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Living Spaces Furniture is moving forward with showroom-warehouse
The Atherton Drive gap between Union Road and Sparrowhawk Drive will open in the coming weeks.

Another segment of Atherton Drive that is emerging as “the main street” south of the 120 Bypass will open to traffic in the coming weeks.

 The only remaining work to be completed for the four-lane segment between Union Road and Sparrowhawk Drive east of Airport Way is for PG&E to connect the electricity for street lights.

The city is planning an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Developer Bill Filios noted completion of the segment has sparked interest from a number of potential retail outlets.

Living Spaces Furniture is submitting plans to the city for a 130,000-square-foot showroom-warehouse that is expected to break ground in the coming months. By comparison Costco — the largest retail store in Manteca — is 140,000 square feet. The 10-acre parcel Living Spaces is acquiring fronts the north side of the Atherton Drive extension and will leave a parcel between it and the southwest corner of the Union Road interchange.

Filios said he hopes to get a supermarket committed to build on one of the adjoining parcels.

The $4.4 million extension of Atherton Drive — paid by with growth fees collected on new development for the purpose of building major streets — will open up additional prime retail with freeway frontage for development as well as a large area of commercial mixed use on the south side of Atherton Drive. It will include a mixture of retail, apartments, and restaurants.

Housing growth in Manteca as well as nearby Lathrop along with the high profile 120 Bypass corridors that is at the center of 1.5 million consumers in a 15-mile radius that includes Tracy, Stockton, and Modesto is attracting significant attention from retailers

Atherton Drive is designed as the major east-west street south of the 120 Bypass as well as being the north-south corridor that ultimately may connect with Ripon streets as southeast Manteca develops. Atherton turns into a north-south street once it passes the eastern edge of Juniper Apartments and heads toward Woodward Avenue. The initial segment south of Woodward Avenue is now being put in place by a home developer.

Atherton Drive will connect with McKinley Avenue and will eventually T-intersection with Woodward Avenue at a point west of McKinley.

The opening of the Union Road to Sparrowhawk Drive gap is expected to ease afternoon commute traffic on Woodward Avenue. Hundreds of drivers make it a habit to get off the eastbound 120 Bypass during the afternoon commute at Airport Way to avoid the 120/99 backup. They either take Woodward Avenue to reach Moffat and then southbound Highway 99 or else take Airport Way to West Ripon Road and access Highway 99 in Ripon.

The number of drivers taking those alternate routes when accidents bring traffic flow on the Bypass to a stop. 

Living Spaces will have

upwards of 140 workers

The Southern California based Living Spaces Furniture is projecting annual sales of $35 million at the high-profile location on Atherton Drive. They will employ 65 full-time workers, 25-part-time workers and throughout a given year have 50 temporary workers.  

Living Spaces has 21 furniture stores in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas with the closest in the Bay Area in Fremont, San Leandro, and Millbrae.

The City of Manteca negotiated a sales tax incentive agreement with Living Spaces Furniture.  

Based on an analysis used to craft the incentive agreement, Living Spaces will build a $12 million facility that will generate $25,000 annually specifically for the city in property taxes as well as $350,000 in local sales tax. It will also generate $175,000 in half cent Measure M public safety taxes.

The deal calls for the city to pay Living Spaces 50 percent of the annual local sales tax — that excludes Measure M taxes — up to $3 million or for 10 years depending upon what comes first.

Should Living Spaces initially have annual sales of $35 million that means the city would receive $175,000 a year until the terms of the deal are fulfilled.

Given Measure M locks in public safety funding at 62 percent of the general fund, that means $75,000 would flown into police and fire operations. That is on top of $175,000 a year in Measure K tax.

The Measure M tax is restricted to hiring front-line public safety personnel. Based on current staffing costs that include benefits such as health care, payroll costs, workmen’s compensation, and retirement it costs $150,000 a year for a police officer. The furniture store would allow the city to ultimately hire an additional police officer or firefighter and have money left over to go toward another position.

The $75,000 split between fire and police general fund costs would likely go to equipment, back up staff and other costs of running each department.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email