Santa Maria retail boom on Betteravia Road

New commercial activity bucking local trend

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria is experiencing a renaissance in commercial, retail and new home construction it hasn't seen in years and Betteravia Road is ground zero for that change.

There was a time when Pappy's 101 Diner was one of the few places to grab a bite to eat on Betteravia Road in Santa Maria.

While it remains a favorite for locals and truckers, there's plenty of competition on the other side of Highway 101.

New restaurants are coming online with others planned in the massive new Enos Ranch Shopping Center together with existing popular eateries on both sides of Betteravia Road.

"We're actually excited about it", says Pamela Working with Pappy's Diner, "I don't think its anything negative I just think its going to draw more attention to us, we just have to make sure we're on our game of course."

With the soon to be opened Lowe's Home Improvement Center, Costco, Dick's Sporting Goods and other retailers like Old Navy, along with the future headquarters for Coast Hills Credit Union, the Betteravia Road building boom is expected to create hundreds of jobs.

"When you add it all up with all the retailers and wholesalers, Costco and the new offices, you're easily going to see 500 jobs, maybe 700", says City of Santa Maria spokesperson Mark van de Kamp.

The surge in commercial activity had helped spark new home construction with projects being built all along the Betteravia Road corridor.

The City of Santa Maria is counting on significant sales tax revenue from the new economic activity at a time when it needs it.

"That pays for police and fire and so many other city services", van de Kamp says, "sales tax is about one third of all the revenue that comes into the city."

Traffic on the already busy Betteravia Road will certainly be impacted although some see it as a price to pay for progress.

"When stuff like this happens, because I worked in Ventura and Oxnard a long time ago where the same kind of thing happened, it just helped our business", adds Pamela Working of Pappy's.

The Betteravia Road commercial corridor is expected to attract consumers from well beyond Santa Maria along with the tens of thousands of people who drive through the city on Highway 101.

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