Demolition crews tore into the Michael Chevrolet showroom at Blackstone and Bullard avenues last week, making way for a newer, smaller and more energy-efficient store expected to open early next year.
Bruce Kane, general sales manager for Michael Automotive's domestic brands Chevrolet and Cadillac, said the 36-year-old building simply had outlived its usefulness.
"It's pretty exciting," Kane said as the building was being torn down. "For a while this morning, we were all like a bunch of little kids standing around watching it."
Before Michael Automotive bought the dealership in 1985, the 9,500-square-foot showroom was home to Frontier Chevrolet, Kane said.
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It will be replaced with a 6,500-square-foot store with modern energy-efficient heating, cooling, lighting and wiring. "It's going to be a much more pleasant environment not only for the employees to work in, but also for our customers," Kane said.
The dealership also is making improvements to its service facility.
Kane said the sales staff hopes to move into the new building in January. Until the new store is completed, the Chevrolet staff is working from the Michael Cadillac showroom next door.
Amid tough competition from big-name drugstore chains, a new independent pharmacy recently opened in northeast Fresno.
Immediate Care Pharmacy opened last month at 7141 N. Cedar Ave., just north of Herndon Avenue. The store is owned and operated by pharmacist Hamdi Saramah.
Debbie Sylvester, the pharmacy's office manager, said Immediate Care plans to compete with the drugstore chains by offering low prices and customer service.
Immediate Care provides free delivery service and offers patients a 30-day supply of medication for $4, or a 90-day supply for $11 on many generic prescriptions.
The pharmacy also has a large selection of over-the-counter drugs.
"We really want people to give us a try ... see what we can offer," Sylvester said.
It follows the opening of another independent pharmacy last year: Script Life Pharmacy opened on the grounds of the Peachwood Medical Group's property at Herndon and Villa avenues.
Target is finished with its first wave of remodeling stores to feature expanded grocery sections, including many in the central San Joaquin Valley.
In addition to the packaged foods Target usually carries, the remodeled stores now carry fresh produce, packaged meat and more prepackaged baked goods like dinner rolls and pies.
Fresno Target stores that have completed the remodeling include the River Park location, the store at Shields Avenue and First Street, and the one at Blackstone and Bullard avenues. The two Clovis Target stores have completed the remodeling, along with the Porterville store and the Mooney Boulevard Target in Visalia.
The following Target stores are expected to be finished with their remodeling by November: Hanford, Merced, Los Banos, the Visalia store on Dinuba Boulevard and the West Shaw Avenue Target in Fresno.