Dozens of retail stores, a housing project and hundreds of full-time jobs are headed to Merced after city leaders approved a massive project on the eastern edge of town, according to city leaders.
Merced Gateway is a 77-acre project that includes 600,000 square feet of retail space and 177 units of housing, according to plans. The developer said the project includes grocery, sporting goods and agricultural supply stores.
The City Council unanimously approved the environmental impact report and other land-use documents on Monday, freeing the developer up to begin building.
The developers said they plan to break ground sometime next year, according to city staffers. The center will go up in eight phases over five years.
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This project will inject a new buzz into a community that has been ready for something like this for years.
Councilman Anthony Munoz, Merced City Council District 1
“This retail center is a big win for our residents,” Mayor Mike Murphy said in a statement. “It will provide new retail, entertainment, housing, employment and dining options for Merced and the surrounding area.”
It’s estimated the center will generate $30 million a year in sales tax, according to city staffers.
Gateway is being developed on 77-acres of land that was part of the Pluim family dairy from 1928 through 1986, according to city leaders. The family joined with Sonora-based California Gold Development Corp. to form the development.
The project falls into Merced City Council District 1, which is overseen by Councilman Anthony Martinez. “This project will inject a new buzz into a community that has been ready for something like this for years,” he said in a statement.
The development team estimates the $150 million project will generate 800 construction jobs and 900 full-time jobs, and a $30-million payroll, according to Frank Quintero, Merced’s economic development director.
The face of retail and entertainment is in transition. Merced has an opportunity to develop a state of the art facility to serve our retail trade area.
Frank Quintero, Merced’s economic development director
Planned are 17 retail stores, 10 restaurants, a movie theater and a fire station, records show.
“The face of retail and entertainment is in transition,” Quintero said. “Merced has an opportunity to develop a state of the art facility to serve our retail trade area.”
In 2015, the council approved two agreements with the developers of Merced Gateway and a consulting firm who plans the project at the northeast and northwest corners of Campus Parkway and Coffee Street.
This story has been corrected from an earlier version.