Tractor Supply Company is Coming to the City of Merced Soon

The city of Merced announced today that Tractor Supply Company is coming soon. The new business will be opening at the Gateway Marketplace located at Emission Avenue and near the new Arco Station. According to the developers, the store will be Tractor Supply’s new formats and the largest in the market area.

http://www.mercedgwnews.com/tractor-supply-company-is-coming-to-the-city-of-merced-soon-this-is-what-the-city-said/

Merced irrigation firm opens Tulare storefront

A Merced-based farm irrigation system retailer has made its first foray into the South Valley with a new Tulare storefront. Central Irrigation specializes in agricultural irrigation system design and installation, ranging from full ranch development to simple maintenance. The new Tulare store joins existing retail locations in Merced and Chowchilla.

https://www.newsbreak.com/california/merced/news/1524317962564/merced-irrigation-firm-opens-tulare-storefront

FRESNO COUNTY ECON FORECAST: BRICK-AND-MORTAR TRANSITIONING, BUT HERE TO STAY

Fresno County businesses, farmers and retailers have weathered a tornado of unpredictable events in 2020. But in 2021, commercial and residential real estate are expected to thrive. Ethan Smith, a broker at Newmark Pearson Commercial in Fresno, specializes in industrial real estate. He says that Fresno’s commercial real estate market is growing. “Industrial has continued to be incredibly active since we sort of shifted gears due to the pandemic,” Smith said.  He said demand continues to outpace supply, but it can take a while for pricing to catch up to market changes.

Spring brought concern about the economy, but conditions are not looking nearly as poor as experts first thought. “As things have settled down, we haven’t seen the doom and gloom predictions that people have thought,” Smith said.  Industrial firms were deemed essential from the start, which might have helped, and will continue to help in 2021. “Small businesses locally tend to be pretty resilient; we actually still see demand because businesses are growing,” he said.

Some businesses need to lease more space. However, growth can be tough between businesses and banks. “Banks are being more judicious with their lending. However, we’re not seeing the same things during the financial crisis where liquidity just went away,” he said. Low interest rates means cash is cheap at the moment.

The housing market is also booming, and will continue to stay that way in the near future. But Smith and Danyelle Conner, real estate agent at London Properties in Fresno, said it’s because inventory is low. Thus, prices continue to climb. “The market right now continues to be pretty hot,” Conner said. Traditionally November slows down because people like to decorate their homes for the holidays, Conner says. “But as par for the course this year, nothing has been traditional with Covid, and we’re not really seeing a slowdown like we typically would expect right now,” Conner said. “Buyers are also willing to pay the prices sellers are asking, but I have had a few issues with appraisals lately,” Conner said. “Buyers are willing to pay it, but appraisers are not willing to give it the value.” This has potential to make buyers want to come down on the price if appraisers think it’s too high.

Office space has not died off as first predicted. Projects are still under construction because people want to work in a collaborative, in-person setting. Small and medium sized businesses rely on the office because of the lack of accommodation for sophisticated information systems available working from home. “The obituaries that were written about the offices were incredibly premature. And there’s no obituary,” Smith said.  Many office workers have been negatively affected by school closures, as was the agriculture industry, which delivers mass amounts of fruit, vegetables and milk to grade schools. Ryan Jacobsen, CEO of Fresno County Farm Bureau, says that Covid will continue to play a role in the 2021 agriculture forecast. “Overall, the commodities definitely are lower than what we’ve seen in the past decade, and a lot of that is attributed to the softer foreign markets for some of the products that are more heavily demanded worldwide,” Jacobsen said. This will play a role in foreign trade in the Covid era looking into 2021. “Central Valley agriculture is very dependent upon foreign trade, and so our hope is that the worldwide economy still demands California produce,” Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen hopes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal will pay dividends in 2021. Aside from Covid-related differences, water runoff was below average year, so the agriculture industry hopes to have a better water year in 2021 because it means more crops in the ground. In 2021, retail giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart could change the small business front. “The retail industry already was changing. The pandemic — people staying home — has only accelerated what was already happening,” Smith said. There is a shift as retailers occupy more warehouse space and use their own delivery infrastructure to accommodate consumers quicker, which could spur industrial construction. “The expectation on the customer’s end is not waiting five to seven days for delivery anymore,” Smith said.

The outlook for restaurants is certainly not bright, especially as Fresno County reenters the most restrictive purple tier on the state’s lockdown list. This week, Fresno Mayor-elect Jerry Dyer said on a panel discussion with California mayors that 30-40% of restaurants in Fresno will never open again, reported gvwire.com. Smith says we will continue to see the weeding out of businesses who can’t survive the temporary 30-40% decrease in sales until the economy levels out, which may occur in summer 2021. But online retailers born during the pandemic also see the value of operating a brick-and-mortar.  Nicole Zieba, Reedley city manager, and Alex Henderson, Kingsburg city manager, both remain optimistic about 2021. Reedley has a 90-day operating fund reserve for 2021. And both Kingsburg and Reedley cities show rapid commercial and residential development.  For instance, Reedley has been targeting advanced food manufacturing to reported success.

Then there is the incoming T-Mobile call center in Kingsburg, which Henderson says will bring 1,000 jobs to the city. The 100,000 square foot customer experience center is slated for early 2021, after being on hold for the past year.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/fresno-county-econ-forecast-brick-and-mortar-transitioning-but-here-to-stay/

Tejon Ranch plays unique role in extraordinary times

If you have been in Kern County for any length of time you undoubtedly know about the magnificent ranch that encompasses 270,000 acres just south of Bakersfield and contains one of the most diverse intersections of nature, commerce, energy, housing and agriculture in the western United States. That diversity has contributed to the company’s resilience during these turbulent times. But what impact has this had on the economic future of Kern County, its small businesses and thousands of individual jobs?

Let’s take two of our company’s signature developments: the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center and its denizen Outlets at Tejon. The direct jobs alone are responsible for the employment of anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 individuals. The importance of a job cannot be overstated, particularly during a crisis, and the multiplier effect of each dollar earned — particularly those dollars spent by consumers from outside our area — coursing through our economy is critical to our county’s success. But even “essential” industries such as ours must put the safety and well-being of our employees and customers first – and we have found this to be abundantly achievable without sacrificing the jobs and economic vitality our county needs.

The Outlets at Tejon, for example, put in place a rigorous cleaning and sanitizing process as well as signage reminding everyone of suggested COVID-19 safety precautions such as social distancing and mask wearing. Although some attractions such as the food court, Camp Tejon and all kiddie rides had to remain temporarily closed, we were able to direct visitors to the numerous food options at the same exit in the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center including In-N-Out Burger, Chipotle, Starbucks, Pieology and Habit Burger, as well as recently opened operations like Dunkin Donuts, Jamba Juice and Charley’s Philly Cheesesteaks near the entrance to the outlets.

The ability to maintain much of this employment is made possible by you, the customers, who shop at Tejon’s outdoor retail offerings, as well as the many drive-thru restaurants where the sales taxes alone total nearly $10 million annually. Property, fuel and other taxes paid by the company as well as its partners and third-party owners are in the millions of additional dollars and all these tax revenues support much-needed public benefits including our roads, schools and public safety operations.

We are incredibly fortunate that the majority of the businesses in our center have managed to continue operations thanks to their essential nature, excellent safety procedures and an outdoor or drive-thru window capacity. The pandemic experience has challenged us all to reach a little bit higher, dig a little deeper and embrace the things that matter most. We have always taken pride in our role as a gateway from southern California to our beautiful community. That responsibility has motivated us to set the bar high in terms of quality, aesthetics and operations, as a standard bearer for the proud and resilient people of Kern County. The ongoing ability to provide jobs, fuel, food and supplies is one that we take seriously, while we look forward to a vibrant future for everyone in California.

https://www.bakersfield.com/kern-business-journal/tejon-ranch-plays-unique-role-in-extraordinary-times/article_d83f340c-f485-11ea-b82c-f3fa3ae2febc.html

Retail construction continues locally despite pandemic

Judging only by construction of new retail buildings around Bakersfield, it would be easy to conclude the pandemic has hardly disrupted the local economy. That’s not the case, of course, with unemployment hovering at about 13 percent in August. But in recent months whole new shopping centers have sprung up at the intersections of Stockdale Highway and Buena Vista Road, and at Panama Lane and Ashe Road.

Meanwhile, construction of additional retail projects has begun at Snow Road and Calloway Drive. Also, work is scheduled to begin soon on a similar project at Panama Lane and Gosford Road. There’s no question these projects predate COVID-19’s arrival and originated under better economic circumstances. In that sense, observers say, they are left over from a time when investor confidence was stronger than it is now. But it’s also a good sign — and a benefit to local employment — that these developments are proceeding despite the economic slowdown and generally challenging times for the retail industry.

Bakersfield commercial real estate broker Scott Underhill said March and April were tough but that since then business has picked up. Rents have come down, he noted, as tenants and landlords have worked together out of shared necessity. “We’ve adjusted and moved forward,” he said.

The pain in local retail has not been distributed evenly. Broker Vince Roche said some stores are suffering, as are family entertainment centers. But drive-thrus, grocery stores and home-improvement retailers, he said, are doing quite well. Roche said he takes hope in a recent surge in demand from people moving to Bakersfield from other areas where homes are more expensive. Eventually that should lead to more homes and, after that, additional stores to serve new neighborhoods. He cautioned that COVID-19 has clouded an already uncertain future for retail. Society remains “in the storm,” he said, and it’s hard to tell where the economy will end up after the pandemic subsides. Developers may have reason to pause, he said, but not necessarily good cause to halt. “It (the virus) has created just another layer of risk that has to be assessed and really evaluated on a project-by-project basis,” he said.

One byproduct is that construction labor is now hard to come by, said Joe Jannino, an estimator at general contractor SC Anderson Inc. “There’s plenty of work going on right now,” he said, adding that SC Anderson has kept busy lately largely because of school construction and other publicly funded building projects.

The project that began recently at Snow and Calloway will feature an Arco filling station with a convenience store and carwash, Underhill said. There will also be a fast-foot restaurant and a 20,000-square-foot store whose tenant has not been identified.

At Stockdale and Buena Vista, he said, a Panda Express will open this week. Other tenants there will include a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a Little Caesars Pizza, a Del Taco and a nail salon, along with other tenants still negotiating leases. The shopping center being completed at Panama and Ashe will have a Planet Fitness gym, a 7-Eleven, a Habit Burger Grill, a Raising Cane’s, a Mexican-style restaurant and other tenants, Underhill said. He said at Panama and Gosford there will be an Arco, two fast-food restaurants and a 20,000-square-foot store.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/retail-construction-continues-locally-despite-pandemic/article_749a316e-ff83-11ea-ba2f-b700fc93ff6d.html

California Supreme Court Gives Favorable Nod to North Fork Rancheria Casino

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: North Fork, CA – August 31, 2020 – The California Supreme Court has ruled that former Governor Jerry Brown acted within his authority when he concurred in a pair of federal decisions in 2011 that led to the approval of two so-called “off-reservation” tribal gaming projects in Madera and Yuba counties. In United Auburn Indian Community v. Newsom, the Court determined that the Governor has the right to concur. The decision will allow the North Fork Rancheria to move forward with the design, financing and construction of its long-awaited and highly anticipated project north of the City of Madera.

“We are thrilled that the Court has finally decided this case in our favor” said North Fork Rancheria Tribal Chair Elaine Bethel-Fink. “Our tribal citizens and local community have been denied the advantages of tribal gaming – billions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs – for far too long.”

The legal case stems back nearly a decade; the Tribe’s pursuit of a casino nearly two. In 2003, the Tribe penned an agreement with Las Vegas-based Station Casinos to develop a casino. The next year, the Tribe requested the federal government to take the proposed site near Madera in trust for gaming purposes. After a rigorous and lengthy federal review, the Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs determined that gaming on the land would be in the best interest of the Tribe and not detrimental to the surrounding community and requested the Governor’s concurrence to move forward. A year later, on August 30, 2012, in a letter to the Secretary of the Interior, Governor Brown concurred in the determination.

Opponents eventually challenged the Governor’s authority to concur, arguing that California’s Constitution required legislative authorization. In 2017, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to both projects after two appeals courts reached different conclusions. It then took the Court over 3½ years to rule on the matter.

“While we firmly believe that only federal law controls the gaming eligibility of our trust lands,” said Bethel-Fink, “we are nonetheless delighted to have this long drawn out drama finally behind us — and eager to get going and bring jobs and economic opportunity to our people and community!”

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About the North Fork Rancheria
The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians is a federally recognized Native American tribe with over 2,200 tribal citizens and government offices in Madera County, California. Since the restoration of its federally recognized status in 1983, the Tribe has established modern tribal governing institutions to improve the lives of its tribal citizens, many of whom have limited access to basic housing, healthcare, business, employment, and educational services and opportunity. The Tribe leverages its limited federal grant funding to operate numerous tribal programs. More information available at https://www.northforkrancheria-nsn.gov/.

$15.66-Million Apartment Building in Central Valley Sold by The Mogharebi Group

(“TMG”) has completed the sale of Oak Valley Apartments, a 109-unit community, in Tulare. The property sold for $15,660,000 with multiple offers. Alex Mogharebi, Otto Ozen, Robin Kane, Brendan Kane and Mark Bonas of The Mogharebi Group represented the seller, IDEAL Capital Group based in Central California. The buyer was a private investor, based in Southern California. “The property is a recently renovated high quality asset with a strong unit mix with proven upside. This Central Valley community presents solid upside-value”

“The property is a recently renovated high quality asset with a strong unit mix with proven upside. This Central Valley community presents solid upside-value,” said Otto Ozen, Executive Vice President of The Mogharebi Group. “Through our proprietary 1031 exchange platform that includes a robust network of private high net-worth and exchange buyers, we were able to drive the value and successfully close.”

Built on a 7.06-acre site in 1988, Oak Valley Apartments is located at 2001 East Cross Avenue in Tulare. The property has great exposure on their fronting roads and is within a 30- to 60-minute commute to over 661,000 jobs.

The property features attractive community amenities, including a large resort-like swimming pool, fitness center, business/media center, outdoor BBQ/Picnic area, and reserved covered parking. It is walking distance to Live Oak Middle School, Super Target and less than one mile of Tulare Outlet Center and other retail shops.

About The Mogharebi Group (TMG): The Mogharebi Group is a brokerage firm specializing in the multifamily property sector throughout California. With unrivaled local knowledge, an extensive global network of top real estate investors, state of the art technology, and direct access to capital, The Mogharebi Group is the best choice to meet the needs of major private investors and investment funds.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200918005066/en/15.66-Million-Apartment-Building-in-Central-Valley-Sold-by-The-Mogharebi-Group

Central California Storage Facility Trades for $12M

Olive Drive Self Storage, a 106,041-square-foot facility in Bakersfield, Calif., has sold for $11.5 million. A private investor traded the property to an individual buyer based near San Francisco, according to Yardi Matrix data.

Located on an 8-acre parcel at 5250 Knudsen Drive, the property encompasses 14 single-story buildings completed in 2004. The facility provides a mix of drive-up access units ranging between 25 and 400 square feet and paved parking lots with sizes from 150 to 600 square feet for RVs, boats and cars. The store has an on-site manager, security cameras and individually fitted alarms within each unit and also sells packing and moving supplies.

There are 10 other self storage properties encompassing 928,772 net rentable square feet within a 3-mile radius, Yardi Matrix data shows. Situated close to the busy retail corridor along Olive Drive, the facility is 4 miles northwest of downtown Bakersfield.

The site is also 4 miles north of Cal Twin Towers, a 151,124-square-foot office property which traded for $26.1 million in February. Cushman & Wakefield assisted seller Adler Realty Investments in the disposition to Blumer Construction.

https://www.cpexecutive.com/post/central-california-storage-facility-trades-for-12m/#:~:text=The%20property%20delivered%20in%202004,square%20feet%20in%2014%20buildings.&text=Olive%20Drive%20Self%20Storage%2C%20a,has%20sold%20for%20%2411.5%20million.

Avocados Being Tested For Central Valley Production

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network of the West

Will we see commercial avocado production move into the central valley? That’s what Joseph Mark Buhl is wondering. Along with a few collaborators, he is running a test of different avocado and rootstock combinations in the Visalia area. He wants to know, can they grow well under nets. “We’re kind of replicating almost like a Colombian rain forest in there for them. Then the hope is to keep it under 95 degrees, and the hope is to keep it above 32 degrees.”

Buhl is the cofounder of Data Harvest. He says avocados could offer central valley growers good prices, lower pesticide needs, and a water-efficient crop. “I brought this project back with Dr. Mary Lu Arpaia, UCANR Cooperative Extension, Subtropical Horticulturist about a year and a half ago when some friends of mine had shared with me what they were able to attain to these in these net houses for environments,” said Buhl. And so we thought, what a wonderful opportunity to try this out. And, so my place is in hoping that this is an industry starter for other farmers and for the central Valley. And around the world. I think there’s many opportunities and environments that haven’t been considered that this could open the doors for growing all over.”

The project is made possible in part by a USDA grant to study the concept in California and Texas.

https://californiaagtoday.com/avocados-tested-central-valley-production/

Plant sales increase as more people take on gardening

Throughout the Central Valley nurseries are deemed essential because they sale fruits, vegetables, and outdoor plants. With numerous businesses temporary closed to stay at home restrictions, more and more people are turning to gardening swamping local nurseries with their business.

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/plant-sales-increase-as-more-people-take-on-gardening/