A new business is coming to downtown Tracy in one of the most unique locations along 10th Street — the breezeway between Barista’s coffee shop and the T4 Tracy tea shop.

Development Services Director Andrew Malik signed off on the idea during a sparsely attended public hearing Thursday morning at Tracy City Hall.

“Looks like a good use. Staff is in favor of it. … I’m ready to sign,” Malik said. “I look forward to it. It looks really exciting.”

According to the owner of the property at 110 W. 10th St., Byron Alvarez, the idea is to build the space out to sell merchandise or soft goods — a retail industry term for clothing and accessories — and then look for a tenant for the new storefront.

Alvarez said he already receives numerous phone calls daily from people interested in downtown retail space. He initially he wanted to make the breezeway into a restaurant and then had plans in the works for a small flower shop, but both of those ideas are out for logistical reasons.

“We want to build it out and then advertise it,” he said. We’ll find a good business to go in there. Something that will complement Barista’s and T4U and bring more foot traffic downtown.”

Alvarez has been thinking about converting the walkway into a storefront for four or five years. He wants to clean up an area he says has been “a mess for years.”

“I’ve been telling Dale (Cose) about this for years,” Alvarez said. “Graffiti. There is a guy who comes in at night and sleeps here. We got to do something about this breezeway.”

The new storefront will have a glass and aluminum entrance with an open-air concept. The interior will include a small office space toward the middle and new handicapped-accessible restrooms at the back of Barista’s for employees and visitors to all three businesses — the tea shop, the coffee shop and the new store.

People will be able to pass through the new storefront during business hours only to reach the handicapped-accessible parking spaces behind the building, Alvarez said.

The next step is to get bids from contractors, and he hopes to start construction within 90 days.

Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225. 

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