Large steel frames mark the latest addition to the True Value Shopping Center at West Las Palmas and Ward avenues. The center’s owner hopes to transform the metal skeleton into Patterson’s next shopping destination by the fall.
The project will eventually turn into a 13,000-square-foot building housing several units.
“If someone wants a lease right now, they could move in by fall,” owner Fred Nichandros said.
The construction marks the second phase of shopping center plans. Phase 1 was the establishment of a large hardware store and several smaller shops, all of which are occupied. In all, Nichandros expects the development to have three phases.
“Phase 1 rented out quite quickly,” he said.
That was the most ambitious part of the project, consisting of 30,000 square feet. The hardware store takes up about a third of that.
It’s not a surging market, however, that has Nichandros moving dirt. Escalating construction costs have motivated him to put the building up now.
“The cost of materials is going up all the time,” he said. “If we waited, who knows what it would cost to build it? Now, we were able to lock in prices.”
The third phase of the shopping center will be the smallest, with a 5,500 square-foot building. Nichandros expects one tenant would occupy the space.
The building under construction now could fit as many as 10 tenants.
Development in Patterson these days is drastically different from what the city witnessed a few years ago, when home building dominated the landscape. Now, home building has almost reached a standstill, but commercial construction continues to chug along. Three neighboring retail developments are either planting roots or expanding.
To the south of True Value is the Patterson Marketplace shopping center. Builders there recently completed construction of a new structure that is already filling with tenants.
Across Sperry Avenue, the seeds of another large retail center have sprouted. Longs Drugs opened a store there last fall, and a Taco Bell restaurant is expected to go up nearby. Eventually, planners hope to have more than a dozen tenants at the site.
And on the east side of Ward Avenue, developers intend to put up a similar complex that has already received Patterson City Council approval. A Walgreens drug store might start construction soon, and plans include space for dozens of shops.
That stores all sit near Patterson’s Aquatic Center, which Nichandros said is a nice neighbor for the retail space. The city also plans to build a senior center alongside the pool and is in the early stages of planning a skate park in the same area.
No tenants have made commitments to the new True Value-complex building yet. Tom Bramell, a broker with J. Rockcliff Builders, said he has talked with several people about occupying the building.
“Everything from insurance companies to bike shops to restaurants,” Bramell said.