Goshen interchange draws commercial interest

Development in north Visalia and at Goshen’s Betty Drive interchange creates opportunities for an economic boon

By John Lindt
Sierra 2 the Sea news service

GOSHEN – For a place most known for it’s overwhelming farm worker population and accompanying poverty, Goshen is getting a lot of looks thanks to the new Betty Drive interchange. 

Commercial interest is coming into what is now Visalia’s most northern highway entrance into the industrial park and the booming northern parts of Visalia.

Associate director of Tulare County’s Resource Management Agency,  Mike Washam, says a new Chevron “superstation” is under construction now at the southeast corner of the interchange that will feature not just a gas and convenience store but a drive-thru coffee place and a Burger King, the first national fast food chain to commit to Goshen. They could open this summer.

On the north east corner where the former Mack Lazarus trailer sales used to be, Visalia’s Omni Development is building an even more ambitious highway commercial complex on 16 acres. Headlining the development is that a big TA travel center will be part of it along with plans for three fast-food operations.

TA claims to be the largest publicly traded, full-service travel center company in the United States with over 270 locations. In the Valley there are TA stops in Bakersfield and Livingston on Highway 99 and in Lost Hills on Highway 5.

Omni’s Luis Mota, whose partner in Omni Development Group is Samer Sabbah, said that the plan is to add a hotel, a 14 to 24 car Tesla supercharger station and an AM-PM station.

The cluster of highway-related uses looks to mirror Kettleman City along Highway 5 as a pit-stop for travelers. It also features a big Tesla charging station.

Besides development on the eastern side of the Betty Drive interchange, Goshen’s open land westside is calling to home builders with plans for 400 homes to be built by locally-based Smee Homes, says Washam. He adds that it has drawn interest from other builders as well. 

“I would not be surprised if Goshen could see 1000 homes [west of 99] in the future,” Washam said.

This level of development has been ambitious for the dust blown Highway 99 community with few services. To say the least, Goshen has never shown up on a developer’s radar, other than some ag uses.

The coming of the big TA truck stop means motorists and truckers on Highway 99 will have a choice for fuel and food a few miles apart between all three of the big truck and motorist travel centers. Competition might bring prices down between Loves and Flying J gas stations in Tulare and now TA in Goshen. 

With all the traffic moving in and out of the industrial park, both now and in the future and the new UPS development opening next year, this is going to be a busy place.

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