Sunday Guest Column
(Apple Valley)– It is one thing to boast that Apple Valley provides its residents and businesses “A Better Way of Life.” However, this assertion becomes fact when the claim is validated by a variety of studies and surveys. Take, for instance, the recent California Retail Survey that listed Apple Valley Number four in California for its “strength in the retail market” and first in the same survey for “growth persistence.” Over the last five years, sales in Apple Valley have grown 533 percent faster than the average California city. The first quarter of 2010 showed a 4.1% increase in sales tax over the same period in 2009.
I’m extremely proud of the fact that Apple Valley is in the top five statewide. I think we’ve attracted shoppers from other communities based on the strength and diversity of our retail market. People have to shop somewhere and they will spend their hard-earned dollars in a retail environment that provides a pleasant shopping experience. Shoppers all over the region are finding that experience in Apple Valley.
These retail growth facts are part of the reason why, despite the crumbling economy, Apple Valley continues to attract businesses such as America’s Tire Store that began serving customers earlier this year at its brand new location near Highway 18 and Rancherias Road, and Burlington Coat Factory, which opened in September in the Jess Ranch Marketplace.
Other retailers, restaurants and service providers are either expanding in their current locations, or adding second stores. Apple Valley Skin and Body Institute, for instance, is relocating to Jess Ranch Marketplace soon and will double its size and staff to accommodate for the success it has seen since opening the non-surgical medical spa in 2006 on Quantico Road.
“The Town has been nothing but gracious since welcoming us in 2006,” said Managing Director Mary Saadat. “From business licensing to planning, everyone has opened their arms to us. The Town’s efficient and friendly staff has played a significant part of our success.”
Other businesses that have recently opened, or will be open soon, include Toys R Us Express and Panda Express at the Apple Valley Commons and Massage Envy in the Jess Ranch Marketplace.
The Town’s retail success is not limited to the newer shopping developments. The original “Village” business district that dates back to the mid-1940s is gaining strong momentum through collaborative efforts among the merchants. The Village has unveiled a marketing campaign to develop a brand and, more importantly, a place: A place to dine, a place to shop, a place to work. Road improvements, signage and landscaping projects are some of the early efforts to recognize the area as a vital part of the Town’s commercial landscape. In a show of support for this historic district, local businesses, agencies and community volunteers recently installed landscaping near the western Village entrance, using all donated materials and a grant from the MWA.
NORTH APPLE VALLEY INDUSTRIAL SPECIFIC PLAN
With its success in the retail sector clearly proven, Apple Valley is ready to make the same great strides in its industrial sector, with aggressive efforts designed to move Apple Valley to the top of any site-selector’s list. The Town is proposing a plan to install nearly $13 million worth of water and sewer system backbone infrastructure into its 5,100-square-foot industrial-designated area in north Apple Valley. Funding will come from sewer impact fees as well as bonds, which would be reimbursed as development occurs. Removing a major financial hurdle and eliminating time-consuming off-site work will continue to allow Apple Valley to offer a highly competitive option for light industrial, distribution and manufacturing companies that relocate to this area. With pre-approved uses and design standards, a project can obtain administrative approval in as little as 120 days.
GET A SLICE OF THE APPLE
For information on why Apple Valley is leading California’s economic recovery, visit www.getaslice.org.