(Fresno Association of Realtor’s 2013 president John Shamshoian. Photo provided by FAR.)
The Fresno Association of Realtors has announced its new officers for 2013.
John Shamshoian, owner of Realty Concepts, a Fresno residential real estate company, will be the trade association’s new president in January. He takes over for Dan Hawkins, a broker and associate, also at Realty Concepts.
It’s hard to believe this is Shamshoian’s first time sitting in the hot seat. He has 34 years of real estate experience and has served two different times as a director for the association.
“I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly,” Shamshoian said.
His first goal next year is to improve the relationships between real estate agents and strengthen the association.
“We’re going to do various functions through the year to bring Realtors together and hopefully by doing that it’s going to improve they way we communicate better.”
And what does Shamshoian think the housing market will look like next year?
Mortgage interest rates are still low and while home prices have increased in the last year, they are still lower than the peak of the market in 2006, he said.
“Big times are right in front of us,” Shamshoian said.
Other officers include: Liz Kuchinski, president-elect; Joan Jolly, treasurer; and directors, John Carey Jr., Sandy Darling, Susan Davis, Lynn Heintz, Kristy Mastro, Colleen Wiginton, Jared Martin, Jim Whitlach and Dan Hawkins.
The 2013 Fresno Multiple Listing Service chairman is Bob Wiginton; Ron Shapazian, chair-elect; and committee members, Jonna Aluisi, Javier Cavazos, Annie Foreman, Anthony Gamber, Lydia Graham, Julie Salinas, Joe Sciarrone and 2012 chairman, Patrick Prince.
The association will welcome the new officers during an installation dinner Friday at Pardini’s Catering & Banquets.
(Walmart Neighborhood Market.
Photo courtesy of Walmart.)
Walmart is known for its supercenter expansions, but the retail giant is going small with at least one of its projects in Fresno.
The company is building its first neighborhood grocery market at Willow and Herndon avenues in Fresno. The concept is similar to Fresh & Easy and the new Dollar General Markets that have popped up in town.
“We are very excited about the new Walmart Neighborhood Market,” said Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia. “Designed for convenient grocery shopping, customers will find a full line of fresh groceries, meat and dairy products, dry goods and staples, as well as household supplies, and pharmacy services.”
The 40,000-square-foot Fresno store is expected to create about 75 new jobs, Garcia said. It is scheduled to open in summer 2013.
The retailer is also building a market in Visalia on the corner of Demaree Street and Goshen Avenue, just north of Highway 198.
(Children pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child in the home of Rosana Faegre, vice-president of operations for Trail-Gear, a Fresno business. Photo provided by Faegre.)
Last week, a Fresno manufacturing business stopped production for about an hour to participate in a charity project: Operation Christmas Child.
Trail-Gear, Inc., which makes off-road auto parts, filled 200 shoe boxes with small toys and personal items to be shipped to poor children around the world. The company participated for the first time in its seven-year history. Read my story here.
Rosana Faegre, the company’s vice-president of operations, emailed me Wednesday to say the company got a bunch of phone calls and donations after the story ran.
Faegre enlisted the help of some children and their mothers to put together an additional 38 boxes that were donated to the program.
Construction has started on a new GV Urban project in downtown Fresno.
The concrete pads are in place for 1612 Fulton, a 30-unit mixed-used development next to Biz-Werx, a business center at Fulton and Calaveras streets. The center was also built by GV Urban, a division of Granville Homes.
The new development will have 18 single-floor residential units that range from 645 to 706 square feet with an attached garage, a balcony or patio, washer and dryer hookups and stainless steel appliances.
Another 12 three-story live and work units will also be built. The first floor will have a 199-square-foot office space while the second and third floors will have a total living space of 1,297 square feet. The units will have a two-car garage and balcony.
The development is expected to be finished by next summer.
The Tulare County Association of Realtors is doing more than just selling homes or monitoring the real estate market.
The association held a bowling tournament last month to raise money for scholarships that are awarded to area high school students.
This year’s tournament was held Oct. 25 at the Visalia AMF Lanes where 37 teams and about 160 members participated. The association raised $4,657.57.
The tournament was one of several fundraising events — including a casino night, golf tournament and a picnic — that the association holds throughout the year to raise money for community organizations, said Karl Hampton, the association’s executive officer.
“Our Realtor members live, work and play in the community…the fact that their organization helps support and improve the community is very important to them,” Hampton said.
Fresno and six other California cities are among the nation’s top 10 turnaround real estate markets in the third quarter of this year, according to an online real estate listing service.
Florida led the list last year, but the housing recovery is making its way west across the country, Realtor.com said. The website ranks cities based on improvements in unemployment rates, home price appreciation and the change in inventory.
Fresno ranks No. 9 on the list, the same spot it held during the second quarter. During the first quarter, Fresno ranked No. 56.
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Rising home prices are offsetting low interest rates and dragging down the housing affordability in Fresno and other communities statewide, according to a quarterly report released Monday by the California Association of Realtors.
In the third quarter of this year, 69% of the prospective home buyers in Fresno could afford to buy a median-priced, single-family house, down from 71% in the second quarter, the association said.
That means a Fresno home buyer has to earn a median income of $29,620 to qualify for the purchase of a home that cost $152,970.
Not bad considering statewide only 49% of the prospective home buyers can qualify to buy a home in the third quarter compared to 51% in the second quarter of 2012.
The 2012 St. Jude Dream Home giveaway grand prize winner Brenda Lincoln. (Photo from De Young Properties)
A Fresno nurse won a “dream home” built by Clovis builders De Young Properties during the annual St. Jude Dream Home giveaway this year.
The winning ticket, purchased by Brenda Lincoln, was pulled from among 10,000 tickets on Sunday night during a live drawing on KMPH (Channel 26.1) as reported by my colleague Angel Moreno.
Lincoln, a recovery-room nurse at Kaiser Permanente, won a 2,064-square-foot house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms in the Chestnut Grove community at Chestnut and Teague avenues. The house is valued at $345,000.
Another 22 people from across the Valley won smaller prizes in the contest, organizers said, including a private wine tasting party at Milla Vineyards, a $1,020 gift certificate to Yosemite Falls Cafe, a $1,000 shopping spree to J.C. Penny and free gas and groceries for a year.
The giveaway raised $1,004,020 for the hospital. This is the sixth St. Jude home built by De Young Properties.
The iconic palm trees on Kings Canyon Road in front of Walmart have orange plastic safety fencing around them as construction begins on expanding the parking lot and adding new retail and restaurant space, the city’s planning department confirmed on Thursday.
The Walmart center’s expansion has begun with trucks moving dirt around on a grassy field that has been vacant for years. Plans are to turn 5.7 acres of land into four retail buildings and two restaurants.
The store will also expand from 131,164 square feet on 15.2 developed acres to 174,277 square feet on 19.2 acres. A grocery section, warehouse storage and receiving areas, a new loading dock and other equipment areas will be added.
Know of any other development projects picking up steam? Let me know.
If you’ve driven along Highway 168 recently or rolled by the Save Mart Center then you’ve probably noticed bulldozers and other heavy equipment digging up dirt.
The grading and underground construction for building pads, curbs and roads have started on the retail portion of the long awaited 45-acre Campus Pointe project from Fresno developer Ed Kashian at Lance-Kashian & Company.
The multi-use development is on the southeast corner of the Fresno State campus and includes two apartment complexes that were built and opened in 2010, north of the planned retail center.
The students and university employees who live there are “excited the retail project is moving forward,” said Debbie Adishian-Astone, executive director of auxiliary operations and enterprise development at Fresno State. The auxiliary is overseeing construction of the project which is on university-owned property.
Adishian-Astone said she expects this phase of construction to finish next spring.
Kashian, who built River Park and is behind the Fancher Creek project in southeast Fresno, said his company has already signed several leases with retailers and more are in the works, but he is mum on who they are.
The company policy is to allow retailers to announce their plans, Kashian said. But he gave us a clue into what kinds of businesses we’ll be seeing: some clothing stores, a significant amount of restaurants, and a small grocery store.
A multi-screen movie theater is still planned too. Kashian said his company is negotiating with a theater, but declined to say anything further. The theater looks like it’s still a sore spot after hitting a roadblock early on.
Former California State University trustee Moctesuma Esparza struck a deal to build the theater and operate it with his company Maya Cinemas North America Inc. But in 2007, the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, which has a movie theater, sued alleging that the arrangement was a conflict of interest. A Superior Court judge ruled there was a conflict of interest but did not invalidate the project.
As for Fancher Creek – a $200 million regional shopping center hailed to rival River Park – curbs, streets and underground construction could begin next year. Kashian said his company has submitted construction drawings to the city of Fresno detailing their plan.
“We will start construction on public improvements no later than January,” Kashian said.