The Clovis City Council unveiled plans Monday night for a massive industrial park in the northeast along Highway 168.
The plan is similar to a proposal floated 10 years ago that eventually stalled after the recession hit. It was revived two years ago and returned Monday night to the council, where members supported moving the plan forward.
The Northeast Village area covers 1,035 acres south of Highway 168, east of Clovis Community Medical Center, west of an area between McCall and Del Rey avenues and generally north of Nees Avenue.
About 500 acres are proposed for industrial and business park uses, while another 324 acres are planned for homes and the other 224 acres will be for open space, parks and schools.
Dirk Poeschel, who represents the property owners, said the land makes sense for an industrial park use because of its proximity to Highway 168. He said the industrially zoned land could potentially produce 10,000 jobs.
Poeschel said 85 percent of the land is owned by four families willing to put the properties into urban use, easing the difficulty to assemble the parcels.
He said the plan has been supported by the city’s citizens advisory committee and planning commission.
Fresno County and its cities lack substantial pieces of industrial property for large projects, said Jose Mora of the Economic Development Corp. of Fresno County.
“That region is ideal, particularly because of its access to Highway 168,” Mora said.
A study commissioned three years ago by the city showed there was a need for industrial land. The city’s Research and Technology Park will be substantially filled by the California Health Services University, and the city’s two other industrial parks don’t have space for large users.
The plan has to be approved for Clovis’ sphere of influence, a logical extension of city boundaries, by the Local Agency Formation Commission. The commission also is required to approve annexation of the land into the city. Before annexation, the city and Fresno County will negotiate to determine how tax revenues from the land will be divided.
About 10 years ago, the city wanted to use a portion of the Northeast Village land for Anlin Windows, a Clovis company that wanted to expand. The plans never moved forward after the economy soured. Anlin remains at its location at Tollhouse Road and North Fowler Avenue.
1,035The number of acres proposed for future development in northeast Clovis
“For us, we need jobs now,” Clovis Mayor Nathan Magsig said. “I’m not aware of anything else like this in the county.”
Demolishing former winery
The council also approved demolition of the old La Paloma Winery on Clovis Avenue.
The winery was condemned and prepared for demolition last year.
The city wanted to demolish it, but bids were well above the $500,000 the city had set aside.
A new set of bids came in at a similar price, but the City Council chose to demolish the winery. The low bid was $945,000 with an alternate bid of $1.1 million that includes demolishing the tower building on the north side of the site. The bid by UEI Unlimited Environmental was below the engineer’s estimate of $1.355 million and an additional $300,000 for the tower building.
Much of the concrete and steel from the buildings will be recycled.
The winery is more than 100 years old and has been out of operation for decades. The city condemned the complex of buildings to prevent trespassers from entering, because several of the ceilings and roofs expose indoor areas to the elements. The buildings also have buckling walls and cracked and broken wooden girders and staircases.
The city will keep its recreation facility on the southern edge of the property. The tower building on the north side fronting Clovis Avenue, south of Ashlan Avenue, originally was slated to be saved, but will likely be part of the demolition.
Once much of the 16-acre property is cleared, city officials want to build sports fields for large tournaments and affiliated businesses, possibly a hotel that would serve visitors attending tournaments.
▪ In other action, the council approved 4-0 a proposal for new homes and apartments south of Sierra Vista Mall. The 20-acre project is planned at the southwest corner of Sierra Vista Parkway and Santa Ana Avenue, east of the Center for Advanced Research and Technology.
The eastern half of the property is planned for 83 high-density, single-family homes and the piece closer to CART will consist of 216 apartments on just more than 10 acres of vacant land.
The property, owned by Land Value 37, former owners of Sierra Vista Mall, is a site that was difficult to market, because commercial and offices were considered potential uses when the land first was planned in the 1980s.