Turlock Motel Project Moves Forward
by John Holland, Bee staff writer, Modesto
January 16, 2004
TURLOCK -- The northwest corner of Highway 99 and Monte Vista Avenue is a
fine place for a motel and three other buildings, the city Planning
Commission agreed Thursday night.
The commission voted 7-0 to recommend that the City Council approve the
project, proposed for an intersection that is developing rapidly.
The council is scheduled to consider the matter February 10.
The project, on 6.8 acres owned by the Blue Diamond Growers Exchange,
features an 88-room Comfort Inn, a 20,000-square-foot headquarters for
American Ag Credit, and two 5,000-square-foot buildings for restaurants or
"I think it's a great use of that property," Commissioner Mike Brem said.
The complex would employ about 80 people, said Brad Hays, a partner in
Capitol Avenue Development and Investments, a West Sacramento firm handling
the project. It would be named the Blue Diamond Center, after the
Sacramento-based almond growers cooperative.
Hays said demand is strong for lodging in the northwest Turlock area, even
with a 78-room Holiday Inn Express under constructions on the northeast
corner of the same intersection.
Costco Wholesale Corp. has proposed a membership discount store on the
southwest portion. The Monte Vista Crossings shipping center opened on the
southeast corner in 2000 and continues to add stores.
"With Costco coming in there and the success of the (shopping center), we
think this is a logical progression," Hays said.
The Turlock general plan states that development at Monte Vista and 99
should server "the traveling public" said Michael Cooke, planning manager
for the city.
He said the American Ag Credit headquarters does not fit that category,
since the company mainly works with local formers getting loans, but the
project would allow American Ag Credit to consolidate its offices in a
Hays said his firm is in talks with possible users of the restaurant-retail
It plans to start construction of the office building and one
restaurant-retail building within a year of getting city approval. The motel
and the other building would start rising within a year of the first phase's
completion, he said.
Commissioner Amos Reyes , while supporting the project, said he was
concerned that it and Costco would produce traffic congestion of the sort
seen at Monte Vista Crossings.
Cooke said traffic at the Blue Diamond Center will be controlled by signals
to be installed at Monte Vista Avenue and Tegner Road, serving the Costco
site as well.
Costco's application is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission Feb
5. Because it does not involve rezoning the site, the panel's decision will
be final unless it is appealed to the City Council.