Economic Development in Clovis CA
Situated in California’s San Joaquin Valley, approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Clovis is a rapidly growing, but carefully planned, community. Making sure that Clovis continues to offer a breadth of options for employment, commerce and an active lifestyle is the aim. City planners are constantly evaluating where new growth should be permitted and what city services need to be offered in order to make that expansion successful, said Shawn Miller, Business Development Manager for the City of Clovis.
As with any community, some growth and redevelopment are carefully planned and painstakingly cultivated. But other growth tends to happen more spontaneously.
Such has been the case recently with the aging Shaw Avenue area of Clovis that was largely developed during the 1970s. It had been aging and falling out of favor in recent years, despite many different efforts by the city to revitalize it, Miller noted.
But then came the news that Costco would build a new and much larger store on Clovis Avenue near Shaw Avenue and the environment changed drastically. Property values in the area are rising as a new pizza restaurant and a new Starbuck’s have opened. In addition, aging shopping centers in the general vicinity are being revitalized and the Sierra Vista Mall, directly across the street from the new Costco, has a new owner. Vacant buildings in the area are also finding exciting new tenants.
“Shaw Avenue is now a returning champion,” Miller said. “Having Costco relocate there has been a great shot in the arm for Shaw Avenue and a good lesson for us. The city spent a lot of time and money trying to boost and revitalize Shaw Avenue but once we got that key piece of private investment there, it spontaneously happened. Several private interests working independently suddenly saw value in the area.”
The Loma Vista section of Clovis is also starting to boom. Located in the southeastern portion of the community, its development has been in the planning stages for about 20 years, Miller said. Several builders are constructing homes in the area and it has now reached the point where there are enough Loma Vista residents that commercial applications from retailers, restaurants and service businesses are rolling in. Most of those businesses will likely be built surrounding a large rectangular neighborhood park with an amphitheater which is planned for the area.
“The market will determine which businesses locate there but we anticipate restaurants, grocery stores, drycleaners, offices and things like that,” Miller said. “I anticipate that by next fall construction will begin.”
A similar expansion of single-family homes and businesses is also underway in the
northwestern portion of Clovis along Willow Avenue, up to Copper Avenue near Clovis North High School and Clovis Community College and a large apartment complex is under construction along Burgan Avenue near Herndon.
In the northeastern corner of Clovis, the new Sierra Gateway Business Corridor is focusing largely on healthcare, according to Miller. Clovis Community Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Hospital and Central Valley Indian Health are all located there and the new California Health Sciences University, the Veterans Administration and Valley Children’s Hospital all have construction underway nearby. Consequently, Miller said, the area has become a magnet for health-related service businesses. Imaging centers, physical therapy offices and medical services offices are now opening all through the area and older people from the outlying rural areas are choosing to relocate to this area in order to be closer to medical attention, should it be needed.
“We didn’t force anything in this area. It is just happening thanks to the nearby medical investment. Riley’s Brew Pub is already there and we expect more restaurants and hotels to start realizing the potential and opening there, too,” Miller added.
Industry also has a part to play in the life of Clovis. Cabinet Connection, a large cabinet-maker with about 100 employees, is moving from Fresno to Clovis. They recently broke ground on a large piece of property along Herndon Avenue between Villa and Minnewawa Avenues and expect to open by late 2020. The move to Clovis will allow them to consolidate operations into one location. They have been operating from three separate facilities in Fresno.