HANFORD – Now that Costco is up and running, workers are well into the process of putting up a building that will house the next businesses to open in the much-anticipated shopping center at Highways 198 and 43.
The structure will hold Starbucks, Verizon, Subway and a sushi restaurant.
Developer John Kashian said the sushi place doesn’t have a name yet.
Kashian said the building’s exterior will probably be finished in April 2017, paving the way for tenant improvements to start inside.
Site plan reviews for Panda Express and Taco Bell have been submitted to the city, according to Darlene Mata, community development director for Hanford.
Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess what will come next to the massive 58-acre site, and when it will arrive.
The formal plan expects it to take 10 years to fully develop the center.
“It’s [all] dictated by the market,” Kashian said.
Kashian said that Verizon and Subway came to him. They saw the immediate potential to take advantage of the large number of people coming to and from Costco.
As for Starbucks, Kashian said he sought them out.
Kashian thought it would make sense to put a Starbucks there because Hanford’s existing Starbuck locations aren’t that close to Highway 198.
“I think a coffee shop on the freeway would do well,” he said.
Starbucks’ spokespeople didn’t respond to requests this week for comment.
Local residents haven’t been shy about saying what they want to see go in around Costco.
When The Sentinel asked people to weigh in earlier this year on its Facebook page, readers responded by posting 225 comments.
The comments started in July and continued to be posted through October.
Readers have requested dozens and dozens of businesses – restaurants, pizza places, entertainment options, sporting goods stores and much more.
Kashian said the plan calls for constructing smaller-tenant spaces first, because those are the easiest to fill, and can be filled after the building is completed.
For larger tenants – retailers like DICK’s Sporting Goods, BevMo or Bed Bath and Beyond – the structure wouldn’t go up until the business commits to coming.
Kashian and other people marketing the shopping center say it’s a challenge to attract larger retailers to the area because of low median income and high unemployment.