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New projects expected for Ceres in 2018
Blaker Brewery, Planet Fitness & more homes on tap
Blaker brewery
The new Blaker Brewing company at 1063 Montclaire Dr, Ceres, is starting up but yet to post regular tap room hours. A grand opening reportedly is to take place in January. The company started out years ago on the Lucas Dairy in rural Turlock. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

What will the new year bring Ceres when it's ushered in on Monday?

The long awaited Walmart Supercenter project could break ground in 2018.

Planet Fitness is opening a new gym in the Save Mart Shopping Center in the new year.

And Ceres could see construction of a new housing subdivision on the west side.

Those are but a few of the projects which will be new to Ceres.

Tom Westbrook, director of Community Development for the city of Ceres, said Classic Wine Vinegar at 4110 Brew Master Drive, is looking to add onto their operation with a 19,000-square-foot building.

"Hopefully they'll be in construction in the next month or so," said Westbrook.

A new 80-lot housing project is ready to roll in Westpointe Estates at Whitmore and Malik avenues. KB Homes is going through the entitlement process. The Ceres Planning Commission could be evaluating the request in February. The project originally was proposed by Joe Woo in 2006 with the lots having never been built.

Building permits have been filed by Mike Reynolds for Ceres' second medicinal marijuana dispensary with a plan check in process. Reynolds plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 4030 Farm Supply Drive, not far from his 22,000-square-foot Kase Manufacturing plant at 4111 Brew Master Drive.

"I don't have an expected date when those will be issued but as soon as they're issued I'm sure he's going to finalize that construction fairly quickly and get operational," said Westbrook.

Recent new development in Ceres has been the opening of the Pacifi Cooperative's 6,000-square-foot medical marijuana dispensary in the industrial area north of Hatch Road at 1442 Angie Avenue.

The city has not received any plans for the Hatch Road Rehabilitation Center which recently went before the Ceres Planning Commission and City Council.

In 2009 the Ceres Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow a 47,348-square-foot, 175-bed rehabilitation and nursing facility at 1930 E. Hatch Road, but the project never developed. The approval, held by Rai family, expired in 2012. Plans have been dusted off and the proponent obtained Planning Commission approval for a new CUP in March.

"It's a huge amount of jobs," commented City Manager Toby Wells. He added that those jobs are typically good paying. An added benefit to the Ceres community would be filling a great need for care.

As proposed, the Hatch Road Rehabilitation Center is designed for 24-hour care for those 60 years of age or older as well as those needing rehabilitation care. City officials estimated then that the facility would employ 130 of which 60 would be on day shifts.

The facility will include physical therapy and occupational therapy rooms, two dining areas, two patio areas, and a total of 77 living units - 22 which will accommodate three beds and 54 being rooms for only two patients. The parking lot approved in 2009 called for 147 parking spaces.

Westbrook said the facility should be a "good fit" for the Hatch Road block which already has several churches, a school, Davis Guest Home and doctor's offices.

Decades ago the city approved creation of two parcels of 0.9 acres, and 2.97 acres, with the smaller lot now bearing a 3,450-square-foot building and parking lot. Because the design of the rehabilitation facility would encroach over the property line shared between the two parcels, a condition of approval was imposed on the CUP requiring the project to obtain a Lot Line Adjustment. The applicant decided to keep the two parcels separate but move the line so that the building does not encroach upon it.

The adjustment will result with a new Parcel 1 of 0.41 acres and Parcel 2 at 3.46 acres.

Both parcels are designated as Office (O) in the City General Plan and are governed under the City Zoning Ordinance with a zoning of Administrative Professional (A-P).

Also expected to be constructed on Hatch Road during the new year will be America's Tire Store. In November the Ceres Planning Commission considered an application to permit America's Tire Store to build a 7,680-square-foot facility at 1800 E. Hatch Road - right next door to Les Schwab at 1830 E. Hatch Road. But the matter was tabled after a resident living south of the proposed shop expressed concern about noise and the panel called for a redesign. The building has been reoriented and expected to go before the commission for approval within a month or two.

Halle Properties, LLC of Scottsdale, Ariz., representing America's Tires, went before the commission in November seeking approval for a Planned Community Development Plan (PCDP) to develop the 1.51-acre vacant lot.

The commission received a letter of opposition from the neighbor who was concerned over the potential variety of trees placed near the property line, the condition of the existing block wall and the potential for noise from the service bays. The commission directed the proponent to submit a revised site plan to reorient the building so that the service bays will face to the north and not to the east.