LOS BANOS, Calif. (KFSN) --New businesses are making their way to Los Banos.
The old Lowe's building in Stonecreek Plaza was recently renovated and will soon house up to six businesses and city officials said this will bring more opportunities to the area.
The retail strip has sat empty since 2011 when the recession hit Los Banos hard and people in the area tell us they never thought anything open anytime soon. Now with a gym is already open and another new business moving in the city said this just means more jobs and more money into the economy.
"With the banking crisis, we just got hit super hard," Stacy Souza Elms with Los Banos economic development said. "It was stagnant from 2009 to 2013. We had no growth, no permits, nothing was happening."
But with new businesses moving in, it's starting to see some new signs of life
"We were the first ones in here so we got people going," said Jaqueline Estrada, who works at Fitness Revolution
Estrada said she was hired when Fitness Evolution opened back in June. They were to first to open and it's refreshing to see something new in the area.
"More business, more employment opportunity," she said. "All around better Los Banos."
Souza Elms said the old Lowe's building will be remodeled into a multi-retail building with 5 to 6 separate tenant suites. The next business to open up will be Hobby Lobby.
"That's going to be the up-and-coming place," she said. "That's where people are going to want to develop and live."
People living in Los Banos said they're now glad to have more options in their own backyard.
"For three years it was empty," we were expecting something," resident Nancy Escareno said. "We finally got a gym, and we finally got Hobby Lobby. We're excited."
Elms said they've already issued 180 permits this year and she adds that they're seeing a huge uptake with residential and, hopefully, with all these changes it will only go up from here.
"What we see happening now will lead to bigger and better things," she said.
She said the new businesses will eventually create about 100 new jobs but, for now, the city is excited to welcome the new Hobby Lobby to the neighborhood in October.