More than a dozen people gathered at the corner of Simmerhorn Road and Highway 99 to attend the groundbreaking of Galt’s newest project, a 76 gas station, along with a Baja Fresh and Jamba Juice.
Dr. Devon Dalla is the proud developer. He is an Army veteran and served as a captain in the Army reserves. He is a dentist by trade. He shared his story about his dream.
“This was less about the business opportunity as it was about a dream,” Dr. Dalla shared. “My dad owned a gas station in India and when I came here, if I would not have done dentistry, I would have worked at a gas station. So that was like a dream.”
That dream included doing something much more than the average business; he wanted to do something that would serve the community.
“I never was going to cut corners, spending less money, and my aim is to provide for the community – for the community of Galt, not just highway traffic, but for local people to come in.”
Dr. Dalla’s wife Shevta is credited with the design of both the building and the site.
“This was her (Shevta’s) vision; she is an architect by profession and has a master’s in real estate development,” Dr. Della told The Galt Herald. “The store will be gorgeous and have healthy food options.”
That vision will translate into what Community Development Director Chris Erias called a “top notch” and “quality” addition to Galt.
“The project details itself were done outstanding,” Erias said to the Dallas at the ceremony. “The architecture on the building and site planning were really top notch. So I’m really excited about the look of the building coming in. I really appreciate that quality that you’re bringing into the city. It’s going to be a great addition.”
According to Erias, the Dallas faced many challenges to develop the unique site, but were able to move forward at a fast pace.
“I’ve been doing development for probably 20 years in various capacities, and I’ve never met a developer quite like Dr. Dalla,” Erias said. “I really appreciate his ability to get things done. I’ve never seen anybody able to move as quickly as he had, and especially on a challenging site. This site was not easy to get entitlements on, specifically to get through Caltrans, so I was really amazed at what he was able to do.”
Dr. Dalla, in turn, thanked the Community Development Department for helping the Dallas walk through the process.
“We received a lot of help from the planning department,” Dr. Dalla said. “Shevta has been emailing Chris a lot; we didn’t know a lot, we hadn’t ever developed anything. But the city, they walked us through everything.”
Galt Mayor Paul Sandhu was on hand to welcome the Dallas and their new addition to Galt.
“I want to thank Devon for bringing this project,” Sandhu said. “He’s spending $5 or $6 million. Our city will benefit from this new project.”
Councilmember Shawn Farmer also was in attendance and thanked the Dallas for choosing Galt.
“Your project is really good,” Farmer said. “You took a desolate piece of property that needed something to be done and you’re doing something with it. Thank you for doing this project and thank you for being here.”
“We’re just really glad he’s developing in Galt,” Erias said. “He’s going to be a great addition to the city, him and his family, I couldn’t be more excited to have this type of development in the city but, more particular, this type of property owner. It’s just a very nice addition to the city in both aspects. Great job, Devon.”
The project is slated to be finished by April 2021.
After the ceremonial turning over of dirt with shovels, the Dalla family smashed a coconut on the back of a tractor. Breaking a coconut symbolizes smashing your ego and humbling yourself before God.
The fruit itself is a symbol of prosperity and believed to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth for Hindus.
This is just the first project the Dallas have in Galt. The Dallas are in the planning process with the city to break ground on a new dental-retail building on Twin Cities Road. The new building will be located just north of the Comfort Inn and Suites in the Raley’s shopping center.
This will be the fifth location in which Dr. Dalla has dental offices. Managed by wife Shevta, his other dental offices are located in Elk Grove, Lodi, Woodland and Napa.
Dr. Dalla hopes to break ground on the new dental office in about nine months.