The city of Tehachapi may continue to see commercial expansion in the near future as many plots of land in city limits are available. More than 50 acres of vacant land could see new businesses, especially with the opening of Walmart.
“We are at a very important point in time and we are seeing an increase in interest for many of these commercial properties around the city,” said Corey Costelloe, assistant to the city manager.
Walmart, a major retail establishment that is slated to open late this summer, may bring other businesses to the area. There are two acres of available retail space on the Walmart lot that still is yet to be filled.
Available commercial acreage along major traffic ways includes property north of Albertsons along Tucker Road, on the corner of Cherry Lane and Tucker, properties off Tehachapi Boulevard near Kmart, in Capital Hills north of Highway 58 between Voyager Drive and Challenger Drive and on property near the Loves and Pilot Flying J truck stops.
Some interest and planning for new business has already happened.
The Tehachapi City Council approved the Red Apple Pavilion, a potential new development across from Walmart, in January. It is designed to cater to smaller retail establishments and businesses with more than 85,000 square feet in combined space.
Two new eateries, Panda Express and Carl’s Jr. have submitted applications to open businesses there, with a possible restaurant or gas station at the corner of Tucker Road and Red Apple Avenue.
Larger corporations and small businesses look at data and traffic numbers surrounding Walmart when they consider moving their business to any community, Costelloe said.
Traffic studies have shown that on a daily basis, 12,200 cars travel Highway 202, 14,500 cars travel on Tucker Road and 7,390 cars travel on Tehachapi Boulevard, according to city documents outlining available development.
“The interest for other companies are definitely picking up since Walmart came. Walmart is the gold standard for data,” added Costelloe.
New development is responsible for connecting to existing lines or putting in extensions of infrastructure such as sewer or water. Connection fees change depending on land use and square footage of the building, said Trevor Hawkes, planner for the city.
If a service line would have to cut into the existing pavement, then additional fees would apply, added Hawkes.
The Tehachapi Zoning Code outlines what type of businesses are classified as C-3 and how architectural features for the new buildings should appear.
“It’s our most permissive commercial zone in the city. You can have entertainment, retail, office, medical service space and more. It’s permissive to the type of activity that has high automobile traffic,” said Hawkes.