Once a quiet farm town, Woodland is becoming the next retail hot spot in Yolo County.
Last year the Woodland Gateway shopping center opened with Target and Costco Warehouse, right off of Interstate 5 and County Road 102, in Woodland. On Apr. 18, a number of new stores will help bring the development closer to completion.
Best Buy, Michaels, In-N-Out, Famous Footwear, Pet Extreme and other major retailers will open on what only a few years ago was an empty, undeveloped area.
The Petrovich Development Company has been working on this project since 2004, said company founder Paul Petrovich, a UC Davis alumnus.
“What you are seeing now is a culmination of four years worth of work,” Petrovich said.
On Apr. 18, all stores will be part of the unveiling, though In-N-Out’s opening day has been pushed back a week due to weather delays in construction. The shopping center’s newest public art piece will also be unveiled.
Sean Guerrero’s rearing horse statue will be displayed, showcasing the artist’s recycled piece. The horse and its lassoing cowboy are all made with recycled car parts, Petrovich said.
Apr. 18 may be a celebration, but it is a tough time out there for most retailers. Petrovich decided not to extend offers to Circuit City, Linens ‘n Things and Shoe Pavilion, all recent victims of a declining economy.
“You just learn who the A players are and who the B players are,” Petrovich said in regard to his choice of retailers.
Last week, Best Buy released a report that their revenues and net earning were higher than expected, which is good timing for the opening of a new store. But Petrovich admits that if the economy hadn’t turned, his choice of retailers wouldn’t be as noticeable.
“Lenders are saying no right now,” he said. “Right now is not the best time.“
Target, which opened its Woodland location last July, is still opening stores nationwide, but things have slowed down, said Target spokesperson Sonja Pothen.
“Definitely growth is not what it had been,” Pothen said. “But definitely new stores are still opening.“
Costco, also found in the Woodland shopping center, expects the new store openings to make Woodland Gateway a one-stop shopping area, said Woodland Costco general manager Carl Golston.
“[The new stores] not only help us but everyone else,” Golston said.
The city of Woodland expects the completed shopping center to generate over $2 million in sales tax each year, said city of Woodland economic development manager Wendy Ross.
For Woodland and locals in the community, the shopping center will be more than revenue. Ross and Petrovich said the additional shops will generate over 500 new jobs.
“And we employed a thousand jobs for construction,” Petrovich added.
Though there has been some opposition to multiple commercial chains coming into town, the city council looked at the overall picture, Ross said.
“Overall it was determined that [the shopping center] is good for Woodland,” she said.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at email@example.com.