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Coming soon …

Retailers, industrialists cast eye toward Turlock

Coming soon …

Construction is underway on Turlock's former Fashion Bug, which will soon become an ULTA Cosmetics and Salon.

POSTED February 17, 2012 11:04 p.m.

Major retailers Old Navy and Ulta Cosmetics and Salon will soon open stores in Monte Vista Crossings, according to Turlock Mayor John Lazar's State of the City address, which also teased a bevy of expansion including new auto dealers, a major anchor store, and a food testing laboratory.
But according to Monte Vista Crossings representatives, that Old Navy expansion isn't a done deal yet.
"We're still in negotiations," said David Gertmenian-Wong, Monte Vista Crossings Project Manager. "We're moving forward. ... It's still in the air."
Should the development proceed, Old Navy will take over the 15,000 square-foot former site of Borders, which closed in 2011. Old Navy would likely open fourth-quarter if the deal comes together, per Gertmenian-Wong.
Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc., has been one of the world's most successful clothing retailers since its 1994 founding. By 1997 the company posted $1 billion in annual sales, making Old Navy the first retailer to reach that mark in less than four years of operation.
A Turlock Old Navy would represent the chain's only Central Valley store between Manteca and Fresno.
The other retailer Lazar mentioned, ULTA Cosmetics and Salon, is a done deal, Gertmenian-Wong said.
"ULTA is for sure," Gertmenian-Wong said. "We started construction last week on their space."
ULTA Cosmetics and Salon will open in the former site of Fashion Bug, near Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The 7,000 square-foot store will be expanded to 10,000 square-feet to accommodate the retailer by knocking out and rebuilding the rear wall of the building, with an opening anticipated in August.
Launched in 1990, ULTA Cosmetics and Salon offers a one-stop shop for high-end, mass-market, and salon-specific beauty products. The average ULTA store offers more than 20,000 beauty products, as well as an in-store, full-service salon.
ULTA operates 449 stores in 43 states. The only two ULTA stores within 50 miles of Turlock are located in Modesto, near Vintage Faire Mall, and in Stockton, near San Joaquin Delta College.
ULTA and Old Navy did not return calls for comment on this story.
Lazar also referenced The Olive Garden restaurant's planned Monte Vista Crossings expansion, first reported in November 2011 by the Journal. That development would represent the first phase of Monte Vista Crossing's planned expansion to the vacant 20-acre parcel south of Kohl's.
But Lazar also let slip that the major anchor tenant needed to fully develop that southern parcel is "currently drafting a final lease." The tenant has not been identified, but Monte Vista Crossings' initial design called for a Super Walmart in that location, since banned by the City of Turlock's anti-big box retailer ordinance.

Monte Vista Crossings isn't the only part of Turlock set for expansion.
The Turlock Auto Plaza could soon have new tenants, with Lazar hinting in his speech that "two significant individuals" are looking at the site.
The Plaza has been near-vacant since 2008, when Turlock Chrysler, Turlock Dodge, Turlock Jeep, Turlock Subaru, and the Turlock Auto Plaza Pre-Owned Center went out of business, leaving only Smith Chevrolet Cadillac. A Modesto-based investment company, Centerra Capital, bought the development in 2011.
The old Mervyn's building on Geer Road may become a grocery store. The identity of the grocer has not been confirmed, but developers have applied for permits needed to repurpose the building. Mervyn's closed in 2008, when the clothing retailer declared bankruptcy.
And the Turlock Regional Industrial Park will see growth too, with Blue Diamond Growers set to open a new almond processing facility on 88 acres. A 200,000 square-foot plant will open in May 2013, with expansion plans calling for a further 300,000 square-feet of production within 15 years.
A new food related testing laboratory may also open in the Park, Lazar said, bringing between 30 and 40 technical jobs to Turlock. Lazar said the unnamed laboratory has submitted plans to relocate from another city.
That laboratory and the Blue Diamond expansion prove Turlock's economic development strategy is on the right track, Lazar said
"For the past ten years, Turlock's main economic development strategy has been to encourage food processing and related industries to expand in Turlock," Lazar said. "The result of these efforts is finally bearing fruit, and I want to personally thank City Manager Roy Wasden and his team for their efforts."


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