MODESTO — The City Council will consider Tuesday whether to approve a 170,000-square-foot shopping center in northeast Modesto that has drawn opposition from residential neighbors.
Berberian Holdings plans to build The Marketplace on 18 acres at the southwest corner of Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue. Project engineer Dave Romano has said construction could start in 2014 if the council approves the project.
Berberian Holdings withdrew its project from the councils consideration about a year ago after opponents threatened legal action and decided to conduct a deeper review of the project through an environmental impact report.
That additional review has not silenced opponents.
At last months Planning Commission meeting, Naraghi Lake-area homeowners repeated their claims that there is no need for The Marketplace because of the tens of thousands of square feet of vacant retail-commercial space in east Modesto.
They also disputed the claims that The Marketplace will produce retail jobs and provide more shopping options. Instead, they expect the shopping center to draw tenants from nearby shopping centers, leading to more vacant retail space and the potential for blight. There also are concerns that the project will contribute to worsening traffic.
Naraghi Lake-area homeowners did get one victory. Planning commissioners did not recommend, as Berberian Holdings wanted, that the shopping center have vehicle access from Hashem Drive, saying it has too much traffic for a residential street. Commissioners recommended pedestrian access from Hashem to the shopping center.
Plans call for The Marketplace to be anchored by a 51,730-square-foot grocery store. A Save Mart Supermarkets official has said that the grocery chain has interest in the location but provided no further information.
The council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2316.