from receiving those seemingly unattainable higher-education goals.

“I am grateful for the support of PG&E and their commitment to the future of our youth and the future of Stockton,” Tubbs said.

PG&E employees will also volunteer time to help promote career awareness.

The utility company said money would help create opportunities.

“Education is the foundation for building a career and strengthening our communities,” said Travis Kiyota, vice president of California External Affairs for PG&E. “PG&E wants to support students by helping ensure there’s money for college or career training, and that these students have someone to turn to for questions, support and encouragement. We succeed through collaboration and are proud to partner with Stockton Scholars to help create opportunity.”

PG&E gives support to Stockton Scholars program, others

If you’re 18 and a high school grad, that’s a starting point for Amazon’s Fresno jobs

By Tim Sheehan

May 09, 2018 

California isn’t growing, but the Valley sure is