Study Shows Shaw Ave Businesses Struggling

January 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It's one of the main drags through north Fresno and Clovis and Clovis city leaders want to keep it that way. Shaw avenue cuts right through the heart of Clovis, and hundreds of businesses line the heavily traveled road. But a new study shows parts of Shaw are struggling.

According to the report, 8.5% of businesses along Shaw between Highway 168 and Armstrong Avenue are empty.

Shaw Avenue has definitely seen some growth in the past 5 years. But still many opportunities for improvement exist. Right now close to 9% of storefronts are vacant, a statistic considered less than healthy.

The sign welcoming people to Clovis doesn't seem to be reeling in retail businesses, at least at the pace some Clovis leaders would like to see.

The biggest concern, Shaw and Fowler, where 69% of buildings are unoccupied. The problem began almost immediately after Albertson's shut down.

Other areas seen as blighted are at Shaw and Minnewawa and Shaw and Helm.

For potential customers Shaw Avenue's congestion is a reason many avoid the gridlock altogether. The mayor of Clovis agrees, traffic is an ongoing issue.

Bob Whalen, Clovis Mayor, says "Even though we've synchronized the lights, within Shaw Avenue within the portion of Clovis, there does still appear to be a significant amount of backup."

Councilmember Jose Flores wants to turn the heavy traffic that some customers may see as a drawback into an asset for new businesses.

"I think it's an opportunity for business owners to take advantage of the situation. There's a lot of movement on Shaw Avenue and if you can entice them to stop and do business, I think it will pay a lot of dividends," says Flores.

Some city leaders say the marketing campaign that branded the Clovis portion of Shaw as "The Avenue" has been a great start in getting residents and visitors to see Shaw Avenue as more of a place to be.

Nathan Magsig, Clovis City Council, says "What we're trying to do is just bring attention to people that, hey Shaw Avenue is a destination point for Clovis. We want you to come here and we want you to spend your dollars and enjoy yourself."

Research shows many businesses that have no vacancy, are the centers that invested in remodeling and landscaping to update their stores and make them more inviting.

Clovis city leaders are hosting a workshop Tuesday night to brainstorm more ideas to keep Shaw Avenue viable. If you'd like to give your input you can attend the workshop at Clovis City Council Chambers at 7 Tuesday evening.


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