Lots of dirt being moved around community
There sure is a lot of dirt being moved around town these days, and it's not because of the wind. Here's a rundown of projects that are in the groundwork, or site preparation, stage:
Kent Mitchell is feeling better these days. "I'm like a young boy wanting to move some dirt around," he said.
And moving dirt around is exactly what he - or more specifically his contractor - is doing on Pacific Avenue in front of Sam's Club where Mitchell is starting construction on the first phase of Desert Plaza Shopping Center he's developing there.
That phase, with a total of 26,000 square feet, will include a 300-seat Mr. Lu's Super Chinese Buffet, space on the corner for a national tenant Mitchell has been negotiating with and a little left over for another potential tenant. The second phase will be 25,000 square feet.
If interested, give him a call at 1-619-379-4473.
Mitchell describes his project as an "upscale retail center" to complement other businesses in the area. "I'm excited to be a part of the growth in Yuma," he said, adding that as a San Diego resident, he can vouch that Yuma is getting a lot of interest from potential developers and investors, at least in California.
Neil Bowman also is moving some dirt around. His development company, Number Two ComBow, has started groundwork on the northeast corner of Avenue 2.E and Palo Verde.
The project will include construction of a 5,400-square-foot warehouse and approximately 2,500-square-foot office building for Bowman's farming company, Coronation Peak Ranches. But Bowman said he would lease it out if he got the right offer, as he has two other lots along Avenue 2.E for future development.
He said the warehouse will be insulated, air-conditioned and sprinkler-equipped with a 6-inch reinforced concrete floor. The office will be a step above the usual, too, with a round slate entry and 8-foot wall around it.
Bowman recently leased another building he built at 24th Street and 22nd Avenue to Dr. John Carson for a second PrimeCare Central Clinic.
Groundwork has also begun on Texas Roadhouse, a steakhouse being built near Golden Corral and the Chevron station off 16th Street.
And activity is on a fast track at the site for Yuma Palms Regional Center. With some final details worked out last week, groundwork has now begun for Harkins Theatres, a 14-screen movie complex that will be the entertainment centerpiece for the shopping center being developed at 16th Street and Pacific Avenue.
Crews also are hard at work preparing sites for JCPenney and Sam's Club even as Dillard's is taking shape. Construction could start going vertical this week on some of the other shops, including Best Buy, Linens-N-Things, PETsMART and Marshall's.
All too soon those little hands that leave handprints on walls and the refrigerator will be all grown up.
Want something a little more permanent to remember and treasure how little they were? Or how about a memento of a favorite pet?
Kirsten Dewhurst has just the thing. She recently opened a custom ceramic business, offering to make ceramic heirlooms of hand, foot and paw impressions of children and pets.
They can be done in a variety of ways, including individual, siblings, parents and grandparents. The ceramics can be shaped as Christmas ornaments, desk displays or wall mountings, not to mention making a perfect gift for doting grandparents or others to remember their children and animals.
The impressions are made from nontoxic ceramic clay and take about three to four weeks to complete. Dewhurst will come to the home for individual or family sessions, which take about 15 minutes per child. She also does parties and offers discounts to hostesses.
This Little Piggy, as Dewhurst calls her business, can be reached at 726-3412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The former Kawasaki building next door to The Sun is back on the market after being tied up in a pending sale for a year, said Kathleen Cox, Realtor with Century 21 Cox Realty.
Cox confirmed last week that the sale was cancelled and the 11,000-square-foot building again is available. Anyone interested can reach Cox at 782-4663.
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Sabrina Seals is opening her own preschool after being with Cornerstone Preschool for five years, starting in the classroom and then serving as assistant director for the last three years.
Casa de Nios will be opening March 8 at the site of the former Juniper Tree at 585 E. 16th St. Seals is already taking registrations. People can stop by or call 782-7770.
The preschool will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It is licensed for children ages 1-12 and will provide a program based on academics and phonics.
Pre- and after-school care will be provided with transportation to Yuma schools for students in those programs.
As part of getting the facility ready to reopen as Casa de Nios, Seals donated eight cribs she purchased with the property to Safe House.
This news shouldn't be a surprise to anyone trying to navigate Yuma's streets.
The Yuma County winter visitor and resident population is way up this year, according to the February survey of area recreational vehicle parks, hotel and motel occupancy, people who own homes here and counts of those staying on public land. February is considered the peak of the season.
The winter population this season is an estimated 99,650 people, announced Dunbar Norton of Norton Consulting, who tracks the winter visitor population. That's an increase of 28.5 percent over the 2002-2003 season and 9.7 percent more than the previous season of 2001-2002, which was a record year.
Norton reported that more people seem to be staying on public lands, but Bureau of Land Management officials said they won't have any numbers available until the end of the season in April.
KSWT-TV Channel 13 has a new general manager. Joe Calim has been here all of two weeks and "is really enjoying" the town and the station.
Originally from New York, Calim started in broadcasting in 1975 selling locally for CBS in Chicago. From there he moved up the ladder to national sales and into sales management even as he moved around the country.
Most recently he was running a national sales office for Telemundo out of San Antonio, Texas, when he was approached about the KSWT position. Calim said the little he knew about Yuma is that it is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
During a visit to Yuma in December, two things convinced him to take the position, he said: a community of nice and courteous people and KSWT personnel who wanted to make the station better. Besides, it was an opportunity to move up to general manager.
Southwest Gas employees aren't packing yet for the company's move into its new home at 7017 E. 30th St.
But they are going through the usual pre-moving experience of cleaning out closets, so to speak, to weed out what they don't want to pack.
The utility plans to open its doors for business at the new location March 29 - that's when people paying their bill in person need to go to the new building. It's off Araby Road east of Booth Machinery.
A grand opening is planned for April 1.
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