After remaining vacant throughout the pandemic, the former Rancho San Miguel supermarket space in Ceres will have two well-known national tenants.
The Latin American grocery chain closed its store in the Hatch Road shopping district in the summer of 2019, and it has been vacant ever since. But now the building will be shared between two national retailers. The development is one of a handful of new retail projects underway at various stages in the Central Valley city.
Big Lots and Grocery Outlet discount chains will open inside the 63,000 square foot space. The building will be split between the two retailers, with Big Lots developing approximately 38,000 square feet and Grocery Outlet occupying the remaining 24,000 square feet.
These will be the first stores for Big Lots, known for closing deals on everything from groceries to home decor, and Grocery Outlet, a California-based supermarket surplus seller, in Ceres. Modesto already has two locations for both stores and Turlock has one each.
Ceres community development manager Christopher Hoem said permits have been issued and construction has begun to turn the old grocery store into two new stores. When Rancho San Miguel closed in 2019, chain representatives said the size of the store – which was twice the size of a standard store in their stores – was the main reason for its closure.
Ceres town officials knew it would be difficult to get another company to take over all the space, so this sharing deal should be a win for the shopping district. Hoem estimates that work should be completed on the store in the first half of 2023.
Across town to the south, at the corner of Mitchell and Service roads, the Ceres Gateway Center has opened its first new business inside the new retail development. The Starbucks coffee shop opened its stand-alone building in the mall late last month.
The development was built from the ground up across from the city’s new Walmart Supercenter, which opened last November. Hoem said the next new restaurants to complete in the center are expected to be Chipotle, Ono Hawaiian BBQ and In-N-Out Burger, all of which are new stand-alone buildings. Expect them to start opening in December.
The Ceres Planning Commission also recently approved plans for a new Popeyes Louisiana kitchen, a Woodspring Suites hotel, and a Union 76 gas station/convenience store to join the other new Gateway Center options. The latter will have additional tenant space for another drive-thru restaurant.
On the east side of town, a new large restaurant and bar has also recently been approved by the Ceres Planning Commission. The new restaurant occupies vacant land on East Whitmore Avenue near an irrigation canal. Plans call for an 11,900 square foot building that would house Family Fun Pizza and Bar.
The city has yet to receive a building permit application for the project, but once approved, construction is expected to take several months, Hoem said. The new restaurant could tentatively be ready to open by fall 2023.
These new developments across Ceres join ongoing work to transform the former Kmart building on Hatch Road at the start of the city’s busy shopping corridor. The 84,000 square foot building, empty since 2018, is being renovated to become a new Public Storage self-storage facility.
The 9-acre development will also construct a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant, Dutch Bros Coffee kiosk and Quik Stop convenience store/petrol station to the front of the property along Hatch Road. Preliminary construction has begun on the public storage.
“These projects represent strong economic prospects and hopefully just the tip of the iceberg for the city of Ceres as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and head into a bright future. “, said Hoem.