The unincorporated town of Earlimart along Highway 99 in Tulare County is getting its first large commercial development with a grocery store, auto store, fast food restaurants and other retailers.
The 80,000-square-foot development known as the White River Plaza will be built on a vacant 7.3 acre lot on the northeast corner of Avenue 56 and Highway 99. It is expected to create up to 230 jobs.
The developers, Tom Hocking and Max Bacerra of Delano, will join county dignitaries at 9 a.m. Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony.
While the center is not big by Fresno County standards, said Michael Washam, Tulare County’s economic development manager, “this will provide an outstanding opportunity not only for jobs, but for services to increase the quality of life.”
The first two tenants will be an Auto Zone and a Dollar General store which are expected to open by the end of this year. A grocery store will anchor the center, but the owners are still finalizing the deal, Washam said.
Giving the community access to fresh produce is key, Washam said. Most residents have to travel south to Delano or north to Tulare to do their shopping, he said.