Store expected to open early in third quarter of 2021

Construction is underway on the site of the new Grocery Outlet store on Supply Row.

Site work started last week on the project area just east of Dollar General is fenced off.

The project was first approved by the city a year ago, but was then shelved when the Taft City Council upheld a protest.

Developer Greg Aguirre said the project will include 18,000 square feet of retail space and the chain generally employs about 30 people per store.

It has taken about a year longer than expected.

The unexpected challenge, accompanied by the veiled threat of a lawsuit, left the Taft City Council with no choice but to uphold the protest from a previously unheard of group in March 2020.

Attorneys for "Keep Taft Great" said environmental studies for the project were not sufficient.

The project was resubmitted and approved by the planning commission in September and it is now scheduled to be completed sometime early in the third quarter of 2021, Aguirre said Tuesday.

Aguirre's firm, Capitol Rivers, purchased the property from the city in 2018.

He said he's working on new developments here

 "...All of us at Capital Rivers Commercial are very grateful for all of the support from the community and that this project wouldn’t have been possible without it," he said. "We love the City of Taft and truly enjoy working within the community. In addition to the O’Reilly that is scheduled to open in March 2021 and this new Grocery Outlet we hope to continue to bring more projects to the community."