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Economic Development News

Two Local Businesses Earn SBDC Kern County Awards
May 8, 2018

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Tehachapi businesses were once again highlighted as part of National Small Business Week at an awards ceremony last week in Bakersfield. The awards, presented by the CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Center covered several categories across Kern County with a pair of Tehachapi businesses taking home honors.

On the City front, Johnny’s Take-N-Bake Pizza owners Samantha Johnson and Amy Langston were received the “Rising Star” award for their efforts since purchasing the long-established Tehachapi restaurant last year. The sisters experienced tragedy when three members of their family perished in June Lake in 2016. They used this business opportunity to not only rebound, but help create a non-profit for other families who deal with tragedy and funeral expenses.

“After our family passed away we kind of lost hope, we really didn’t know what to do with ourselves or the meaning of life,” Samantha said during her acceptance speech in Bakersfield. “When the opportunity to buy Johnny’s came up we just kind of ran with it.”

The new owners admitted they knew absolutely nothing about running a take and bake pizza restaurant, but they relied heavily on the SBDC and the community support.

“Jay Thompson (SBDC consultant) has been our backbone for everything, every business question, advice, he’s just been absolutely amazing,” said Johnson. “And the community of Tehachapi, and everyone who has supported us.

Johnny’s Take-N-Bake continues to add new menu items including salads and subs to go and recently added the health drink Kombucha to their offerings. A non-traditional addition to a pizza restaurant, but the owners have already found success in this new formula and are considered up-and-coming business owners to watch in our community.

South Street Digital was also the recipient of the “Family Owned Business of the Year” award. The graphic design and printing company provides work for residents and businesses all over the Tehachapi Valley including several in the City of Tehachapi. Owner Lydia Chaney is also actively involved in the community and serves as President of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council.

Chaney, her partner Audrey Post and nephew Eric Horn are the only three employees and proudly give everything they have to their family owned business.

“It’s just the three of us in the shop and we all give 200-percent every day because we love what we do, it’s like going to have fun every day,” Chaney said in the acceptance speech. “Our biggest achievement has been our customers, we love them, they are the best and we just hope we can continue to serve them the way we have and we look forward to being in business for them for many more years to come.”

 

Real Estate Prices Strong, City of Tehachapi Still Affordable

April 25, 2018

The City of Tehachapi continues to be an affordable place to purchase a home, while prices continue to rise during the first four months of 2018, the competitive prices keeps Tehachapi as an attractive option for many buyers.

To date there have been 33 single-family home sales in 2018 with an average closing price of $263,728. The median sale price since the start of 2018 sits at $248,033. The average listing price in the City of Tehachapi has risen to $268,258.

These latest numbers reflect an 8.9% increase in average sales prices from the same period in 2017 when there were 36 home sales with an average closing price of $241,258. The median home sales price a year ago was $232,419, indicating a 6.5% increase since this point last year. Homes were selling for about five dollars less per square foot and being listed for an average of $246,860.

While the numbers and dollar amounts are a telling sign of a strong real estate market, inventory and how quickly homes sell is another. So far in 2018, the average time on the market is only 39 days, that’s down from 50 days at the same time last year.

In terms of inventory, there are currently 16 listings available in the City with an average listing price of $239,661. It’s a great time to sell but inventory challenges can limit the options for many home owners looking to take advantage locally of their home values.

The higher prices are still considered rather affordable given the housing prices in many other areas in the State of California. The ability to get more house for less has made Tehachapi an attractive place for home buyers who are looking to capitalize on a better quality of life.

Tehachapi’s prices are near but still a tad below the growth rate of nearby markets. The Los Angeles Times recently reported a 10.6% increase in the median sales prices during the month of February in the six counties of Southern California. Some experts predict a leveling of prices Statewide later in 2018 as a result of mortgage rate increases.

Data gathered from January 1,2018-April 24, 2018. Tehachapi City MLS data.  



DC's RV Center Opens Tehachapi Location


April 5, 2018

Since their inception in 2002, DC’s RV Center has been on the move, and now their latest move is a move up, now offering RV service and repair in the City of Tehachapi at their newest location on 610 Bailey Ct.

DC’s roots, coming from owner Don Collins, began as a mobile RV repair business. After a few successful years their first shop opened on Belle Terrace in Bakersfield in 2005. Within the next few years they had expanded and opened new locations throughout Bakersfield.

Tehachapi customers were a big part of the client base, and they had requested that DC’s RV Center come to Tehachapi. After a few years of searching, the business climate was right for another expansion, and the new DC’s RV Center in Tehachapi opened in March.

“I already serviced a lot of the customers and I love, love, love the area,” Collins said. “We would have been here sooner but we needed to have the right location, it needed to be right for the customer. Easy in, easy out, if we have three or four RVs show up at the same time, we have to be able to accommodate that.”

The new location accommodates that nicely, complete with a working bay as well as storage yard for vehicles waiting to be serviced. There is also a small retail space inside the new location that sells some of the most-needed items for RV owners.

The word is spreading quickly about the DC’s RV Center Tehachapi location, especially as the Summer RV travel season approaches. The maintenance and repair options, as well as parts and expertise now available in Tehachapi help save many local RV enthusiasts trips outside of the area for the critical care of their vehicles.

Collins says this the operations of his Bakersfield location continue led by his wife and son while he himself has taken the Tehachapi store on as his own personal project. He hopes to continue to expand offerings like the Interstate Batteries center he recently unveiled, and potentially mobile repair once the business gets established.

“This is my baby, this is something that I have a passion for and by golly I’m going to make it work,” he said. “I’m excited about it.”


Dignified Home Loans Opens Second Tehachapi Office


March 27, 2018

With a growing real estate market, Dignified Home Loans saw a demand for a second location, adding to their Tehachapi branches with the newest location at 1054 W. Valley Blvd., Suite B.

This new office resides in the former Merle Norman Cosmetics building and includes an impressive remodel of the facility adding three offices, front reception area and a large conference room. The second location is in response to increased space demands at their original location at 801 W. Tehachapi Blvd.

“There is optimism in our real estate market and where our market is going, said Jeff LaMonte, Regional Business Development Manager for Dignified Home Loans. “Tehachapi is faring better than most in terms of the economic influences working in our favor.”

Having two functioning locations within a few miles of one another is rare, LaMonte says Tehachapi’s demand is unique.

“We are doing very well and we were able to get some talented new partners on board which increased our demand for space. This affords us a better chance to be visible in terms of where the second office is located, the street visibility and even being located next to Chicago Title.”

Along with the economic factors of the local market, Dignified Home Loans says the business climate of the community has helped tremendously.

“The fact that it is extremely easy to do business and start things like site selection and permitting, the City of Tehachapi has been the most favorable and easy to work with.”

LaMonte’s regional oversight includes a large territory of Central California from the Northern portions of Los Angeles County to Redding. He says Tehachapi’s support is unlike any other.

“It’s obvious that the City is invested in the business as much as the business is invested in the marketplace and that is rare in many of the places I deal with.”