As exciting as it is to use this space to write about new businesses, it’s also pretty nifty to learn about remodeling and expansions at current shops and offices. Success always is a good thing, and when longtime businesses can spend money to spiff themselves up or grow, it’s a positive sign for all of us.
According to the city of Modesto Economic Development Committee report for the first quarter, there are a number of businesses undergoing remodeling projects of various levels. Some of them:• Orchard Supply Hardware on Oakdale Road is in the inspection stage of a $500,000 project that will see the store get new wrought iron fencing and main entry renovations, as well as the demolition of existing walls in the nursery. This project is particularly exciting, as the future of Orchard stores everywhere seemed somewhat uncertain when home-improvement giant Lowe’s bought the chain last year. An investment in improvements like these is a sign the store is going to be around for a while.
• The Walmart on Plaza Parkway is in the midst of an interior remodeling project. The city issued a permit for the work in February.
• Bethel Retirement Community on Scenic Drive is adding an elevator to improve access for people with disabilities.
• Operators of the Starbucks downtown on H Street have proposed a $500,000 remodeling project. No details yet on what’s planned, but the project is under review.
Several other businesses that have stopped operating are being remodeled into something completely new. These infill projects also are great for the economy because they replace abandoned buildings and potentially bring more jobs. I reported earlier that the former Quizno’s on McHenry Avenue is being turned into an Extreme Pita. Some other projects:• The former GameStop on Pelandale Avenue is being reborn as a Rabobank branch. It will take $150,000 worth of work to make that happen, assuming the permits are approved.
• A former Hollywood Video store on Standiford Avenue will soon be an O’Reilly Auto Parts store. The city issued a permit in January for a $150,000 project.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat
More than 45 employers and about 10 veteran support organizations are expected to participate in the Veterans Job Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday on the Modesto Junior College West Campus.
The public is invited to the free event, which is sponsored by MJC Technical Education & Workforce Development and the state’s Employment Development Department.
Employers expected to participate include Foster Farms, Blue Diamond, Pacific Southwest Containers, Frito-Lay, Kaiser, Doctors Medical Center, Sears, Allied Barton Security, Sierra Pacific and PG&E. Representatives from the Veterans Administration also will attend.
Job seekers are urged to dress to impress. They also should bring their résumés because on-the-spot interviews may be available.
The event will be in MJC’s Mary Stuart Rogers building, 2201 Blue Gum Ave.
For more information, contact job fair coordinator Henry Timothy at (209) 576-6118.