Category: New Developments

NEW DEVELOPMENT COMING TO CLOVIS PARCEL

Sticks are up at a development project at Herndon and Peach avenues in Clovis by the Marihart family, owners of 13 Prime Steak and PC Solutions. Photo by Falina Marihart

Published On February 5, 2020 – 12:37 PM
Written By Donald A. Promnitz

A long-vacant parcel of land in Clovis will be getting several new leases on life over the next three years, with construction officially under way on a pair of buildings.

The land — stretching 2.3 acres on the corner of Herndon and Peach avenues in Clovis — was purchased in parcels by Marihart Properties between 2017 and 2019. According to John, James and Falina Marihart, the family business started construction on phase one in November, which they expect to complete in the summer. Once completed, 4,000 square feet of the 10,000-square-foot building will house the new headquarters for PC Solutions. PC Solutions was founded by John D. Marihart.

“We’ve come so far since literally starting the company in my garage to now employing the best IT professionals and actively scaling our products for growth,” John D. Marihart said.

The remaining part of the building will be available for lease.

Phase two, meanwhile, is expected to begin sometime between six months and a year from now. Plans call for its completion in 2021. That building will be 16,000 square feet. James Marihart will manage the day-to-day operations.

“As we’ve all seen, Clovis is booming and the future is bright for businesses in the city,” said James Marihart, managing partner. “As each one of our buildings go up, more and more jobs will be created.”

Phase three is expected for 2023, according to the Mariharts. It will house a restaurant similar to popular steakhouse 13 Prime Steak, which is also owned by John D. Marihart.

“It’ll serve the community in that area — breakfast, lunch and dinner, possibly,” Falina Marihart said. “So it’s still going to be quality food and everything, just a different price.”

Target Constructors, Inc., out of Madera, Ca., won the bid to complete the construction on the projects.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/new-development-coming-to-clovis-parcel/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=b3e3ea97e6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_05_08_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-b3e3ea97e6-78934409&mc_cid=b3e3ea97e6&mc_eid=a126ded657

New construction plan in Clovis to help businesses rise

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) — Construction workers are taking advantage of the good weather to hammer out a 10,000 square foot office building.

A portion of the space will be the new home of PC Solutions, a networking and data security business.

“PC Solutions started out of my brother’s garage 15 years ago with one employee and just fixing computers straightaway to customers, and we’ve actually grown to 13 employees now,” says Managing Partner James Marihart.

The business is looking to expand even more once they move into their new home at Peach at Herndon.

The complex is part of a bigger plan to eventually build a sister restaurant to the 13 Prime Steak at Willow and Nees.

“It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a full-service bar, so we’re very, very excited about that. There’s not a lot of breakfast options in Clovis, so we’re excited to provide that benefit to the community.”

A look above the construction project from Skyview 30 shows the ongoing work. Phase one is an office complex, and phase two is an even larger business complex. The third and final phase is the restaurant.

It will be located at the most prime spot, closest to the corner of Herndon.

The partners will be looking to lease office space at this current location. Phase one of the project is expected to be completed this summer.

New warehouses, hotels, restaurants coming to Visalia’s Industrial Park

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) — Rod Jurbina remembers a time, perhaps just 15 years ago, when there wasn’t much to see in parts of Visalia’s industrial park.

At the time, he was working for a gas company.

“We put in a four-inch plastic gas main in there and I was asking myself, ‘I wonder why they need this here because there’s really nothing out here for now,'” Jurbina said. “And now look what it’s developed into.”

In a January economic update, city employees describe an industrial park that is growing substantially. The reason for the growth?

The city says it’s multiple factors, including the cost and availability of land, Visalia’s central location in the state, and the expansion of the UPS’ ground hub at this massive facility at Riggin Avenue and Plaza Drive.

The city expects UPS will add another 250 jobs but predicts it will also spur new development and more jobs.

“So now other companies that are in that kind of a business model will now look at Visalia, and say ‘Hey, we can service the state, we can go south, we can go north, one-shift kind of thing,'” Visalia Councilmember Steve Nelsen said.

Millipore Sigma, an east-coast based life-sciences company, is now up and running in their west coast distribution center on Riggin Avenue.

The city says construction will start soon on even more massive warehouses in that area.

Closer to the freeway, in the business research park, a large new development has been proposed with space for offices, stores, and a park in the middle.

A Residence Inn recently opened across the street, and two more hotels are planned.

Jurbina, who now works in the industrial park, is supportive of its rapid expansion.

More people will have jobs, he says, and the city will benefit by way of tax revenue.

“Any time there’s growth, there’s always a good opportunity for everybody,” he said.

The industrial park is getting close to meeting its current growth boundary established in 2013.

On Thursday night, the Visalia planning commission and city councilmembers will consider moving it into another tier where more land could be developed.

Renewable natural gas producer announces Pixley expansion

PIXLEY – Calgren Dairy Fuels and Southern California Gas Co. today announced four additional Central Valley dairies have started sending methane produced from cow manure to Calgren’s biogas operation in Pixley, where it’s processed into renewable natural gas (RNG) and injected into SoCalGas’ system. 

The Calgren facility now collects methane— a potent greenhouse gas that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change — from more than 66,000 cows at 10 area dairy farms. The additional dairies are projected to nearly double the amount of RNG produced at the facility, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing more traditional natural gas. Calgren partnered with Maas Energy Works to develop these four new dairy digesters as well as the previous six dairy digesters that have been operating since 2018.

“Over the last five years, renewable natural gas use in the transportation sector has grown by almost 600 percent,” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president and chief environmental officer. “We’re looking to build on that success by delivering more renewable energy options to our customers, including renewable natural gas produced at farms, hydrogen made from surplus solar energy, and advanced fuel cell systems that can provide energy in extreme weather events. Each of these technologies will be essential to promoting the long-term reliability of our energy systems and to meeting California’s ambitious climate goals affordably.”

“Calgren is leading efforts in California on this front, working with both dairies and SoCalGas to mitigate emissions,” said Lyle Schlyer, president of Calgren Renewable Fuels. “This facility alone will eventually capture methane produced from the manure of more than 75,000 cows, preventing about 130,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road annually.”

Renewable natural gas can rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) because it takes more climate pollution out of the air than it emits as an energy source. The RNG produced at Calgren’s facility today is used as a carbon-negative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses and long-haul trucks. RNG can also be delivered to customers to generate clean electricity and heat homes and businesses. Last year, SoCalGas committed to delivering 20 percent of the natural gas it buys for homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030.

More than 80 percent of all methane emissions in California come from organic sources like wastewater treatment plants, landfills, food and green waste and farms. In California, a 2016 law requires a 40 percent reduction of methane emissions from waste sources such as landfills and dairies, with provisions to deliver that energy to customers.

The law is expected to bolster the supply of RNG that’s already growing rapidly as cities and towns across the country look to divert organic waste from landfills. Scientists at the University of California, Davis estimate the state’s existing waste could produce enough RNG to meet the needs of 2.3 million homes. Nationally, a just-released study by ICF estimates 4,450 Trillion Btus of renewable natural gas will be available by 2040, about 90 percent of the nation’s current residential natural gas consumption.

RNG is already helping eliminate emissions from trucks and buses. Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577 percent, helping displace more than seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (how GHG emissions are measured). That’s equal to the emissions from more than a million homes’ electricity use for one year.

Research shows replacing about 20 percent of California’s traditional natural gas supply with RNG would lower emissions equal to retrofitting every building in the state to run on electric only energy and at a fraction of the cost. Using RNG in buildings can be two to three times less expensive than any all-electric strategy and doesn’t require families or businesses to purchase new appliances or take on costly construction projects.

In recent years, energy providers across the country and around the world are capturing methane emissions — from farms, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills — to create renewable energy that displaces traditional natural gas. For example:

Dominion Energy and Vanguard Renewables recently announced a $200 million partnership that includes RNG projects in five states, with additional projects planned nationwide.

CR&R, a waste management company in Southern California is using green waste diverted from landfills to make RNG being injected into SoCalGas’ pipelines.

UPS last year agreed to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of RNG through 2026, the largest commitment for use of RNG thus far by any U.S. company.

French utility Engie plans to switch all of its gas operations to biogas and renewable hydrogen by 2050.

SoCalGas is also working to build on RNG’s success in the transportation sector here by making it available to fuel the homes of the company’s 21 million customers across Southern California. Earlier this year, SoCalGas’ committed to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030 – as part of a broad, inclusive and integrated plan to help achieve California’s ambitious climate goals.

To kickstart the plan, SoCalGas is pursuing regulatory authority to implement a broad renewable natural gas procurement program with a goal of replacing five percent of its natural gas supply with RNG by 2022. SoCalGas also recently filed a request with the CPUC to allow customers to purchase renewable natural gas for their homes.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/renewable-natural-gas-producer-announces-pixley-expansion/article_f07bf676-37ad-11ea-8e19-bbed0fe791c1.html

Massive solar project 8 years in the making debuts in eastern Kern

Eastern Kern County’s vast renewable-energy potential will shine brightly Friday as corporate and government leaders celebrate the completion of an eight-year, roughly 1,400-acre photovoltaic project designed to generate enough electricity to power more than 150,000 homes in the Los Angeles area.

With a price tag estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars, L.A.-based 8minute Solar Energy’s three-phase Springbok project in Cantil has put the area’s otherwise underused real estate to use creating some 850 construction and maintenance positions, as well as 1,100 indirect jobs.

Viewed in the context of existing wind farms in the Tehachapi area and a larger solar plant under development nearby by the same company, the project demonstrates the renewable-energy potential of a county that is sometimes overshadowed by its better-known oil and gas portfolio.

The project’s developer described its achievement in historic terms.

“The Springbok cluster is the first place in the country where solar beat the price of fossil fuels,” 8minute Solar spokesman Jeff McKay said by email. “This is where we helped prove to the world that the future of energy belongs to solar.”

County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, whose district encompasses the project, welcomed the project’s completion.

“I support appropriately located renewable energy projects that hire locally and contribute to the organizations and needs of the community,” Scrivner said by email. “8Minute Energy has shown they are here for the long term and I congratulate them on another successful project in the center of energy for California.”

The project’s 448-megawatt-dc of electricity is being sold to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the city of Glendale.

Next up for 8minute Solar is the project known as Eland, a more than $1 billion installation touted as the nation’s largest solar energy project. Sited a little more than half a mile away from the Springbok cluster, it was recently approved by the city of Los Angeles.

What makes Eland special is its energy-storage capacity. Besides generating some 400 megawatts of power, it is designed to store up to 1,200 megawatt-hours of electricity when it opens in 2023, according to 8minute Solar.

Also extraordinary is its cost: Eland is said to offer the lowest combined solar and storage prices anywhere.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/massive-solar-project-years-in-the-making-debuts-in-eastern/article_50683350-0735-11ea-b562-df2a68bf6796.html

MADERA COUNTY HOUSING BOOM COULD SPUR AT LEAST ONE NEW CITY

Brent McCaffrey, president of Tesoro Viejo and McCaffrey Homes, shows visitors from the real estate industry and local governments a model of the town center at Tesoro Viejo, a large, mixed-use community being built in southeast Madera County. Photo by David Castellon

Published On October 25, 2019 – 1:35 PM
Written By 

It’s been about three years since the groundbreaking ceremony for Riverstone, one of two massive planned housing developments being built off Highway 41 in southeast Madera County.

Considering the estimated scope of the project — 6,578 homes on about 2,000 acres — it may not be completed for 30 years or more.

But Riverstone and the other big Madera County development to the north along 41, Tesoro Viejo, aren’t just about home building.

In the mix

Both are mixed-use developments with plans to include commercial, comprised of spaces for office, retail and light industrial businesses alongside stylish homes and recreation options that include parks, community centers and trails that will allow residents to walk, jog or bicycle to the nearby San Joaquin River.

In fact, development groups involved with the 1,600-acre Tesoro Viejo development have erected a little more than 70 of the 5,190 homes planned to be built there, and they’ve already built a Madera County fire station and a county sheriff’s sub station on site, as well as “The Hub,” a welcome center for potential homebuyers, along with a restaurant and a brew house planned for the future.

 

Educational opportunities

Tesoro Viejo has also completed a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade elementary school, and even though only about 20 homes have been occupied, the school is fully operational with children from outside the development bussed in.

Eventually, the plan is for the elementary school to mostly serve children living in Tesoro Viejo, said Brent McCaffrey, president of Tesoro Viejo and McCaffrey Homes, the lead developer on the project.

As for Riverstone, the developers there held a second groundbreaking off 41 and Avenue 12 Thursday afternoon for Riverwalk, the first commercial portion of that project.

The plan is for Riverstone to have 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, with Riverwalk comprising about two-thirds of that, said Timothy Jones, a developer and principal in the company that oversees the development, Riverstone Development LLC.

“We have 95 acres along 41,” for Riverwalk, he said.

 

Multi-family in the works

And the commercial area — which unlike Tesoro Viejo will have no industrial businesses — will be mixed use, meaning that some residential and office spaces will be available above some retail and office spaces, Jones said.

In addition, beyond building the single-family homes in the residential portions of Riverstone, “We anticipate having some apartments, definitely some [condominiums] in the mix,” he added.

Riverstone began construction before Tesoro Viejo, and homes started selling there in 2017. So far, about 400 completed, single-family homes have been occupied, with at least 50 more under construction, Jones said.

 

Building ahead

As for the demand among homebuyers, he said, “We’ve got six builders in there now. We’ve got a couple more trying to get in, and we are building ahead of our expected absorption.”

Some experts have said Madera is in the midst of a building boom, in part because spaces for developments with natural areas have become scarce in the Fresno area.

“Years ago, you had to live on a golf course. New people are requiring outdoor living and trails as the No. 1 thing they’re looking for. In all our entire master-planned communities here in Madera County, that is a big emphasis,” Madera County Supervisor Brett Frazier said.

 

New neighborhoods

At Tesoro Viejo, McCaffrey said the home building will be divided into nine “villages” — essentially neighborhoods — each with its own park, while Jones said 20-23 small parks are planned to be built throughout Riverstone.

Both also are planning to build multiple community centers, while Riverstone’s plans also include the construction of three elementary schools, along with a junior high school and high school.

“The first elementary school is set to break ground in January of 2020” and open in August of 2021, said Jones, adding that even after Riverstone is more fully developed, the schools likely will serve not only students there but also those in nearby areas, including The Ranchos and Rolling Hills.

 

Startups welcomed

Among the selling points at Tesoro Viejo — where three million square feet of commercial space is planned to be built — and Riverstone is residents who may start up or work at businesses in the developments will be able to avoid the traffic and time involved in commuting to and from Fresno, Madera and other nearby areas.

And with the addition of restaurants and possible places for entertainment and shopping, “When people come into the town center, they will hear about the lifestyle, not just a home to live in or a school to go to, but also the social infrastructure where you can live, work, play,” McCaffrey said last month to a group of real estate brokers, local government officials — Frazier among them — and others brought in to hear about the development on a bus tour put on by Fresno State’s Gazarian Real Estate Center.

 

Way of life

In fact, he said his family has donated land to build a Catholic church in the town center.

“So we’re trying to create not just a development, but also the social fabric of the community.”

If this all sounds like a couple of cities in the works, you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

In 1995, Madera County supervisors adopted the Rio Mesa Area Plan, which included supporting residential and commercial development along 15,000 acres of then mostly farmland bordered by Highway 41 to the west, the San Joaquin River to the south, east toward Millerton Lake and Highway 145 to the north.

The plan was to merge those developments into a city, which would be the third in Madera County, after Madera and Chowchilla.

Tesoro Viejo sits in those boundaries, and McCaffrey said he expects his development and possibly some proposed to the south of his could be incorporated someday into a single city.

 

Town of its own

For his part, Jones said his development is far enough south of the Rio Mesa area that it’s unlikely Riverstone is unlikely to be rolled into a city with Tesoro Viejo.

But Riverstone already is a larger development in terms of acreage and number of homes, and on top of that, the developers own about 5,000 adjoining acres they want to get zoned for housing and eventually build an additional 20,000 residential units and dedicate about 600 acres of that for additional commercial development.

“That whole area out there could be another city,” Jones said of Riverstone, but he shied away from saying whether he would support that happening. “You know, we are so far away from that. We’re talking 20 to 40 years before that’s in contemplation realistically. So I can’t tell you the answer to that. I don’t know.”

He added, “I think the issues of becoming a city are complicated.

2 years since its reopening, Fulton Street continues to develop

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — As thousands celebrated year two of Fulton Street’s reopening, Valley native Reza Assemi took Action News inside one of his latest projects.

“I bought this with a partner Jamin Brazil,”

Assemi is one of the developers behind buildings like Iron Bird Lofts, Broadway Studios and the old theater three. But now he is looking to turn this 1918 building on Inyo and Fulton into something new.

“We are looking to do commercial space downstairs so hopefully taprooms, entertainment-driven businesses and upstairs tech space,” he said.

Assemi tells Action News for over two decades he has envisioned changing the scope of this area.

“I love downtown. It’s rich with visuals, so that’s exciting to take something beautiful, neglected and bring it back. And the gravy on top is to make it entertaining,” he said.

And it is happening. Many people are glad to see what was once shut down now thriving.

“It seems like it turned around it’s a beautiful place to be,” said Shane Baker of Fresno.

“It’s kinda cool because I started to come down for the Fuego games and foxes and then noticing all beer gardens and cool events,” said Tony Dusan of Madera.

Mark Standriff with the City of Fresno says the reopening of Fulton Street has increased gross revenue and boosted the economy.

“It has grown over 1,500% which is an amazing figure, so this kind of growth is just the beginning,” he said.

And as Assemi works to continue investing and revitalizing downtown Fresno, people can be seen from the second-floor window of his next project taking in what he and many others hoped to create.

“It doesn’t exist without that interest without the public, so I really think they are the ones making this happen,” he said.

Assemi says construction on this project will likely begin next month. He tells Action News it might take about five months to complete, but he and his partner are hoping it will be ready by next spring.

https://abc30.com/2-years-since-its-reopening-fulton-street-continues-to-develop/5632356/

Merced points to thriving industrial base

 

Central Valley Business Times

August 23, 2019

  • Cites five firms expanding in Merced
  • “An expansion that is bringing jobs and revenue to the community”

The city of Merced is touting its industrial base, saying it is thriving.

“Our retail and commercial sector is doing well, along with our housing market, and so is our industrial side,” says City Manager Steve Carrigan. “The industrial side of Merced is undergoing an expansion that is bringing jobs and revenue to the community. We are getting construction jobs, and then permanent jobs for Merced.”

Merced officials point to the expansion of existing businesses and the addition of new industrial buildings, with the growth spread across a variety of markets.

“That’s a good indicator of the city’s economic vitality,” says Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz.

The companies are located throughout the city’s industrial zones. “We are seeing these expansions in several of our industrial parks across the southern section of the city,” says Ms. Dietz. “It’s not just concentrated in one area.”

In the case of Titan Metal Products, the expansion is doubling the size of its facilities. Titan Doors, 1891 Wardrobe Ave., makes stock and custom doors, door frames and assemblies. Some of the firm’s doors are fire and ballistic rated. Titan’s products were recently used in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

The existing Titan plant spreads over 18,725 square feet, and the company is adding another 19,000 square feet of space to the door and assembly area. Centurion Boats, 2047 Grogan Ave., has been a maker of high performance towboats since 1976, specializing in wake-surfing towboats. A division of Correct Craft, Centurion is headquartered in Merced and offers sevenmodels, along with the ability to custom build a boat.

The company is undergoing a 24,234 square foot shop and office expansion, putting in a 3,600 square foot development and engineering facility, along with a test tank. All of the growth of the facility increases theresearch and development capacity to the facility.

O’Keeffe Safti-First, 220 S. R St., has specialized in architectural glass and metal products for 75 years. Some of O’Keeffe’s custom skylights, ladders and aluminum building products are in the Stanford Medical Center, the Intel Campus and the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu.

Safti-First is known for its fire-rated glass and framing systems, some of which are at the UC Davis campus, the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and Folsom Prison. The firm is adding a 30,651 square foot manufacturing facility plus a 7,764 square foot cold room to accommodate growing market demands.

Pacific Gas and Electric has expansion work going on at its service center and corporation yard located on the corner of Childs Avenue and Kibby Road. The utility is locating its regional management office at that site in a 15,400 square foot building, and installing a 9,100 square foot operations building. PG&E is also putting in a 23,500 square foot combination garage/warehouse at the site.

In addition to the existing plant expansions, developers are seeing a demand for more buildings that are ready for industrial tenants to move in, the city says. Lawler Excavation is constructing two new industrial buildings on Cessna Way in the city’s industrial park. The buildings, one 8,400 square feet and the other 7,500  square feet, could be used as warehouses or for other light industrial uses.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/801ee0ec-f1f1-4db3-a4ba-a329c2b00017.pdf

$30 million boutique hotel planned for Three Rivers

It was standing room only at the Three Rivers Memorial Building on Wednesday evening, as more than 100 locals turned out to discuss the future of the small foothill community during a town hall meeting.

Much of the debate centered on a proposed 200-room, $30 million “luxury lodge” off Highway 198 and Old Three Rivers Road.

District 1 Supervisor Kuyler Crocker said the town hall meeting was intended to educate residents and hear their concerns.

“We are much closer to the starting line than the finish line here,” Crocker said of the proposed hotel. “Now is the opportunity to learn and give feedback.”

Dubbed Sequoia Resort and Spa in preliminary site plans, the boutique hotel would feature striking, earthen architecture and offer guests an experience directly inspired by the backdrop of Sequoia National Park.

Because the land is already zoned for hotel construction and abides by the Three River Community Plan, principal partner Guatam Patel could legally begin construction without public hearing.

However, Patel told the packed room he is committed to incorporating community feedback into the project’s design, having already sunk 2.5 years and more than $500,000 into finding an appropriate site.

“We are committed to having a local flair to this. That’s where modern hotel design is going,” he said. “Guests don’t want to sit trapped in their room for three nights. They want to go out and experience the local spots.”

The flair will cost you: Rooms at the resort are expected to run at least $300 a night, Patel said.

That was great news to at least one Three Rivers hotelier, who offers a comparatively humbler — and affordable — stay at the Sequoia Motel a mile up the road from the proposed resort.

“It’s not going to compete with us,” said Chris Schlossin, who opened the 12-room motel 23 years ago. “Three Rivers doesn’t have anything of that caliber. It would be a little glowing star on the map.”

Competition

For Schlossin, Airbnb is a much bigger threat to business.

Large groups of tourists rent out vacation homes on the app for rates at which local lodgings can’t compete. The county presented a draft short-term rental ordinance that Schlossin hopes will remedy the situation with occupancy limits on Airbnb homes.

Neither Airbnb or Sequoia Motel is likely to compete with the luxury project Patel envisions, however.

“It’s a high-end place. That’s something the county doesn’t have,” Schlossin said. “It’s encouraging that they’re reaching out to the community. You gotta give the man (Patel) credit for being a good neighbor.”

Patel committed to incorporating local businesses into the hotel’s operation, so long as they “meet a high operational standard,” including a restaurant and retail space. He hopes that the resort could be a draw during the off-season, benefiting local businesses.

“You only have three-to-four months to make your money here. If they could improve business during the shoulder months, that would be wonderful,” Schlossin said.

The bulk of the 102,000-square-foot project will be built offsite, so builders can erect the building in Three Rivers in a matter of days, minimizing disruption to the environment and neighbors, Patel said.

Housing for the hotel’s estimated 30 employees will be included with the project, so as not to further crunch Three River’s long-term rental and housing market.

He also addressed community concerns surrounding water and the area’s fickle water table.

“This is the water nobody else in the community wants, but that we will use and pay dearly to use,” Patel said, pointing to a state-of-the-art company the developer hopes to partner with to treat water and manage effluent.

Besides water, many residents were concerned about the possibility of a rumored incentive to build the $30 million hotel project in Tulare County.

Last year, the Sierra Star reported that Madera County supervisors cut Patel a deal to move ahead with a similar hotel project in Oakhurst, near Yosemite National Park.

The incentive took the form of a 50% rebate on the hotel’s transient occupancy tax over 25 years. TOT is a tax levied on travelers who stay at a hotel for fewer than 30 days.

The rate varies by county. In Tulare County, the TOT is 10%.

Crocker said the county hadn’t settled on a number yet and discussions with developer Patel Group were still ongoing.

“I understand why (the county) would (offer Patel) a deal for an upscale development, but it’s still frustrating that other hotels have to pay the full tax. We didn’t get any breaks,” Schlossin said.

The supervisor pointed out that such arrangements were common and would benefit both the county and the developer, providing financial incentives to build while capturing tax revenue that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

“The TOT rebate is favorable to attract business and generate long-term economic activity and taxable commerce,” Crocker said.

Some at the town hall questioned whether that tax should be used to benefit only the Three Rivers community, rather than the county’s general fund.

The argument was a no-go for Crocker.

“While Three Rivers does generate more TOT tax, other county communities generate much more sales tax or property tax and we don’t give them special treatment,” Crocker said. “I’m not going to write a blank check to Three Rivers or any other county community.”

The supervisor pointed to a $400,000 restroom project and expansion of the Three Rivers Historical Museum slated to be completed by the of the year.

The project was paid for out of the county’s general fund, Crocker said.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/local/visalia/2019/07/26/30-million-boutique-hotel-planned-three-rivers-despite-concerns/1827892001/

Cutting Edge Company Creates Opportunity Zone Fund

PRESS RELEASE

 

July 19, 2019

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:

Bobby Kahn

Executive Director

Madera County EDC

559-675-7768

bkahn@madercountyedc.com

 

Bill Pitman

CEO/Managing Member – Benton Enterprises

(559) 664-0800

bill@elkridgealmonds.com

 

Cutting Edge Company Creates Opportunity Zone Fund

A Madera County business specializing in state-of-the-art food safety technology has launched the region’s first qualified Opportunity Zone business and on June 19, 2019, The Berenda Opportunity Fund, LLC was formed. Also organized at that time, a second new entity named H-ATS to acquire certain assets of Benton Enterprises, LLC including, intellectual property under the name Adaptable Technology Systems (ATS), Heart Ridge Farms (HRF) and Elk Ridge Almonds (ERA).

ATS developed a proprietary process to reduce pathogens through a science and energy based technology to maximize food safety, preserve the integrity and taste of the food products. These techniques will significantly improve safe food handling for a wide variety of foods. Both Heart Ridge Farms and Elk Ridge Almonds currently utilize this technology for the retail brand (HRF) and bulk processing of almonds and pistachios (ERA).

Opportunity Zones are census tracts that were nominated by governors of each state and certified by the United States Treasury into which investors can invest in new projects to spur economic development in exchange for certain federal capital gains tax advantages. The opportunity zone tax incentive was adopted on December 22, 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that provides tax incentives for investments in underserved communities.

Opportunity Zone Funds are investment vehicles that require at least 90% of their capital in “Qualified Property,” which includes stock, partnerships, interests and business property. The fund model enables a broad array of investors to pool their resources in Qualified Zone Property, increasing the scale of capital going to investments in which the Opportunity Zone Fund will invest. An Opportunity Zone Fund provides material tax benefits for investors with capital gains from other investments.

William B. Pitman, with over 40 years of farming and food processing experience, founded Benton Enterprises in 2013. Recognizing the need for improved food safety while preserving and enhancing its product integrity, led to the development of a low temperature process for several types of locally grown nuts marketed for retail sales under brands Heart Ridge Farms (retail) and under Elk Ridge Almonds (bulk). “The H-ATS combination of the Benton businesses and the ATS technologies creates a food safety solution worldwide” said Pitman. “The need for better food safety while preserving the quality is critical and we feel we can help meet those needs with our proprietary technologies,” he added.

Pitman met with the Madera County Economic Development Commission to obtain information about Opportunity Zones and had this to say, “Bobby Kahn was very helpful in getting me started in the right direction”. “Bobby explained the basics of how an Opportunity Zone Fund works and provided me with names of people that could provide the expertise in the formation of an Opportunity Zone Fund” Pitman added.  It is interesting to note that Pitman represents a 7th generation Madera county family that has deep roots in agriculture.  The project consultants are the accounting firm of Moss Adams LLP (Fresno) and the legal firm, Cutting Edge Counsel (Oakland).

 

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About Opportunity Zones: Opportunity Zones are a new tool for community development. Established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives for investment in designated census tracts. https://opzones.ca.gov/

 

About The Berenda Opportunity Zone Fund: Located inside a qualified Opportunity Zone. Under this new tax codes, this is a qualified fund for the new investors to enter through.

 

About H-ATS:  An opportunity zone business that includes Heart Ridge Farms (HRF), Elk Ridge Almonds (ERA) and Adaptable Technology Systems (ATS).

 

About Benton Enterprises: Benton Enterprises will manage both H-ATS and The Berenda Opportunity Fund.

 

About Madera County EDC: Madera County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC) is a joint Powers Authority comprised of the County of Madera, the City of Madera, and the City of Chowchilla. MCEDC’s mission is to support dynamic and diverse industry sectors that provide family sustaining wages and a high quality of life. MCEDC assists business with development projects, site selection, demographics, and business incentives. www.maderacountyedc.com