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Around Tulare: EDC / AutoZone / More

November 16,2017

AutoZone Coming Downtown?

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 10.05.24 AMThe City of Tulare approved a proposal November 7 by Orosco Development to sell improved property at North J and West San Joaquin Ave. The site is owned by the former city redevelopment agency and had been slated to be used by Fresh and Easy under an agreement wit the city. The grocer filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Today the land is improved but is only a pad for a 10,000sf structure with plenty of weeds.

With the site being vacant for 10 years Orosco says they have a buyer for the site identified as an auto parts store. Sources say the user is likely AutoZone who would build their second location in Tulare.

City May Approve Small Call-Center Downtown

At their November 7 meeting the city council decided to sell a redevelopment agency-owned property at 134 South K Street for $180,000 that could house a small call center according to the buyer. The site, formerly occupied by Sids Upholstery would be bought by Varo-Real Investments. Agent for the company Diego Espinoza-Martinez says his company would open a 12-15 person call center in part and rent out the rest. The offer is below market price says a staff report but recommends accepting the deal.

EDC Asks Tulare To Reconsider Pull Out/Denies Refund

In a letter to the Tulare City Council the board of the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation asks the council to reconsider their recent decision ( Sept 5) to pull out of the organization.

The letter says on October 25 the EDC Board unanimously agreed to deny the City’s request for a refund, arguing that city gave no advance notice they would make such a request.

The EDC cited “inaccurate” reports and presentation were made that the EDC had no chance to clarify. The EDC says it has “ assisted the City of Tulare with 46 prospects during the past 4 years”.

Concern has been raised in Tulare that the EDC has a poor return on investment.

The letter says “To characterize the EDC has not having any return on investment to the residents of Tulare is simply not true. Over the past 10 years, the EDC has been involved in a number of project locations that have produced new job opportunities for the residents of the City of Tulare, not just within the City, but elsewhere in the County where Tulare residents work. In just the last 7 years, over 29,000 new jobs have been created throughout Tulare County. During this same period, the EDC helped 28 companies with their expansion or relocation needs; over the past “decade” assisted a total of 42 companies. While the EDC cannot take credit for all the jobs created over the past 7 years, or even decade, it can take credit for some, so to state the EDC has done nothing in over a decade is not accurate.”

Since the Tulare decision the City of Porterville has made their final choice to remain in the organization. The City of Visalia’s council is expected to take the issue up November 20.

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