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Sears reopening Manteca store in new location
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Sears is reopening a store in Manteca.

A vacant storefront that once housed an independent dollar store to the south of PetSmart on Spreckels Avenue is being prepared to house a Sears appliance store.

The owners of the Sears franchise were unable to renew their lease at their longtime Manteca location in the Manteca Marketplace on West Yosemite Avenue west of Union Road earlier this summer. The former Sears store is being transformed into Manteca’s second In Shape health club. The adjoining former Manteca Marketplace Cinema 10 is been remodeled into a Big Lots store targeted to open in October.

Sears’ decision to reopen in Manteca is considered a big plus by city leaders.

Earlier this summer, municipal economic specialist Don Smail noted that Sears provided steady jobs as well as a good flow of sales tax on major appliance sales. Smail also noted that the center where Sears is now locating has been struggling to lure tenants since it was finished nearly a decade ago. Having Sears join PetSmart is expected to boost the draw needed to secure smaller tenants to lease the remaining storefronts.

At the same time Big Lots and In Shape are expected to significantly increase foot traffic at the Manteca Marketplace. The In Shape Fit club has a preview center open in the former Tommy’s Beach Club restaurant across the parking lot from the permanent location.  The fit club - unlike the sport club on East Yosemite Avenue - has a narrower concentration focused on weight and cardio equipment, free weights, personal training, tanning and massage. The larger Manteca club has group exercise taught by instructors, a swimming pool, and racquetball courts.

The three new businesses are just part of an uptick of economic activity in Manteca.

Burlington Coat Factory is preparing to open the week of Sept. 21 in the former Mervyn’s store on South Main Street.

Banana Republic is also opening in October as part of the outlet stores at The Promenade Shop at Orchard Valley.

Manteca’s fifth McDonald’s is now under construction on Airport Way at Daniels Street and is expected to open this fall. In addition, McDonalds’ is preparing to break ground on a replacement store for their East Yosemite Avenue location. The new store will be built on the southwest corner of Commerce Drive and East Yosemite Avenue.