New travel centers coming to Madera Co. to assist community and more

MADERA CO., Calif. (KFSN) -- A more than 15,000 square foot building is now under construction off Highway 99 and Avenue 12 in Madera County. This is the spot where an AM-PM and a few other businesses once stood before an overpass expansion project cleared them all out.

"There was a Jack in the Box out here," said Bobby Kahn, Madera Co. Econ. Dev. Commission." There was a 7-11 out here and all those were taken away by eminent domain through Caltrans."

The man building the new project here knows exactly how that feels. He bought the Fresno truckstop formerly known as Klein's in 2002 and turned it into his signature EZ Trip, only to see it dismantled in 2017 because it stood in the way of the high-speed rail route.

"It was very difficult. I really worked hard to build the business there," said Shawn Shiralian, owner of EZ Trip.

But now Shiralian and Kahn are both excited about the new EZ Trip travel center going up on this 10-acre property. It will offer a full truck stop with dozens of diesel and gasoline pumps, plus charging stations for electric vehicles and much more.

Shiralian says he loves this location because it's visible and easy to access from both sides of the highway. It's also close to the Madera Community College Center, so students and staff can stop for fast food or gas on their way to and from classes. The new facility will employ at least 70 people.

"Also it's a big sales tax generator, so it's great for the county of Madera in many aspects," Kahn said.

Shiralian also has another location in the works for Madera and two more in Fresno County.

"The future is very bright, definitely very bright," Shiralian said. "I'm excited to be back in business."

The Avenue 12 travel center is expected to open in mid-May, and the other three locations are in various stages of planning and permitting.
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