At its November 10 meeting, the City of Visalia Planning Commission approved a 25-acre master-planned, multiuse business park development on the southwest corner of North Plaza Drive and West Crowley Avenue, just north of Highway 198 in Business Research Park.
The project, planned by 4Creeks, Inc., will offer 97,200 square feet of office space, 38,200 square feet of retail, a gas station and convenience store, a three-story 65-room hotel with conference room space, 11,250 of restaurant space, 28 executive lofts and 23 townhomes.
The architecture, designed by EBM Design Group, is described as modern English style.
“There will be brick facades, with stone also,” said David Duda, project planner with 4Creeks. “We wanted to grab the elements of downtown (Visalia) with the use of brick.”
The development has “green building” components, with two types of pedestrian paths – a circular path around the park and internal pathways – as well as solar canopies above some of the parking. The development will also provide bicycle facilities; preferential parking for van pools, car pools and low emission vehicles; and an on-site bioswale storm water management system. The project will incorporate selected plant materials and building features to reduce water consumption by 50%.
“That’s one of the pushes on projects at the business park,” said Paul Bernal, City of Visalia senior planner. “They emphasize green in both building construction and site design.”
The townhomes in the project “will provide a buffer for existing residential homes, and provide residential units in close proximity to the highway,” said Bernal, explaining that the motivation for including residences in the project was mainly to accommodate those who take Highway 99 to work in either Fresno or Bakersfield. The opportunity to both live and work at the business park was “part of the thinking too,” he added. “If you want to live close to where you work, they will be happy to sell you a home.”
The project will be developed in several phases. Groundbreaking on the first phase, a gas station and convenience store, could begin as early as the middle of next year.