ATWATER -- In the midst of a $1.4 million general fund shortfall, a recently opened store in the Applegate Ranch Shopping Center is expected to boost revenue for the city, and there may be more to follow.
Regency Centers, which owns and operates hundreds of shopping centers nationwide, leased 9,264 square feet to Dollar Tree in the shopping complex, and the store opened less than a week ago.
Several other businesses have already located in the growing shopping center at 1000 Commerce Ave., including a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Super Target, Petco and Marshalls.
When Wal-Mart opened its doors in the shopping complex in March, city leaders expected the 124,500-square-foot store to bring in $300,000 in sales tax revenue a year.
Since officials broke ground on the site more than four years ago, they've been working with the owner of the shopping center to attract tenants and fill in the complex, which sits just off Highway 99.
The main benefit of opening a Dollar Tree is it adds more diverse retail to the shopping complex and will hopefully draw in more consumers from outside the city, City Manager Kathy Kivley said.
"The more variety you have down there, the more people you attract," she said. "And there's a lot of variety down there."
Mayor Joan Faul said this is the second Dollar Tree to locate in Atwater -- this time on the other side of town.
"It's been a very successful store at its other site," she said.
There are still some vacant spots in the Applegate Ranch Shopping Center, Faul said, but city officials are expecting a Firestone tire shop to open a store there soon.
"We're filling them up," she said.
After looking at sales tax generated from the existing Dollar Tree on East Bellevue Road, Atwater's Economic Development Director Scott McBride expects the new store to bring in similar or slightly better returns of $12,000 to $15,000 annually in sales tax for the city.
However, it's possible that the new store could draw business away from similar shops in town and detract from the estimated net sales tax increase for the city, McBride said, adding that he'll have a better idea in eight months to a year.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.