Merced seeing revival of commercial development

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merced new business (KFSN)

Construction is well underway on a 1,200 square foot call center on Park Avenue. City leaders say they can't confirm the name of the company or whether the building will be used for inbound or outbound calls.

Merced Director of Economic Development Frank Quintero said, "But what we do know is we anticipate there to be 90 jobs created as a result of this project."

This announcement comes less than a year after the AT&T call center at Castle Commerce Center shut down, leaving more than 400 people in search of new jobs. Economic Development Director Frank Quintero says the new company chose to build this facility instead of moving into a vacant space because of the location.

Quintero said, "With call centers a location factor is how close are you to amenities, so personal banking, dry cleaners, all those play a role, and they're located in a great site where they're easily accessible."

Quintero says other large commercial projects are also on the horizon. The city is working with developers and land owners off Highway 99 and Mission Avenue to build a major shopping center. And applications for a new three story Town Place Suites by Marriott on Parsons near Childs are expected to come before the planning commission soon.

"We also anticipate new America Tire shop being constructed on Olive Avenue, which continues to be our main commercial corridor," Quintero added.

The Merced County Workforce Investment Board is now preparing to help match all of those future businesses with employees who have the right skills. That includes everything from testing to training.

Deputy Director Shermaene Roemhildt said, "It's very nice that the economy is finally turning around and that people can be put back to work, and that's what we're here for is to get people jobs and help the employers get the right employee that fits their needs."

Quintero says a number of factors are helping to bring new businesses to the city, including the improving economy and U.C. Merced's expansion plan which aims to accommodate 10,000 students by the year 2020.

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