By John Lindt
Sierra 2 the Sea news service
VISALIA– This spring, economist and Beacon Economics founder Chris Thornburg said the Valley is in need of more housing if they want their economic pie to grow. Fortunately, the number of new home building permits is well on the rise.
New home building permits in Visalia are up 30% in the first half of 2019 and valuation is up 36% according to the City of Visalia. Some 330 new home permits were issued in the first half of this year compared to 253 for the same period in 2018. DR Horton is the top builder in town with 95 units followed by San Joaquin Valley Homes. On the commercial front, permits are up 4% and up 26% on valuation.
Multi-hotel complex planned for Three Rivers
Three Rivers: A public community meeting has been scheduled in Three Rivers July 24 on plans for an upscale three-hotel complex being proposed on 18 acres in town. The meeting will be at Three Rivers Memorial Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Developer Gautam Patel of Pleasanton is the applicant for the project being permitted through the county. Patel has also developed the upscale Hounds Tooth Inn in Oakhurst. County planner Mike Washam says the project is located in a zone set aside as the Community Plan’s Town Center and is allowed “by right” limiting what opponents might be able to challenge. Nevertheless there has been considerable opposition on social media as word has gotten out.
The big project is called Sequoia Resorts with a total of 225 rooms as well as restaurants, meeting rooms and a spa with a total of 280 parking places. The site is near Sierra Drive (198) and Old Three Rivers Road, west of the Comfort Inn.
Japanese fast food heading for Mooney
Visalia: Yoshinoya Japanese kitchen will open on Mooney Boulevard next to the A&W Restaurant just north of Whitendale. The Asian fast food eatery will replace the Wendy’s Hamburgers at that location. The popular chain serves rice bowls with beef, veggies & more, plus soups & salads. This would be the second Yoshinoya in the Valley besides Bakersfield with most of the locations in the LA and Bay areas. The Torrence California company received a building permit this week to remodel the building.
Tulare hospital adding more departments
Tulare: Adventist Health has reopened the doors of Tulare Regional Medical Center some months ago and is now called Adventist Health Tulare. Now they are pushing to reopen still shuttered departments as they work to add more staff, make improvements and move to a full service health care unit. The OB department is expected to open in mid July. Altura and Family Healthcare Network are scheduling patients for follow up. Both are providing OB’s a report says. Meanwhile 15,000 visits to the ER have been made to date with 75 patients being seen each day. Some 200 surgeries have been performed. The sleep lab is scheduled to open in August, 2019 and the Mammography department is coming. Adventist Health says it has made a $2 million investment in a new MRI. Sill the hospital is struggling to attract more specialists on call .They expect Cardio/Ortho will elevate the number of patients in the August daily census.