The shopping center at Clovis and Herndon avenues with a longtime vacant anchor store is getting new owners and will be renovated.
The Trading Post Shopping Center, where a Save Mart store closed in 2007 and the CVS store recently left, too, is in escrow with Southern California-based Rich Development. That’s the company that built Marketplace at El Paseo near Highway 99 and Herndon.
The Trading Post, 119,000 square feet of retail space across the street from the new and thriving Clovis Crossing Shopping Center, will get a facelift and new tenants.
Plans submitted to the city of Clovis show the 44,000-square-foot Save Mart space being split into two nearly equal-sized spaces.
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Additionally, there are two new pads totaling 10,400 square feet planned for the existing parking lot that would likely be amenable to drive-thru restaurants.
Tina Sumner, Clovis Community & Economic Development director, said city officials tried for several years to work with the property owners, but Save Mart was unwilling to relinquish its lease and had a say in any prospective tenants.
“The nice part is that the new buyer will not have to deal with the Save Mart lease,” she said. “They can get in and make decisions for the shopping center as a whole.”
Now that the economy is improving, she said, retailers are increasingly interested in building new stores and don’t have issues with older shopping centers.
“To have somebody like Rich come in creates a long-term value to the community,” Sumner said.
Recently, the CVS store, the second largest space in the center, moved to the corner of Sunnyside and Herndon avenues, leaving about two-thirds of the center vacant.
Hoi Nguyen, owner of Sweet Nails, has been in the shopping center for 15 years and said he was encouraged to hear about a new owner. His business remains “pretty good” and he has turned down opportunities to move elsewhere because he has longtime clients.
With the Clovis Crossing Shopping Center on the north side of Herndon Avenue (which got its first tenant in 2012), Clovis City Manager Rob Woolley said the intersection will become the main shopping corner in Clovis with a revitalized Trading Post.
The new parking lot pads will reduce the number of parking spaces in the center. The reduced parking ratio will require Clovis Planning Commission and Clovis City Council approval.
The Planning Commission is expected to hear the issue in February and the City Council will discuss it in March. Escrow is expected to close in March, city officials said.
“The new owners have some great ideas for intensifying the use there and I think the city is on board to work with them and make that happen,” Sumner said.
Rich Development also bought a longtime vacant Vons store at Shaw and Minnewawa avenues in Clovis, which was turned into Burlington Coat Factory in 2013.
Chris Shane, who represents Rich Development, did not disclose any potential tenants.