July 25, 2014

Don’s Mobile Glass planning move to Scenic Drive in Modesto

Don’s Mobile Glass is considering an expansion and move onto the former Scenic Nursery site

Don’s Mobile Glass is planning a multimillion-dollar expansion and move onto the former Scenic Nursery site. Modesto city officials must approve the move, however, because it requires a zoning change.

“We looked for a long time for a great site where we could combine our warehouse, showroom and H Street store,” Don’s Mobile Glass President Stephen Mort said. “We’ve always liked being downtown, but we couldn’t find a large enough parcel there to build on.”

Mort said the now-vacant nursery site on Scenic Drive just east of Coffee Road will work well, and it’s only about 1.5 miles from Don’s current downtown shop. The company’s warehouse and showroom now are on Bunker Avenue south of the Tuolumne River.

The new location covers 2.6 acres on three parcels, with access to Scenic Drive and Sunnyside Avenue. The former Scenic Nursery closed in November 2011 after 60 years in business, and a bank repossessed its land.

A limited partnership controlled by Don’s Mobile Glass purchased the property in September for $510,000. It hired Ross F. Carroll Inc. to demolish the old buildings and clear the site last week.

“We got tired of it looking so bad,” Mort said. “We wanted to get rid of all the graffiti. There had been nothing but vandalism there (since the nursery closed).”

To improve traffic flow onto the site, Mort said, city officials want the Scenic entrance moved further east. He said that required demolition of some large, old cedar trees.

What’s planned is a 28,000-square-foot facility, including a 6,000-square-foot showroom, the warehouse and store. Thomas Cosentino of Western Valley Development in Salida is expected to build it.

“This is a really long-term investment. It’s a big jump for us,” said Mort, noting that the project will cost several million dollars. “We anticipate hiring some additional employees.”

Mort said about 45 people are expected to work there, including the employees currently working at the company’s warehouse and Modesto store. He said the eventual plan is to lease out the H Street store.

The Scenic property is zoned to allow only a nursery operation, but Mort said he is confident the city will approve changing it to commercial zoning.

Don’s Mobile Glass was founded in 1960 by Don Monaco, and it remains family-owned. Besides the store and warehouse in Modesto, the company has stores in Turlock, Merced and Manteca.

It sells and installs various glass products for vehicles, homes and commercial buildings.

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