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AutoZone Plants Its Flag in Chowchilla With $150M Project



A new AutoZone distribution center will bring 280 new jobs to Chowchilla. (Shutterstock)
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Chowchilla leaders are celebrating the injection of 280 new jobs into the city’s economy with AutoZone’s decision to build a distribution center there.

“We are very excited for this new development and what it means for the city of Chowchilla and the people who live here, said Mayor John Chavez. “We needed a way to create new jobs for the community, so they do not have to commute outside our city for work, and they can spend more time with their families.”

2024 Opening Expected

The auto parts retailer says that construction on the $150 million project is expected to start in mid-2022. The expected opening is 2024.

Chowchilla, which has 19,000 residents, is at the intersection of Highway 99 and Highway 152. The location allows it to serve as a link to cities in the Valley and the Bay Area. The Madera County city has 2,800 acres of land zoned for industrial and commercial development ready for building or occupancy.

“With over 640 stores across the state of California, we are very excited to be a part of the Chowchilla community,” said Bill Rhodes, chairman, president, and CEO of AutoZone. “During our process to identify our next distribution center location, Chowchilla’s leadership team has been amazing and has helped solidify our decision to come to and be an integral part of this great community.”

In all, the company operates more than 6,000 stores nationwide with about 600 in Mexico and 50 in Brazil.

City Offers Business Incentives

The city has an incentive plan to stimulate business and industrial development, and downtown growth.

More information on Chowchilla’s business incentive programs is at this link.

The city’s unemployment rate in October was 7.3%. That matched the statewide unemployment rates for the month.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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