VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) --As much of the Valley already knows, there's plenty to explore in Downtown Visalia.
"Downtown is doing very well," said Visalia City Councilman and Downtown Visalians CEO Steve Nelsen.
Nelsen estimates downtown is currently 98% occupied, and if someone leaves, he says it's not long before someone else moves in; and it's not just businesses moving in, but now residents too.
Nelsen says the desire to live in Downtown Visalia is extremely high right now.
Casa de Sciacca is the latest residential and commercial project from Visalia developer Sam Sciacca and his wife, Marlene.
There's a wine bar and salon downstairs, and six luxury apartments-- some are upstairs.
"The upstairs was a dance hall," Sciacca said. "It was just an open area where they used to go up and dance. It remained empty for 70 years."
Casa de Sciacca comes nearly nine years after they retrofitted an upstairs luxury apartment across the street. But this project was larger is scope, and came with its fair share of challenges along the way.
"So this was a major retrofit that we did and we got here and didn't really know what we were going to be faced with once it was completed," Sciacca said.
"For a lot of folks, that's a big hill to climb, takes some deep pockets," Nelsen said. "But we have some people that are looking at the buildings."
For Sciacca, who took a chance on a concept he saw working in his mother's Sicilian hometown, the rollout in Visalia has been a success, with all but two units already rented out.
Sciacca says there's so much more upstairs space available downtown, and he hopes others will take advantage of it, like he did.
"My advice to anybody who's an investor-- invest in Downtown Visalia," he said. "It is the best investment you'll ever make in your entire life."
Sciacca will have an open house on April 6th, and $5 ticket purchases will go towards Alzheimer's disease programs.
Casa de Sciacca Open House
Thursday, April 6th, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
9 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony
Get tickets at Chelsea Street Boutique or Boutique 1422
559-734-7467 or 559-635-9999