TURLOCK — Business here is booming. Downtown is nearly full, new houses are in the planning stages, and several businesses and industrial facilities are expanding.
Nowhere is that growth more apparent than the stretch along Highway 99 just south of Monte Vista Avenue, where construction on the expansion of the city’s biggest shopping center is going great guns.
“It’s huge, huge, huge,” said Maryn Pitt, assistant to the city manager for housing and economic development. “That’s been a great collaboration.”
Pitt said city staff has been working with the Monte Vista Crossings operator, Hall Equities Group, to identify and land retail business that will draw customers from a wide region.
Among the stores announced for the expansion are Dick’s Sporting Goods and JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. Those retailers have locations in Modesto, but they are on the opposite side of town from Turlock. Another store that is coming is Kirkland’s, a home décor and furniture chain. The closest Kirkland’s is in Gilroy.
“You just think about how far people are going to drive,” Pitt said. Rounding out the new additions are Maurices, Tilly’s, Justice and Brothers, all clothing stores, and a Skechers shoe store.
Construction is progressing on schedule, according to Erin Bell, director of systems management and marketing for Hall Equities.
“We haven’t had any issues so far,” she said. Though opening dates for the tenants have not been set, they are on target for mid-November, just in time for the holiday season.
Getting tenants for the center hasn’t been difficult, Bell said. “It’s more about finding the right fit for the center as opposed to filling the space,” she said.
There’s more expansion to come. A second phase will get under construction after the first is complete, Bell said. Hall Equities hasn’t named any of the tenants for that phase, but Bell said, “There has been quite a bit of interest.”
That likely will include a new tenant for the vacant space next to BevMo across Monte Vista Avenue, which formerly housed an Office Max.
As for customers, the center will get some right in its neighborhood: The City Council recently approved a new subdivision, the first proposed in some time, across the street.
Florsheim Homes is building 106 houses there, Pitt said. Another, smaller project also won approval, bringing plans for construction of 18 homes near the Sierra Oaks apartment complex on Christoffersen Parkway.
“Things are looking pretty good,” she said.