HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just in time for the holidays, Hanford is getting one of the biggest gifts of all. But this one you won't find under the tree.
"What you see today is about 6.5 years in the making," said Darrel Pyle, City Manager Hanford.
Much to the delight of South Valley shoppers Costco's newest location in Hanford opened its doors for the first time.
"We were really looking forward to getting this open since we know so many members travel from different parts of the Valley," said Paul Cano, Regional Operations Manager.
Marisol Chavez and her family are all smiles now that Costco is not a 40-minute drive away. Instead of making the trip just twice a month she can come weekly to save.
"Toilet paper, laundry detergent, and stuff like that, milk, it gets a lot cheaper buying in bulk."
The store's first set of shoppers dined on samples and got to take advantage of little to no lines at check out.
The 150,000 square foot facility is Costco's 122nd California location,
it features a fresh bakery and deli, clothing, and a gas station.
Whether you are buying produce or electronics, buying wholesale is not the only perk of Costco coming to Hanford. The big box retailer hired 160 full and part time employees.
"Really, you need a catalyst to help pull development in commercial development," said Pyle.
Pyle said the east side of Hanford was long overdue for an anchor tenant.
"It gave us the opportunity to make a huge investment in infrastructure. Sewer systems and water systems that will support additional development on Hanford's east side."
Pyle adds there is interest in the additional 500,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space in the shopping center, but will not have names of what is to come until the leases are filled out.
Hanford Costco celebrates grand opening