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The Madera Tribune

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New travel center plans now in review stage

January 31, 2018

Graphics Courtesy of the City of Madera

A Best Western Regency hotel will be a crowning feature of the planned Love’s Travel Center at the intersection of Avenue 17 and State Route 99.

Plans for the main features of the Madera Travel Center, projected for property at the intersection of Avenue 17 and State Route 99, have been submitted for review according to city officials, although breaking ground on the 48-acre project is still likely a few months away.


A new Best Western hotel with 81 rooms has been announced as the hotel tenant in the project. The free-standing four-story hotel will reportedly include amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, picnic arbor, free breakfast for guests, fitness center, meeting facilities, and business center for travelers.


The project received approval from the City of Madera Planning Commission in August of 2016 and had been scheduled to begin construction in mid 2017.

 

The vacant site was previously annexed into the City of Madera in 2007 for the ill-fated Gateway Galleria Retail Shopping Center mall which was to host 450,000 square feet of retail in roughly 20 buildings. That long-awaited shopping mall was never built due to the 2008 economic collapse.


The Madera Travel Center project is located on the southeast corner of State Route 99 and Avenue 17 and will contain five different components, along with adequate parking, appropriate landscaping and good traffic flow according to City Planning Manager Chris Boyle. Five acres have been set aside adjacent to the west side of the property as roadway easement to eventually complete the construction of Sharon Boulevard through to Aveune 17.


The centerpiece of the project is the 12,000-square-foot Love’s Travel Stop Plaza building, with convenience store, and includes plans for an attached 4,000-square-foot brand name restaurant which has not currently leased.


Gasoline, diesel fuel, and propane will be sold on site, with nine covered fuel islands for trucks, and nine separate fuel islands for automobiles, as well as truck scales, oil-water separator, RV dump, and both above-ground diesel fuel tanks and underground gasoline tanks. All large truck maneuvering will be segregated from car traffic and non-trucker personnel for safety.


Also underway is the tire shop and truck area, a component of the Travel Stop to provide parking facilities for tractor-trailers and general services for big-rig tractor maintenance, including the sale and installation of tires. There will be no heavy maintenance or engine rebuilding activities conducted on-site. Access to this component is separate from the general passenger car and truck visitors to the travel stop.


The first phase of the project will also include the “historical pedestrian plaza,” located on the the southwest corner of Avenue 17 and Sharon Boulevard. This feature includes a pedestrian plaza that will address a part of the history of Madera, including metal plaques that will describe the logging history of the Madera area, and is designed to establish a welcoming physical presence at the corner of Avenue 17 and Sharon Boulevard, and will serve as an entry feature intended to improve the overall appearance of the plaza.


Plans for the separate, free-standing brand name restaurant  have not been received, although the 4,400-square-foot space in the northwest corner of the site will have a drive-through window and long queuing driveway. A tenant for this location has not currently identified. Both restaurants will have the option to serve alcohol according to the recently approved plan.


An RV and boat storage facility also remains in the plan, and will include seven canopy-covered, open-air storage buildings that would provide a total of 307 storage spaces. A small office building and a wash area will be provided, along with security fencing. On-site security consists of monitored camera surveillance along with dedicated keypad entry/exit that controls rolling iron gates. Decorative wrought iron with stone pilaster fencing would be included along all street frontages in support of required landscaping.


The revenue sharing agreement for the project had outlined an approximate $8.1 million shared investment in the construction of the facility, with some of the costs being reimbursed by the city over a period of time.


The major project will have a good return on investment, according to city officials, with at least half that investment coming back to the city in the first few years, and should generate approximately $1.2 million in sales and use taxes each year after that.

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