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B Y GERALD CARROLLgcarroll@ visalia. gannett. comisalia is well- positioned to takeadvantage of any economicrecovery in the coming months, experts say, as the city hasexpanded its infrastructure rather thanback off such projects. Morale is also improving in many ofthe city's long- neglected neighborhoods— with positive economic results, offi- cials say. " Think globally, but act locally," saidRicardo Noguera, Visalia's director ofhousing and economic development. " And ... buy Visalia." Keeping shopping local helps every- one, not just shopkeepers, and over thepast year and in future years, there willbe many reasons to call Visalia not onlya destination but a long- term home. Significant road improvements in westVisalia will make the city's already- booming industrial park an even moreenticing warehousing and manufactur- ing option, said Steve Salomon, Visalia'scity manager. " What might well happen is thatVisalia will become one of the moreaffordable areas in the state," Salomonaid. " Housing will be lower in price, andincomes should be higher. That's a win- ning combination." Commercial building was up — withmost of it approved and started beforethe local economy slowed because of thenational and even global recession. Lead- ing the way was downtown's KaweahDelta Medical Center, which completeda $ 143 million expansion to its north, See GROWTH, 391445E. ProsperityAve. EvolutionsPlaza, Tulare• 688- 9900Hours: T- F10am- 6pm• Sat10am- 5pm• ClosedSunday& MondayDenimbyLevel99, Rich& Skinny& DivineRightsofDenimHandbagsbyHoboInt.& EliseMCollectionJewelrybyJuicyCouture, DillionRodgers, CynthiaH" WeSpecializeinCute" K- DollBoutiquePeaceofMindForYourFamilyWhenfacingloss, wearehereforyou. • FuneralsforEveryFaith& Tradition• Cremations• Pre- arrangements• FamilyOwned& OperatedKimWilsonJudyWilsonRonBakerCynthiaKovalMargaretNunezMarkMartinhoOrlandoRenteriaBennyMaciasMaryMendoncaliving here COMMUNITIES: VISALIAVisalia positioned for economic reboundCity leaders say the stage is set for surge in local economyKaweahDelta MedicalCenter'snorth addition isunder constructionin this February, 2008, photograph. Gerald Carroll38| May 21, 2009| LIVING HEREV

PROFESSIONAL SkinRejuvenation& FillersBOTOXTMCosmeticJuvedermTMRadiesse ® Sculptra ® PERSONALIZEDLaserTreatmentHairRemovalPhotoRejuvenation( red& brownspotsremoved) SpiderVeinSolutionsSKINObagi ® ViviteTM( ExfoliateHydrateProtect) NeoStrata ® ( Acne& RosaceaTreatment) BareEscentuals ® ( CompleteLine) CAREBodyWork& MassageFacialTreatmentsChemicalPeelsMicroDermabrasion5530AvenidadelosRobles• Visalia• 559.625.1060Generalandcosmeticdermatology0000127731named the Acequia Wing as it rests to thesouth of Acequia Avenue. The street itselfwas converted to two- way access fromone- way. A $ 13 million parking facility — opened in 2007 — used a $ 2 million con- tribution fromthe hospital in exchangefor reserved parking for hospital employ- ees. Acequia Avenue was even affordedbicycle lanes — a first for any Visaliadowntown street, and up and readybefore the historic Tour of Californiaprofessional bicycle race whose fifthstage started in Visalia on Feb. 19. But the entire Acequia Wing, whichhouses a newly expanded emergencyroom and state- of- the- art cardiac andmaternity facilities, means that KaweahDelta Medical Center's presence andeconomic benefits will continue to feedan ever- vibrant downtown area. There were some setbacks. CircuitCity, Mervyn's and Gottschalks loca- tions in Visalia shut down when thosecompanies folded nationally, and con- struction of a second Home Depotlocation in north Visalia on North Din- uba Boulevard was abruptly halted. However, a second Target location innorth Visalia right near the proposedHome Depot was built, including ancil- lary businesses in the same commercialcenter. " These are encouraging signs despitethe shutdowns," said Jim Claybaugh, director of the Visalia Economic Devel- opment Corporation, which might seeits own funding cut 50 percent becauseof city of Visalia budget cuts. " We can find other funding," Clay- baugh said. " The key is to remain opti- mistic because we can pull through this[ downturn]." The new Target center is located justsouth of a major recreation facility, theVisalia Riverway Sports Park, whichopened its $ 8 million first phase in2007 and broke ground on the secondphase, worth $ 4.8 million, earlier thisyear. The 80- acre site will soon be a majordestination for out- of- area teamsinvolved in soccer and youth baseballtournaments, officials say — pullingeven more moneyinto the local econo- my. living here COMMUNITIES: VISALIALuke Rasmussenof Visalia, atforeground left- center, leads thestampede ofchildren atthe fourthannualEggstrava- ganza egghunt in Aprilat RiverwaySports Parkin northVisalia. Theevent waspresentedby theVisalia Parksand RecreationDepartment. Ron HolmanGROWTHContinued from page 38LIVING HERE May 21, 2009| 39