Merced plans for new development

FRESNO, Calif.

It's being planned for the intersection of Yosemite Avenue and G Street in north Merced.

The view from the top floor of the new Mercy Medical Center in Merced may soon change dramatically. That's because the city planning commission has approved a proposal that would fill this.

Nearby empty lot with an eleven and a half acre commercial complex. The project includes a new hotel, restaurant, and pharmacy.

"The hospital was built and is serving as a catalyst for people to then say what can we do to support the hospital but then also generate some jobs and just generate some overall activity," Frank Quintero said.

Caroline Banaga volunteers at the hospital and says the development would be great for both patients and their families.

"There's nowhere for them to stay that's close by for family members who are coming from out of town, and it's really important to have their family members there for them so it will be good," Banaga said.

The plan also calls for several offices, a bank, and even apartment buildings.

"I live right near here. Of course I wouldn't like all the traffic, but you can't go against the area being developed, and we do need more for the economy. We do need more restaurants and hotels and stores," Luanna Correia said.

The commercial space will be right next to property the city has purchased from the developer for its new police headquarters. The money for that new facility will come from public facility fees, but city leaders say the rest of the project won't hurt the general fund.

"Actually it will benefit it through building permit fees, public facility fees that are collected, and hopefully we'll see some nice tax revenues generated from the project," Quintero said.

The proposal will go to the city council for approval as soon as July, and construction could begin in about a year.

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