File photo of the former Clovis Costco location from 2018

published on February 25, 2020 - 2:41 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

An empty Clovis retail building is going from a Costco to Child Welfare Services.

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement to lease 380 W. Ashlan Ave., the former home of the Clovis Costco that closed in July 2019 after 29 years in operation.

The county’s rent on the building would start at $186,691 per month for the first year — more than $2.24 million for the entire year. That rate would increase annually to $352,858 a month — more than $4.23 million for the full 12 months in the final year of the 19-year lease agreement.

Over that time, the combined lease payments wouldn’t exceed $166.07 million, according to the county Board of Supervisors agenda.

Fresno County officials plan to use the building for 138,000 square feet of office space to house its nearly 550 staffers in the Child Welfare Services division.

It’s part of a larger plan to consolidate six buildings formerly used by electronics company Pelco into a central campus for the Fresno County Department of Social Services.

While not part of the former Pelco campus, the former Costco building adjoins the site.

In all, the county’s plan is to move its entire Social Services staff, nearly 2,200 people, from 30 locales throughout the county onto the campus.

Costco vacated the building last year, moving into a brand new location on Clovis Avenue just south of Shaw Avenue.

The rental agreement lists Sept. 1, 2021 as the start date, but it’s not clear if that would be the time county staff moves into the building or if that’s when workers could begin going in to renovate the building — now largely open warehouse space — into an office building.

“This facility is an important piece in our ongoing efforts to enhance department performance and improve the experience of those we serve,” says Delfino Neira, director of Fresno County’s Department of Social Services. “This location will allow for greater operational efficiency, maximization of resources, streamlined service delivery, and enable the department to provide a higher quality of services to the residents of Fresno County.”

David Castellon contributed to this report.

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