AutoZone Grand Opening Launches Earlimart’s White River Plaza

Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel, left, and developer Max Bacerra, center, are interviewed at the new White River Plaza in Earlimart.
Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel, left, and developer Max Bacerra, center, are interviewed at the new White River Plaza in Earlimart.

The nation’s newest AutoZone opened its doors in White River Plaza, located at the northeastern corner of Avenue 56 (Sierra Highway) and CA State Route 99 in Earlimart.

The 7,500-square-foot building was the site of a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 12.

“AutoZone is the country’s largest retailer of automotive aftermarket products with more than 4,800 stores across the United States,” said Michael Washam, Tulare County economic development manager. “The new AutoZone will provide a clean, well-lit, well-merchandised store offering a large selection of automotive products not currently available in the community.”

While the AutoZone is the first retailer to open at the White River Plaza, a Dollar General store is currently under construction and is expected to open in February. The White River Plaza development is the largest retail commercial development ever built in the community of Earlimart. Additional tenants planned at White River Plaza include a supermarket, national fast food restaurants, and other retail and services businesses.

“The White River Plaza has been several years in the making, and the community of Earlimart and Tulare County are thrilled to see the doors begin to open,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Pete Vander Poel, who represents the Earlimart area. “I am proud to support economic development activity that will provide jobs and resources ranging from auto parts to fresh and nutritious food for residents.”

White River Plaza is a 7.5-acre development project that was approved by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors earlier this year. The project is being developed by White River Plaza LLC, headed by Tom Hocking and Max Bacerra, local developers.

“We wanted to be a part of Earlimart’s progress and help create new and permanent jobs for the residents in the local area,” said Bacerra. “The community of Earlimart is the gateway into Tulare County from Southern California and we are glad to be a part of a very positive and refreshing community.”

Additional new buildings and businesses are being processed and negotiated at the present time. The White River Plaza development should see more store openings throughout 2014.

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