Living Spaces furniture showroom is getting ready to break ground along the 120 Bypass.

The city has issued a permit for the construction of the 116,641-square-foot building shell valued at $11.5 million. A second permit for $8.5 million in interior improvements is now being reviewed by the city.

The $20 million furniture showroom is the biggest commercial project in Manteca since the 120,000-square-foot Costco store was built in 2008.

Living Spaces is anchoring a new commercial development on the southwest corner of the Union Road and 120 Bypass interchange and will front Atherton Drive.

The developer was able to secure Living Spaces after the city finished the “missing gap” of Atherton Drive between Union Road and Airport Way for $4.4 million. Most of that money will be paid back to the city as adjoining parcels develop. That money will then be used to fund other road projects within the city.

A group led by Manteca developer Bill Filios is working with other interested commercial firms to acquire space to complete the center that’s dubbed Union Crossing. Across the street plans call for 281 apartment units east of where work has just started on model homes for a new residential neighborhood.

Once it is completed, there will be three major furniture firms within five miles of each other. Living Spaces will actually have the largest square-footage for a furniture showroom in the area. The Living Space structure is actually smaller than the Ashley’s Furniture retail outlet and warehouse in Lathrop facing Interstate 5 as well as the 1 million square foot Wayfair distribution center that opened earlier this year along the 120 Bypass in Lathrop.

Wayfair is internet sales base while the largest portion of Ashley’s is a warehouse.

The Living Spaces store will not be a warehouse per se but will be almost all showroom. Furniture customers buy will be shipped from the Fremont distribution center in 26-foot long trucks each day between 8 and 10 a.m. The only time larger 53-foot trucks will be used is for a week when they are shipping in furniture to set up the store displays.

The Living Spaces will have space set aside within the main structure’s footprint for a restaurant to open at a later date.
The restaurant in the store is a fairly new concept for Living Spaces. A Texas location features a Beck’s Prime restaurant with patio and a second floor deck for outside dining as well as inside seating.

The Living Spaces will have an area where the staff dispenses soda and coffee to customers as well as to bake fresh cookies that are made available on weekends. There is also a play area for kids.

The parking lot will have 456 spaces with 14 percent of them pre-wired to accommodate charging stations for electric vehicles. As such, it will be the largest charging location in the South County if and when all potential 56 charging stations are put in place. The Tesla Super Charging Station near Bass Pro Shops has 20 stations while the recently opened Tesla Super Charging Station on Spreckels Avenue in front of the Target Store has 10 spaces.

The Living Spaces store will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends.

Plans call for 75 full-time employees and 100 part-time workers. That is in addition to seasonal workers.

The City of Manteca sealed the deal for Living Spaces with a sales tax split similar to what the city did to secure Costco and The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley whose developers snared Bass Pro Shops.

That means Manteca — based on projected annual sales of $35 million — will end up splitting an estimated $350,000 in local sales tax. The actual deal calls for the split to be 50-50 of whatever is actually generated — whether it is annually higher or lower than $350,000 for 10 years or $3 million, whichever is reached first.

Based on the projections, Manteca while the split is in effect on an annual basis would receive $175,000 in general fund sales tax, $20,000 in property tax, and $175,000 in restricted Measure M public safety tax.

Manteca’s leaders point out the $370,000 a year the city will receive while the terms of the split are in effect is $375,000 that would have been lost to another city given Living Spaces was considering locations in nearby cities. After the terms are fulfilled, Manteca would receive all of the sales tax.