Press Room

New fertilizer plant opens in Turlock

Central Valley Business Times

• Darling Ingredients plant to make organic fertilizer

• Will target California and other Western markets

An organic fertilizer production facility is being opened inTurlock by Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR) of Irving,Texas.The facility is located on a 21-acre site and will have the ability to make 35,000 tons of fertilizer a year. It will be marketed under the brand name Nature Safe Natural & Organic Fertilizer.The new plant will also provide 4,500 tons of storage capacity to meet the needs of organic growers operating in California and the West. the company says.

Darling has been making its organic fertilizer at its original Henderson, Kentucky, plant since the early 1990’s, where it will continue to produce for customers in the rest of the country. The company says the strength of the organic fertilizer market in the western U.S. has it working on plans to double the new Turlock plant’s production capacity by end of year 2019.

The company is focused on a growth strategy in California where it can leverage Darling’s diverse supply of animal feed ingredients, says Mike Manning, Darling’s vice president of organic fertilizer and innovation. With long-established rendering facilities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and Turlock that produce feather meal, blood meal, and meat &bone meal, the company is able to produce the high quality organic fertilizers with cost-effective proficiency, he says.

When the new Turlock plant begins production in January, it will bring on a new management team. West Regional Commercial Business Manager Dan Rodriguez will develop go-to-market strategies. Kevin Van Dewark has joined Darling Ingredients as plant manager for the new Turlock fertilizer plant, and Mayra Pena will be its new office manager.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/6163f145-feb6-4eac-92f4-3a0b89e1b400.pdf

UC Merced is ‘University of the Year’

UC Merced Education Dive

Credit: UC Merced

UC Merced has been selected as Education Dive’s “University of the Year.”

UC Merced is no stranger to innovation and disrupting traditional modes in higher education.

Whether it is funding the university’s Merced 2020 Project through an unprecedented, award-winning public-private partnership or making a University of California education accessible to first-generation and underrepresented students, UC Merced has established itself as a top-notch university.

These efforts have led Education Dive to name UC Merced “University of the Year” in their 2018 Dive Awards. The awards are designed to honor the industry’s top disruptors and innovators.

“We are honored to have been selected as University of the Year and appreciate the recognition of being an innovator in higher education,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland said. “Building the future in the heart of California continues to be our mission, and I am excited for what is in store for the university.”

Winners were chosen by the editors of Education Dive based on resonance and industry impact. The digital news outlet solicited suggestions for nominees from its nearly 180,000 readers.

“The newest University of California campus is no underdog,” said Hallie Busta, editor at Education Dive: Higher Ed. “With a massive expansion underway and continued improvement in student outcomes, it has moved quickly to give the system solid footing in the state’s Central Valley.”

UC Merced is in the midst of a $1.3 billion expansion project that will double the size of the campus. Phase 2 of the three-phase Merced 2020 Project opened in August, with two new residence halls providing 700 new student beds and first-floor classrooms, a 600-seat multipurpose dining facility and a soccer field. Phase 2 will be completed in Fall 2019 and the final phase, which includes a conference center, a Biosafety Level 3 lab to study infectious diseases, and a competition-level swimming pool, among other buildings, will be unveiled in Fall 2020.

UC Merced’s student population includes more than 73 percent who are the first in their family to attend college — double the national average and by far the highest of any UC campus. Nearly 55 percent of UC Merced’s students are Hispanic, and nine in 10 students receive financial aid. Earlier this fall, UC Merced ranked second in the nation in outperforming expected graduation rates by U.S. News and World Report.

UPS TO PULL TRIGGER ON NEW VISALIA HUB, 600 JOBS


Image via flickr.comPublished On December 5, 2018 – 1:11 PM
Written By John Lindt

United Parcel Service (UPS) is moving forward on plans for its new Visalia distribution hub this month.

Blueprints call for a 425,000 square foot facility expected to employ 600 people.

Mayor Warren Gubler said he and City Manger Randy Groom met with UPS representatives about a month ago. ”They told us they want to build their plant next year and it will bring 300 more jobs to Visalia,” Gubler said.

UPS bought 58 acres last year at the northeast corner of Plaza and Riggin avenues, the first development that would be north of Riggin in the industrial park.

Asked about the plan, a UPS spokesman said they had no comment.

But local Teamsters, who have a contract with UPS, say they have been advised of the plan.” UPS Visalia has about 274 employees now and they have told us they want to add 300 to 400 more,” says Teamsters Local 948 Secretary Adam Ochoa.

”They want to start construction right away” adding that UPS wants to be operating in time for next year’s busy holiday season.

The UPS Visalia facility is expected to be the new Central Valley regional hub for ground shipments with room to expand if necessary. UPS is expanding its logistics hubs all around the country as they struggle to handle the ever-increasing demand from online shopping.

Community Development Director Nick Mascia says the city is working directly with UPS and their contractor on a plan that would place the new distribution facility on the north end of the property with vehicular access from both Riggin Avenue and Plaza Drive.

UPS has a smaller 40,000 square foot distribution center on Goshen Avenue they will no longer need once the large new highly automated facility opens. Mascia says in their building design process they are working first on a design for the conveyor systems to handle packages at the new Visalia plant.

And business is brisk. Nationally UPS package volume has increased 4.9 percent in the second quarter of this year even as their domestic revenue was up 8.1 percent.

UPS investment in new facilities and technology appears to be paying off as they compete to deliver on time.

UPS delivered 98.3 percent of packages shipped during Thanksgiving week on time, according to ShipMatrix Inc. Last year during the same week, 89.2 percent of parcels shipped through UPS Express were delivered on the day they were promised, meaning about 3.3 million packages a day arrived late.

The Wall Street Journal say UPS has added 22 new or retrofitted automated facilities in the U.S to handle the crushing volume of packages arriving at our front doors.

In August 2017, UPS purchased the 58 acres in Visalia’s industrial park. The big block of land was bought from developer Central California Logistics Center who had available some 480 acres of land north of Riggin Avenue on both sides of Plaza Drive. With UPS in place, demand for the remaining 400-plus acres should pick up.

Because of UPS’ plans, there will likely be more of these hubs sprouting along what has been open-range land on the sparsely populated northwestern edge of Visalia.

With little congestion and plenty of land available, UPS made a decision to invest in this property with their distribution hubs in Fresno and Visalia. Those hubs have been very busy and highly impacted by nearby development that has boxed them in — thwarting any kind of future major expansion.

For years, Visalia has promoted its center-state location and the presence of a major UPS transportation hub with access to 98 percent of California’s population via overnight delivery — 95 million consumers.

This presence is also credited with attracting scores of other distribution centers that use UPS for overnight shipping, claims about which both Visalia and Fresno boast.

One company, Diversified Development Group of Fresno, has invested heavily in buying land and developing “spec,” — or speculation — buildings before firm commitments. DDG has three developments within a block of the new Visalia UPS complex and expects more deals as large as 1 million square feet.

Recently, power toolmaker Hilti Inc. leased a new 166,000 square foot warehouse just built by DDG next to VF Corp. on American Avenue at Riggin Avenue. DDG also has plans for a new 700,000 square foot set of four “spec” buildings expected to break ground in 2019 at the southeast corner of Plaza and Riggin avenues.

Helping to highlight the location of these properties is the completion of the new $36 million Betty Drive interchange, less than two miles away at Highway 99. This will speed truck traffic in and out of the Visalia Industrial Park.

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/

Fresno’s rising technology scene getting noticed

 

Inside an office space at Bitwise’s The Hive in Downtown Fresno, deals and orders are being made globally.

“I think Fresno it’s not just Fresno anymore, we’re global. I hope people realize that and go after more global clients and do more international business,” said Jennifer Kim, Blockheads Development & Marketing Founder.

Blockheads Development and Marketing, which specializes in blockchain consulting, solutions and marketing to help small businesses.
Kim and the company relocated from Chicago more than a year ago.

“One day I decided to the tour at Bitwise and I was hooked in and the community is great. Everyone wanted to support me. So I became a part of a bigger clan and got a lot of support. The facilities,” Kim said.

She had worked from home but chose to be a part of the startup ecosystem in Fresno.

Recently, Fresno was highlighted in a Global Startup Ecosystem Report by Startup Genome, which studied cities across America to see the environment for companies.

Bitwise Industries says about 50-60 companies have moved to Fresno since Bitwise began.

“You don’t start Silicon Valley on day one, but we’re beginning to see the potential. We’re seeing the sorts of resources needed to grow the technology industry in Fresno, but we have work left to do. We’ve got to support things like Bitwise and these collisions. We’ve got to continue to be welcoming to outsiders and do more and better in the technology industry,” said Jake Soberal, Bitwise Industries C.E.O.

Soberal believes new companies can create more jobs and economically help the Valley.

Bitwise has seen dozens of businesses relocate in the past few years and they think that that number will only go up.

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ALDI SETS GRAND OPENING FOR FIRST VALLEY GROCERY STORE

ALDI prototype stores are in the 22,000 square-foot range. The first Valley location is coming to Porterville.

Published On November 26, 2018 – 2:00 PM
Written By Frank Lopez

Porterville residents will have the first chance to shop at ALDI, a low-cost German grocery store, when the Central Valley’s first location opens Dec. 6.

The grand opening will include an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, a Golden Ticket giveaway worth up to $100 to the first 100 shoppers, a produce-for-a-year sweepstakes and sampling of ALDI exclusive brand products.

The Porterville store is located at 770 S. Jaye St. off Highway 90. ALDI is also planning a Hanford store that could be open by the spring of 2019, according to the Hanford Sentinel. All ALDI building prototypes are designed with a square footage of 22,000 feet.

The Porterville store is part of a $5 billion investment to expand to 2,500 stores nationwide by the end of 2022, along with adding 25,000 new jobs in stores, warehouses and offices. ALDI has been in the grocery retailing industry since 1976 and operates more than 1,800 U.S. stores in 35 states and sees more than 40 million customers each month.

The closest current location is in Bakersfield.

“ALDI stores are designed to make life easier for people. We offer high-quality foods at affordable prices and a streamlined shopping experience unlike anything else,” said Tom Cindel, Moreno Valley Division Group Director of Operations and Logistics for ALDI. “From our award-winning products, to trendy, fresh and healthy options, we’re focused on carrying a selection that has something for everyone.”

The stores are designed to provide customers with a streamlined and easy shopping experience. The focus is on providing the best options at the best prices, making the trendy foods affordable and accessible, and selling random items at times when customers need them most, such as rain boots in the spring, or Dutch ovens around Thanksgiving.

The grand opening will be Dec. 6 at 8:15 a.m.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/aldi-sets-grand-opening-for-first-valley-grocery-store/

2019 REGIONAL ECONOMIC FORECAST: MADERA COUNTY

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The Tesoro Viejo project in Madera County has announced a trio of homebuilders that will work in the 1,600-acre master-planned community, including D.R. Horton, K. Hovnanian Homes and McCaffrey Homes.

Published On November 23, 2018 – 7:00 AM
Written By Donald A. Promnitz

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The overall economic outlook for Madera County looks positive going into 2019, with strong growth in retail and residential activity.

In fact, according to Bobby Kahn, executive director for the Madera County Economic Development Commission, one of the primary concerns for next year will be finding the needed space to meet the growing demands. Low industrial vacancy rates were also a problem for the region this year, remaining at about half a percent.

“So on one side, that’s a positive because it shows the economy is strong and our businesses are healthy — all our industrial space is spoken for,” Kahn said. “But then again, when you’re trying to market the area and people are asking for existing buildings, it’s a little bit harder to market to new businesses when you don’t have existing space.”

Because of this, construction has become an increasingly busy sector of the local economy, especially on the industrial end. In Madera, for example, Kahn cited Span Construction & Engineering, Inc.’s recent development of a new spec building at Freedom Industrial Park on West Pecan Avenue and South Pine Street. Kahn said other industrial projects are being considered in Chowchilla. The upcoming challenge will be the rising costs of construction and a shortage of workers as the unemployment numbers go down.

On the residential end, new developments are opening in Chowchilla, while the planned communities of Riverstone and Tesoro Viejo (both off of Highway 41) are selling space at breakneck paces. About 40 houses a month have been selling at Riverstone. While they’ve only been open since October, their business hub is now up and running.

Tourism is expected to be strong for 2019 in eastern Madera County, which depends on the industry. Rhonda Salisbury, CEO for Visit Yosemite/Madera County, said that the 51 days Yosemite National Park was closed due to the wildfires this summer cost them approximately 300,000 visitors, but they have since recovered. Each year, the park takes in an average of 4 million visitors, with Oakhurst being the most popular entrance.

“We’ve had a lot of momentum with tourism the last five or six years where it’s constantly growing,” Salisbury said. “I don’t know that it’s going to grow at a huge rate next year — I think people might still be a little leery of fire, especially our international travelers, but Yosemite is still the crown jewel of the national park system.”

However, like the rest of the San Joaquin Valley, the mainstay of the Madera County economy has been agriculture. According to Jay Mahil, president of the Madera County Farm Bureau, almonds remained the top of the list for 2018, despite a frost causing a 15 to 20 percent drop.

Dairy came in second for production value, while wine grapes and raisins performed steadily. In fourth place, pistachios also had a large crop in the year. Rainfall for 2018 was less than hoped, but despite this, Mahil stated that Madera County was still able to get some much-needed water through precipitation and heavy snowfall. But the weather for next year remains uncertain, and Mahil has called the situation “iffy” for 2019.

“As a grower and a farmer, we’re always optimistic that it’s going to be good, but Mother Nature is so unpredictable,” Mahil said. “We’ll see when it comes.”

In the future, compliance with the statewide Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) will lead to more challenges, as local agencies will have to work to allocate available groundwater so that the region’s farmers will have what they need to grow their crops.

As for the coming year, Mahil said that there would be concerns not only for water, but with immigration as well, as it becomes one of the most heavily debated issues in the Trump Administration. The incoming leadership in the House of Representatives could result in further gridlock on the issue, in which Mahil added. that agricultural communities are often held “for ransom.”

While there will be challenges and concerns facing Madera County next year and in the years to the come, the local economy is still poised to grow, and Kahn, Salisbury and Mahil all remain optimistic as the new year approaches.

“So, overall, 2018’s been a very good year and we look forward to continuing with that for the 2019 year,” Kahn said.

2019 REGIONAL ECONOMIC FORECAST: FRESNO COUNTY


An aerial view shows two current buildings at the Gap campus near Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

Published On November 23, 2018 – 7:00 AM
Written By Gabriel Dillard

By nearly every metric — employment, wages, farm receipts, home prices, construction — 2018 proved a banner year for Fresno County’s economy.

And in the opinion of economists, economic development professionals, industry advocates and more, the good times are expected to continue into 2019, even though a number of negative factors may loom over the horizon.

In Fresno, 2018 was a pivotal year that saw California’s fifth-largest city join the ranks of other e-commerce hubs. Fulfillment centers for Amazon and Ulta came online, bringing Mayor Lee Brand even closer to his goal of creating 10,000 jobs in two terms.

Gap was another large acquisition for Fresno. The San Francisco-based retailer announced it would locate an e-commerce fulfillment center in Fresno at its existing campus near the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The decision will create at least 515 full-time employees and generate $80 million in capital investment.

While the Gap distribution center will ramp up over three years, the move has already proven fruitful in the jobs department. Gap last month announced plans to hire 1,127 seasonal workers in Fresno

There are also some bright spots when it comes to the development of more shovel-ready industrial land, which has been a problem for site selectors in the past. The 63-acre Palm Lakes Business Park near the airport recently welcomed its first tenants. Closer to the Amazon and Ulta sites in south Fresno, Caglia Environmental’s proposed 110-acre industrial park won council approval this year, but still faces a challenge to its environmental impact analysis.

While continuing to market to e-commerce operations, Fresno economic developers are shifting their sites to tech companies that may be considering moving some of their operations out of the expensive Bay Area. Larry Westerlund, Fresno’s director of economic development, recently said in a public talk that closing the skills gap with our local workforce would net the well-paying jobs Fresnans hope for.

Speaking of technology, Clovis— Fresno County’s fastest growing city — should next year see a major new project at its Research and Technology Park near Temperance and Alluvial avenues. Construction for the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Clovis started this year. As part of California Health Sciences University, the 100,000 square foot facility would be the Central Valley’s first medical school when it is finished by next year, with classes set to start in 2020.

Clovis Community Hospital is also expected to start adding additional facilities next year. More industrial space is also primed next year for the Clovis Industrial Park and Dry Creek Industrial Park.

“It’s really encouraging to see that commercial industrial demand going in Clovis,” said Andy Haussler, Clovis economic and community development director.

Fresno County farms continue to comprise one of the most valuable farming areas in the world, though a number of factors justify calling the current market conditions “stable,” said Ryan Jacobsen, CEO and executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. Water supplies and labor availability have been perennial issues, but now tariffs on crop exports to countries such as China add a new layer of concern. 

One of the Valley’s top crops is the prime focus of those tariffs, and a potential source of pain in a protracted trade war.

“Nuts leads the list, but there are many others. Fresh fruits, vegetables and milk are not far behind,” Jacobsen said. “We haven’t felt the ramifications yet, but we don’t know how long this issue will continue to go on, or if it will get worse before it gets better.”

High-speed rail construction activity will continue in Fresno County in 2019, and Lee Ann Eager, president and CEO of the Fresno County Economic Development Corp., is bullish on the county’s chances of landing a rail heavy maintenance facility. She recently said she has heard rumbling the site could be chose in early 2019. It would add an estimated 1,500 new jobs, which is why bid packages from areas around Chowchilla, Madera and Hanford are also in the running.

The small communities along Highway 99, such as Fowler and Selma, continue to see new development that should stretch into 2019. Eastside communities including Sanger, Reedley and Parlier are also seeing activity. Impoverished Westside communities continue to face challenges, but the recreational pot industry has created bright spots in communities that have welcomed it, namely Coalinga and Mendota. Cannabis-related industrial development will ring in the New Year in those towns.

A potential market slowdown does weigh on the minds of economists and economic developers, some of whom — namely in Fresno — have described a rush to build to beat a downturn. Haussler with the City of Clovis has a background in economics and calls himself a “armchair Wall Street Journal reader. He thinks 2019 will continue to see the good times roll.

“I’m seeing a lot of projections coming into fruition,” he said. “I’m pretty bullish.”

But, he added, 2020 may be a different story. It’s just too far out to know for sure in this time of uncertainty.

Lemoore gets a massive all-in-one entertainment center. Here’s a sneak peek

November 14, 2018 03:18 PM