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Get ready for Mantecas next big thing: Upscale retail outlet stores
Equipment is already being put in place for the Lifestyle Outlets at Manteca project that will consist of three new structures with 250,000 square feet breaking ground Thursday. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

Bass Pro Shop – along with Big League Dreams – may go down as the linchpins that vaulted Manteca into a regional draw.

Craig Realty Group is getting ready to break ground Thursday on three buildings consisting of 250,000 square feet to add to existing in-line retail structures at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley to create Lifestyle Outlets at Manteca.

Craig Realty is being tight-lipped about leases they’ve already signed but they are saying the first stores will open in February or March. They promise it will follow their established pattern of creating upscale outlet store shopping experiences. They have 3 million square feet throughout the West.

Much like Bass Pro Shops, expectations are 95 percent-plus of the sales – and taxes – that the outlet stores will land will come from outside of Manteca.

That means the stores will have minimal, if any, impact on existing retailers. It should also effectively end Manteca’s status a sales tax donor to the governments of other Northern San Joaquin Valley cities by effectively siphoning away consumer dollars and sales tax from Modesto, Stockton, and Tracy to name e a few cities.

This isn’t making Manteca popular with many of its neighbors – the city government types that is – as they know all too well that sales tax is the No. 1 revenue source of cities especially in these cash strapped times.

Tracy may have an additional reason to dislike Manteca as some commercial real estate experts believe the newer Manteca outlets could deliver a severe blow to Tracy Outlets.

The location is better but it goes without saying Bass Pro Shops’ ability to lure a million consumers every three months from a 100-mile radius is the real clincher. It’s not just a million run-of-the-mill shoppers either. Bass Pro shoppers tend to have disposable cash.

JC Penney is also looking forward to the outlets as none of them are expected to conflict with their retail trade. If anything they should complement each other.

The Hampton Inn Suites at Orchard Valley is also nearing completion and should be open by March with Red Robin serving up their famous hamburgers by February.

Poag and McEwen - developers of Orchard Valley – have also indicated they anticipate closing several restaurant leases in the next 30 to 60 days now that construction is starting on the luxury outlet stores complex.

New yogurt place
on the way

Get ready for yet another place to enjoy yogurt.

Chilaberries Yogurt plans to open in December in the Stadium Retail Center where the seasonal Halloween Spirit store just recently opened.

Kitchell Development expects to have a number of major tenants they will announce in the next month or so.

The surge in interest comes after six months of Bass Pro traffic numbers and two years of solid Big League Dreams numbers with 400,000 paid visitors a year is capturing the attention of retailers trying to position themselves to be in the best spot to expand when the economy turns upward.

All of this seems a bit incredible with Manteca’s 13.8 percent unemployment rate, but the fact Manteca leaders have situated Manteca to lure consumers on a regional basis as well as seek employers who benefit from sitting in the middle of the country’s third largest 100-mile radius market with 17 million people. It is only topped by New York and Los Angeles.

Inquiries from potential employers – light industry, back shop offices, and distribution centers – have been mentioning Manteca’s growing shopping opportunities along with location, now affordable housing, medical facilities, and other amenities such as BLD and the parks as reasons why Manteca is ending up on their short lists.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail