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Living Spaces plans 130,000- square-foot facility on Atherton
Retail space part of a Living Spaces Furniture showroom-warehouse.
Living Spaces Furniture is planning a 130,000-square-foot showroom-warehouse on the future extension of Atherton Drive to the west of the Union Road and 120 Bypass interchange.
The Southern California firm is projecting annual sales of $35 million at the high-profile location. They will employ 65 full-time workers, 25-part-time workers and throughout a given year will have 50 temporary workers. The store will be slightly smaller than Costco’s 140,000-square-foot Manteca store.
The move by Living Spaces Furniture to locate in Manteca is directly tied into a council decision earlier this year to build the missing gap of Atherton Drive between Airport Way and Union Road in a bid to lure more retail to the city.
Developer Bill Filios said the 10-acre parcel Living Spaces is acquiring will front the north side of the Atherton Drive extension and will leave a parcel between it and the southwest corner of the interchange. Filios said a hotel as well as a drug store chain has shown interest on the other parcel.
Altogether when land to the south of Atherton Drive is taken in into account, Filios has 60 acres of potential retail available.
Work on the extension will start in the coming weeks after the South San Joaquin Irrigation District gives clearance for relocation of part of its irrigation system. Ground breaking for California’s first diverging diamond interchange at Union Road and 120 Bypass will take place by early 2019.
Filios noted 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.
“To get retail you have to have the houses first and Manteca has been building houses,” Filios noted.
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 has negotiated an incentive agreement with Living Spaces Furniture that will be before the City Council for consideration when they meet on Tuesday, June 5, at 7 p.m.
Based on an analysis used to craft the proposed 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 flow 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.
Costco sales tax
split nears end
By the time the furniture store opens Manteca is expected to have fulfilled a sales tax deal split that brought Costco to Manteca instead of locating another store in a nearby community.
Manteca municipal officials found out in 2006 through commercial leasing agents with Kitchell that Costco was going to locate another store in the region and were considering the east side of Modesto.
Costco is a huge generator of taxable sales in the communities they are located in.
Manteca municipal leaders figured if that happened it would have been years before Manteca had a chance at landing a Costco. And down the road that may not have happened as Lathrop would be growing making the appeal of locating on the Interstate 5 corridor as being a central location for the Manteca-Lathrop-Weston Ranch region would have been a tough one for Costco to pass up.
The City Council retained a Los Angeles firm that specialized in analyzing the wisdom of sales tax sharing deals and also – through Costco’s permission – got access to confidential and proprietary information that is collected by the State Board of Equalization on each business that has taxable sales in California.
They used that hard, state-audited data to determine whether a sales tax split deal would really benefit Manteca.
Data recorded every time a club member used their Costco card showed Manteca residents spent $6 million in taxable sales at Costco stores in Modesto and Tracy in 2006.
The $6 million Costco was pulling out of Manteca consumer pockets represented $600,000 in local sales tax that Manteca residents were paying to support municipal services in Modesto and Tracy.
Costco told city leaders the Manteca market numbers “weren’t high enough” yet to locate a Costco in Manteca. They’d consider Manteca, though, it there was some type of “help” in covering the site development.
When Manteca approached Costco the firm originally wanted a straight sales tax split with no cap but Manteca balked.
The end result of the discussions with the big box retailer was that it would take $3.7 million for Costco to build a wholesale store in Manteca. The $3.7 million would come out of sales tax the city would receive from Costco shoppers buying items at the store. The deal gave Costco 45 percent of the city’s share of sales tax — excluding Measure M public safety sales tax that the city would retain — in any given year until the $3.7 million obligation was met.
At the time sales tax projections were pegged at $370,000 annually,
Last year the city indicated the Costco deal terms would be satisfied this year. Although the city can’t reveal what Costco is collecting in sales tax as under state law that is considered proprietary information, based on the deal inked in 2007, Manteca is likely to see another $180,000 annually in sales tax flowing into city coffers this year.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail