Visalia Hyundai dealership will be built off Plaza Drive
The Bakersfield owner of the Hyundai dealership in Visalia is planning to construct a new dealership complex near Camp Drive and Hillsdale Street, west of Plaza Drive. The proposed $5.2 million dealership would be near Lampe Jeep and Dodge and BMW car dealerships north of Highway 198.
Patrick Beck bought the Visalia automotive franchise from Groppetti Automotive over a year ago. They are currently located on South Ben Maddox, across from Nissan and Toyota. The proposed 5.9 acre project is expected to get a hearing next week.
Beck hopes to build a 26,496 square-foot building on the site, mot far from where Carmax is expected to be. He was not available for comment.
Korean-based Hyundai Motor Group owns the Hyundai, Kia and luxury Genesis brands. It has the fourth-largest share of the overall US car market, behind Toyota, Ford and GM, according to S&P Global. They concentrate their offerings in smaller passenger cars including a successful line of electric cars.
Sales of Korean made cars were up 17% in 2023 says the California New Car Dealers Association. Hyundai registrations in the state were up 21% and Kia brand sales up 7%.
Interest in this automotive district in the western part of the city has climbed in the past year where two other proposals for major used car dealers like Carmax have surfaced as well now that the city council allowed used cars in the district. Carmax building plans have been filed with the city, but no build date has been released.
2023: Slowest pace for Visalia home construction – busiest year for commercial building
The year 2023 was a year of contrasts when it comes to construction activity in Visalia. It was the slowest year in a decade for new home construction. Meanwhile, it was the busiest year for commercial construction. Visalia permits show that just 335 new homes were built in 2023 compared to 560 in 2022.
Apartment construction was also way down.
As for commercial construction, activity was strong in the city with 51 projects valued at over $190 million – the highest ever. The number includes two large warehouse projects in the industrial park. This was the fourth year in a row of well over $100 million in commercial building activity. Boosting commercial construction was a wave of new retail building activity around town, including the remake of the Sequoia Mall in high contrast to years past when a large number of retail buildings around town sat vacant like the old Kmart building on Noble Avenue.
The slow pace for housing shows up in the latest numbers from the Tulare County Association of Realtors who reports that December 2023 just 180 homes in Tulare County closed sales compared to 230 this time last year and 363 homes sold in December 2020. In Visalia just 78 homes closed sales in December compared to 112 in December 2022 and 173 sold in December 2020. Both demand and supply were affected by high interest rates this year as fewer homes were offered for sale.Visalia averaging about 4% growth.
The current metro area population of Visalia in 2023 is 452,000, a 3.43% increase from 2022. The metro area population of Visalia in 2022 was 437,000, a 4.05% increase from 2021. The metro area population of Visalia in 2021 was 420,000, a 4.74% increase from 2020.Tulare County property value up 6.7%The Tulare County Assessment Roll increased by 6.7% in 2023, the 12th consecutive year of growth. The gross assessed value reached $47 billion.
Fewer cows but more milk
In 1950, the US had 25 million dairy cows. Today, we have slightly over 9 million cows in the US. With a much smaller herd today vs 1950, we produce 60% more milk but have reduced the carbon footprint by 2/3 say researchers.