Kerman's Outgrowing its Small-Town Image

February 20, 2008 Kerman may have once considered a wide spot in the road. The Fresno County Town is in a transition that began a decade ago.

Ron Manfredi, Kerman City Manager: "We've planned for the future and more importantly we've funded for the future."

Kerman's' past and present are often side by side in this community with an estimated population of 14-thousand. It's one of the fastest growing in the state.

It's also the kind of small town where the young people are choosing to live in even if their job is in Fresno.

Rita Rios-Barajas: "It takes me less time from Kerman to the Tower District than when I was living off of Bullard and Brawley and working clear out by the airport."

Rios-Barajas is exactly the kind of person Kerman's Boyd family Real-Estate Development Company is banking on.

Each of the two-bedroom units in this custom built apartment complex has its own address and alarm system.

The developer admits it's not what you'd expect in this small town.

Ken Boyd, Kerman Developer: "Our rents start at $995 and we're about two to three hundred dollars less than what their renting them for in Fresno."

Three generations of Boyds have been building homes and now apartments in Kerman.

They believe as improvements to Highway 180 West from Fresno continue to be made their town will enjoy the bedroom community success of another Fresno County City.

Nancy Osborne: "Kerman is the next, what?"

Ken Boyd: "Kerman is definitely the next Clovis. It's close, great schools."

City Manager Manfredi believes ten years of planning are paying off.

Developer fees he says are keeping up with the impact of this growth on city services while the city directs and limits that growth.

Ron Manfredi: "I don't know about Clovis, but I think it'll be the next hot spot in this County and this Valley."

Back in Fresno's Tower District there are no thoughts in this hair stylist's head of relocating.

Rita Rios-Barajas: "The majority of my clients live in Fresno and I do like Fresno for the business but I wouldn't want to live in Fresno."

Whatever the long-term effects of this booming growth, it is most certainly changing the choices for those who choose to live here.

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