Category: New Developments

Modesto touting its new “opportunity zones”

Central Valley Business Times

April 16, 2018

  • Central Valley city now has 17 areas with designation
  • Nationally, there is $6.1 trillion in capital gains that could be invested

Companies looking to establish a new operation should look to its 17 federally-designated opportunity zones, the city of Modesto says in a new promotion. It says it has four ways to take advantage of the new zones. On April 9, the U.S. Department of Treasury certified 17 census tracts in the Modesto area as opportunity zones. Any investment purpose that stimulates economic activity in these census tracts may participate in the program, the city says. It says there are four primary groups that may be particularly interested in this recent announcement:

  • Investors that want to defer gain from a recent sale and obtain tax-free appreciation from its investment in an Opportunity Fund (O-Fund), which can reduce capital gains tax by up to 15 percent;
  • Sponsors that want to form and operate an Opportunity Fund;
  • Property owners with assets located in Opportunity Zones, and,
  • Developers and business owners that desire to start-up or expand in an Opportunity Zones

Nationally, there is $6.1 trillion in capital gains that could be invested in Opportunity Zones, which could make this effort the largest community development program in the nation’s history, Modesto says. The Treasury Department is now finalizing Opportunity Fund guidelines and rules. Interested parties can use this time to become informed about Opportunity Zones and network to develop Opportunity Zones concepts and opportunities for their communities, the city says.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies offers a comprehensive set of resources. Click here: www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/resourcecenters/iioa1.html

Enterprise Community Partners Inc. provides a policy overview and anticipates implementation timing. Click here: www.enterprisecommunity.org/download?fid=8856&nid=6212

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/4c0e8495-01e9-4972-9694-b050b89aec64.pdf

New entertainment venue could come to downtown Bakersfield

  • BY JOSEPH LUIZ jluiz@bakersfield.com

Bakersfield could soon have more entertainment options in the downtown area.

The City of Bakersfield has a 223,000-square-foot piece of land at California Avenue and P Street that it intends to sell to Discovery Management Group LLC, partly for the construction of a venue called Discovery Bakersfield that would include a bowling center, restaurants, a music venue and more.

The city said Discovery Bakersfield would be a 38,000-square-foot, three-story building that would include 20 bowling lanes and a 950-seat music hall.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Community Services Director Jacqui Kitchen. “The City Council has had a vision of an entertainment area here for more than 10 years. I think the residents of Bakersfield deserve this.”

Kitchen said the goal is for the Discovery Management Group to eventually develop the rest of the property with restaurants and other entertainment uses, as well as a possible high-end hotel. Kitchen said she would also like to see some kind of microbrewery locate there.

Kitchen said the creek that runs along the eastern edge of the property would also serve as a great amenity. She said she would like to see a restaurant take advantage of the views.

“Mill Creek is the only opportunity in Bakersfield where you can have a restaurant looking out over the water,” she said. “You can almost imagine you’re sitting somewhere in Germany or Italy enjoying a meal.”

The company has already begun discussions with restaurants and other companies about developing on the property, Kitchen said.

During its April 11 meeting, the City Council authorized Mayor Karen Goh to sign a draft letter of intent from the city detailing terms for purchase of the property, the price of which has been set at $2.2 million. The city will now move forward with the purchasing process.

If the purchase goes through, the venue would be Discovery Management Group’s third location. The company already has a Discovery Ventura and is opening a Discovery San Luis Obispo this summer. Discovery Bakersfield would be its largest venue yet in terms of square footage.

Jeremy Pemberton, founder of Discovery Management Group, said at the council meeting that he believes the music hall in particular will draw a lot of people to the venue. Pemberton said he believes another music veue is greatly needed in Bakersfield.

“Currently, the City of Bakersfield and the county is void of a national touring spot for a music club that can host between 400 and 800 folks,” he said. “With the facility design that we have and the experience that we have, we know that we can create a facility that would eventually become a commodity for the touring industry.”

Pemberton and his brother Joshua initially approached the city in fall 2015 to discuss their desire to open a location in Bakersfield. However, Kitchen said plans were put on hold after the company suffered some setbacks in the process of developing its San Luis Obispo location.

Once the issues were settled and the project was moving ahead, the brothers returned to the city late last year to renew discussions.

“They believe Bakersfield has a young, growing population and a real desire for more entertainment choices here,” Kitchen said. “They think a location in Bakersfield would be a great addition. It’s not meant to replace any of our businesses, but enhance those and give the community more choices.”

If approved, construction of Discovery Bakersfield would start by the end of year and wrap up by June 2019, according to the Discovery Bakersfield Development Project Plan. A soft opening has been tentatively scheduled for June 5, 2019.

Discovery Bakersfield would be part of the city’s South Mill Creek Entertainment District, which already includes Maya Cinemas, the McMurtrey Aquatic Center and the Bakersfield Ice Center.

If approved, Discovery Bakersfield would be the second entertainment venue to open in the downtown area within just a few years. The BLVD, located on Buck Owens Boulevard, opens on April 19.

The 45,000-square-foot business will have a restaurant, three full-service bars, bowling lanes, laser tag, a ropes course, an arcade and more. It is owned by The BLVD LLC and Trifecta Management Group.

The two venues will share some services and features but Discovery Bakersfield would be more focused on music, Kitchen said.

Pemberton said he’s excited about the prospect of developing a project in downtown Bakersfield and working with the city.

“We’re excited about the opportunity here in Bakersfield and we look forward to providing a much-needed first-class concert venue and entertainment facility for the entire community,” he said.

Construction milestone reached at Manteca Commerce Center

 

Central Valley Business Times

April 13, 2018

  • Dermody Properties puts in first wall panels for industrial building
  • “We are excited to be expanding our investments in the Central Valley”

The tilt-up and placement of the first wall panels for a 286,072- square-foot building that could be used as a distribution center has been completed by Dermody Properties in the Manteca Commerce Center, the Reno, Nevada-based company says. Dermody builds and manages logistics real estate.

The new building will feature a total of 50 dock doors, two grade-level doors, a 36-foot clear height and 156 car parking spaces. Construction is expected to be complete in the second quarter.

“We are excited to be expanding our investments in the Central Valley,” says Douglas Kiersey Jr., president of Dermody Properties. “The development of Manteca Commerce Center is consistent with our strategy of investing in key distribution markets with a high demand for industrial facilities and a well established transportation infrastructure.”

Manteca Commerce Center is located directly off of Highway 120, about 15 minutes south from the Port of Stockton, with access to Highway 99 and Interstate 5. The developer says the location provides “an ideal” West Cost distribution link to Fresno, Reno, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

“Manteca Commerce Center is our second property in the Central Valley,” says George Condon, West region partner, Dermody Properties. “Companies are continuing to move from the Bay Area to the Central Valley to expand their businesses and lease Class-A warehouse space at a significant discount to the cost of Bay Area warehouses. Companies new to Northern California are also setting up shop in the Central Valley to serve the businesses and residents of the Bay Area.”

JLL is marketing the property. The project was designed by HP, Inc., and BCM Construction is the general contractor.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/12d85a0b-161b-4ef2-85f1-4802f7ddbfea.pdf

HANFORD OFFICIAL: FARADAY FUTURE SETS MAY 21 TARGET TO INSTALL ASSEMBLY LINES

Faraday Future FF 91

Faraday Future hopes to start manufacturing the FF 91 in Hanford by late 2018. Image via Faraday Future

Published On April 11, 2018 – 12:45 PM
Written By John Lindt

Kings County officials this week traveled to the Southern California town of Gardena to meet with executive staff of Faraday Future as well as company founder Jia Yuetin to help make plans for the startup’s Hanford assembly plant.

Demolition work on the interior of the old Pirelli facility in the Hanford Industrial Park is underway as construction drawings are being completed for the remodel of the sprawling 1 million square-foot plant that will soon get underway.

Member of the Kings County Board of Supervisors Doug Verboon joined Kings EDC President John Lehn and Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle and others from Kings County for an April 10 tour of the Gardena facility, where work is underway on the speedy electric car, the FF 91.

Verboon said he saw 12 cars at the plant and got to sit in one of them. ”It was very impressive — this operation is for real,” he said.

He added that he was told the company’s investment funding was secure, and they were looking to start assembly of the high-tech electric car in Hanford late this year.

Touring the plant, local officials saw employees busy at different stations making parts using 3D imagery. ”There is lots of technology on display.”

Verboon says now the focus of the company is for Kings County agencies to partner with Faraday to get the word out that jobs are on the way locally.

“Right now they have 700 employees in the LA area, but after they install assembly-line machinery in Hanford, set for May 21, they will need to hire some 54 employees in Hanford and up to 750 here over a period of time,” he said.

“They need help finding hotel rooms or places for employees to stay,” said Verboon, who is also looking to coordinate efforts with placement agencies and junior colleges.

“They already have a list of about 500 who are looking for work.”

Verboon added that the company “has a tight timeline” and expects to meet again with the same local team April 13. “We want to handle it the same as we did for the Surf Ranch project — a dedicated team who will answer all their questions” and ease the rollout of their business here.

Two more housing developments set for Visalia

 

  • San Joaquin Valley Homes and Presidio Residential Capital to build
  • “Greystone” and “Ashton Park” to be designed for entry-level buyers and young families

Two new residential communities, called Greystone and Ashton Park and totaling 218 detached single-family homes priced from the mid-$200,000s, are planned for Visalia by San Joaquin Valley Homes and Presidio Residential Capital. The developers say they have closed on 29 acres (151 lots) and plan to close an additional 19 acres (67 lots) next year for the projects.

Groundbreaking is expected in April and the neighborhoods are expected to be open for sale by early 2019. Their retail value is estimated to exceed $52 million.

“Ideally located on prime Visalia land in the Northwest with easy access to excellent schools, these communities will be extremely appealing to first-time and move-up buyers and young families,” says Danny Garcia, vice president of sales at SJV Homes, which is based in Visalia.

Greystone will offer 127 traditional homes with six floor plans ranging from 1,658 to 3,205 square feet on lots ranging in size from 6,800 to 8,200 square feet with some premium lots over

10,000 square feet. Ashton Park will offer 91 garden homes with three floor plans ranging from 1,297 to 1,597 square feet on lots ranging in size from 4,700 to 6,000 square feet. These homes will feature nine-foot ceilings, pitched tile roofs, tile flooring, granite countertops, stainless appliances and two-car garages.

The new communities are located on the northeast corner of West Riggin Avenue and North Akers Street across the street  from the new Ridgeview Middle School. The new residential neighborhoods are located less than four miles from downtown and about four miles east of Highway 99.

Founded in 2013 by Joe Leal, Jim Robinson and Randy Merrill, SJV Homes closed on its 1,000th home in late December 2017.

The Visalia communities are SJV Homes’ 17th and 18th joint venture projects with Presidio Residential Capital, a San Diego based real estate investment company that funds 100 percent of the projects and operations of SJV Homes.

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ formula to determine the local impact of single-family housing in typical metro areas, adding 218 single-family homes will generate $63.7 million in local income, $7.9 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 875 local jobs.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/1b2a39c3-547d-46c7-98a9-b72e265c8d72.pdf

Clovis Community Medical Center to add beds, expand services

 

  • Expansion planned over next four years
  • To cost $390 Million

Community Medical Centers’ Board of Trustees today approved a four-year construction project that will add 144 private beds and expand several services at Clovis Community Medical Center in the Central Valley city of Clovis.

The $390 million, 190,000-square-foot expansion project will feature a five-story bed tower and will add 15,000 square feet to the hospital’s emergency room, create six additional operating rooms, 24 additional ICU beds, and expand the hospital’s radiology, pharmacy and laboratory services along with the kitchen and dining areas.

The project also will include an additional parking structure and a two-story, 60,000-square-foot clinical and administrative support building.

When the project is completed in 2022, Clovis Community will have 352 all-private inpatient beds while providing jobs for an additional 420 nurses, therapists, technicians and support staff.

“We need to significantly expand inpatient capacity in our hospital system, and this Clovis project is the quickest and most cost-effective way to do it,” says Tim Joslin, Community’s president and CEO.

Site work will begin next month, and Community anticipates the expansion project to employ some 2,500 construction workers, the overwhelming majority of them local.

Funding for the expansion will come from Community’s operations and from donations.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/50ddefe4-7c4a-4dc4-b5a1-e0c3ce2a241c.pdf

Dollar General to Expand Distribution Operations at Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC)

Dollar General leases additional space in new industrial building developed by Tejon Ranch Co. and Majestic Realty Co.

TEJON RANCH, Calif.

The partnership of Tejon Ranch Co. (NYSE: TRC) and Majestic Realty Co. today announced major discount retailer Dollar General (NYSE: DG) is leasing more than 240,000 square feet of warehouse space in a new building the partnership developed at the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC). Dollar General will use the new facility to support its operations in California.

Dollar General currently operates out of a separate building at TRCC, and with the expansion, will be increasing its footprint by nearly 40 percent.

“We are happy for Dollar General’s success in California and are pleased the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center is able to meet the company’s need for additional distribution space,” said Joseph N. Rentfro, executive vice president of real estate at Tejon Ranch Co. “Dollar General’s decision to expand here underscores Tejon Ranch’s value as proven and opportune place for companies wanting to locate and/or expand in California.”

“Majestic Realty is proud to welcome Dollar General as the inaugural tenant of the first building developed in partnership with Tejon Ranch Co.,” said Brett Tremaine, senior vice president at Majestic Realty Co. “This is just the beginning, as we believe the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center’s strategic location and outstanding labor pool will prove to be advantageous for many more companies in the future.”

Dollar General has used the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center as the hub of its California distribution operations for the last six years. With its expansion into the new Tejon Ranch-Majestic Realty developed facility, it will now occupy a total of more than 850,000 square feet of space within TRCC.

“It makes perfect sense for Dollar General to expand its operations at Tejon Ranch,” says John DeGrinis, SIOR, Senior Executive Vice President of Colliers International, who represents TRCC. “Its central location directly on Interstate 5 allows them to serve stores in both northern and southern California; the large pool of employees with a great work ethic has led to a stable workforce with a low turnover rate; and the fact that total operating costs are among the lowest in the state, all add up to some pretty compelling reasons why TRCC represented a great opportunity for Dollar General,” he added.

The Tejon Ranch Commerce Center is Tejon Ranch Co.’s 1,450-acre master planned commercial/industrial development located at the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99, about an hour north of the Los Angeles basin. The Commerce Center is also home to major distribution centers for IKEA, Famous Footwear and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT).

An additional 240,000 square feet of space is available in the new building to be occupied by Dollar General. The building is a Class A cross dock industrial building featuring a 36-foot clear height, seven-inch floor slab and an ESFR sprinkler system. Overall, the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center has nearly 16 million square feet of entitled space available for sale, lease or build-to-suit, with sites ranging from 20,000 square feet to more than 2,000,000. All of the industrial sites at TRCC are included in Foreign Trade Zone #276, and additionally, companies locating there are eligible to apply for tax rebate incentives being offered by Kern County.

About Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE: TRC)

Tejon Ranch Company is a diversified real estate development and agribusiness company, whose principal asset is its 270,000-acre land holding located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Bakersfield. For more information on the company, please go to www.tejonranch.com. For more information on the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center, please go to www.tejoncommerce.com.

About Majestic Realty Co.

Celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 2018, Majestic Realty Co. is the largest, privately-held developer and owner of master-planned business parks in the United States. With more than 78-million-square-feet in its portfolio, Majestic provides real estate solutions for tenants large and small, creating jobs, tax revenue and community benefits across the country. Headquartered in Southern California, Majestic has regional offices in Atlanta, Bethlehem, Penn., Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth and Laredo, Texas, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Ariz.

https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/businesswire/press_releases/California/2018/03/26/20180326005180

2.06 acres purchased across from Stockton Kaiser; Outpatient clinic to occupy space

By Marc Lutz

 

This artist’s rendering shows the planned outpatient clinic to be built at 7500 W. March Lane in Stockton.

STOCKTON—A 2.06-acre property on West Lane across from the Kaiser Permanente campus was recently purchased for $1.25 million. It will be the home to a new outpatient clinic.

An existing building, occupying 7,500 square feet of the acreage, will be demolished, and the purchaser, San Ramon-based Meridian, will build a 13,600-square-foot outpatient clinic on the site.

“This location is perfect for our client who has experienced a strong demand for its services in this area,” said Lorenzo Brooks, Meridian’s director of Acquisitions, in statement. “We persevered for over 15 months to bring this deal to a close because of our confidence that this would be an ideal location to serve patients in the community.”

The property was purchased by The Builder’s Exchange of Stockton, who was represented by CBRE.

The facility is expected to be under construction in a few months, taking less than a year to complete, according to Brooks.

“We’re extremely proud of this acquisition as it shows our ability to unlock valuable real estate near major healthcare system hubs,” Brooks continued. “This deal marks the sixteenth outpatient clinic that we have developed in the last five years and we continue to solidify ourselves as experts in healthcare development.”

Meridian is also planning to build facilities in Modesto and Long Beach in the coming months, as well. The builds are part of Meridian’s pursuit of healthcare facility development throughout the western U.S.

https://cvbj.biz/2018/03/26/2-06-acres-purchased-across-from-stockton-kaiser-outpatient-clinic-to-occupy-space/

Business boon hits Visalia

Danielle A Martin, Published 3:45 p.m. PT March 23, 2018 

County officials looking for proposals to develop old courthouse building. Visalia council split on involvement in building’s development. Luis Hernandez

Visalia’s business boon is well underway and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

New development ranges from housing and hotels to training facilities and offices.

“For citizens [development] creates variety and gives people a choice,” said Visalia Councilman Steve Nelsen. “It creates employment opportunities and even careers.”

Current Projects

The city has projects popping up from Mooney Boulevard to Main Street and across the Industrial Park.

“Our city funds are driven by sales tax and property tax,” Nelsen said. “As we continue to grow, the city continues to benefit.”

Visalia Mayor Warren Gubler called the city “shovel ready” and said an additional five businesses are currently expanding in Visalia’s industrial areas.

“We continue to grow and have lots of land available to do so,” Gubler added.

There was a total of 301 new permits issued between the months of February and March with a total value of $11.6 million, city officials said. The permits included 21 new single-family homes, two new multifamily complexes and one new commercial project.

Dunkin’ Donuts is set to be completed this spring and more will follow on Mooney Boulevard.

There is currently a Marriot Residence Inn going up in the Plaza Business Park. It is projected by contractors to be finished this summer. Directly across the street is a new ARCO AM/PM gas station, currently under construction.

Future projects

Entertainment

Clovis-based The Great Escape, an escape room themed entertainment activity for groups, has set its eyes on Visalia for its second location.

“We are super excited,” Wilkerson said. “A lot of clients we have come from the Visalia, Tulare, or Hanford areas and so we want to bring this a little closer to home for them.”

Wilkerson said it will be located at 3300 S. Fairway Street, near Bowlero and behind the Milan Institute of Cosmetology. The south Valley escape room will feature three escape puzzles perfect for team bonding opportunities or family get-togethers.

Leisure and hospitality

Two hotels have been proposed for the area. One is the renovation of a historic downtown building and the second is a new extended stay concept.

The Darling Hotel is a redevelopment project using the old Tulare County Courthouse downtown. The building has been vacant for decades and last August the Tulare County Supervisors were looking to give it new life.

In August, Councilman Greg Collins said, “You need to have an architect with vision,” to restore and develop the building.

In February, the boutique-style hotel proposal went through site planning and will feature 33 rooms and several meeting rooms. It will also feature a rooftop lounge and a ground level courtyard with an enclosed pool and canopy along Court Street.

A Hilton Home 2 Suites is being proposed in an area just north of Highway 198 and west of Plaza Drive. The hotel will feature 83 extended-stay concept style rooms that are also pet- and family-friendly, city officials said.

Facilities

Voltage Multipliers, a local manufacturing company is looking to expand its current building by 20,000 square feet.

In Plaza Business Park, a 7,172 square-foot project is in the proposal phase. It will be located just north of Marriott Residence Inn, currently under construction.

The project will consist of two buildings with offices and classrooms. Visalia officials suggest a school or training facility.

Another 3,256 square-foot project at 4234 W. Mineral King will house the local Mitchell and Powell law firm.

The new development and expansions are humbling, Gubler said.

“It’s a compliment to our community that these businesses want to keep coming to open up,” Gubler said.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2018/03/23/business-boon-hits-visalia/453107002/

VISALIA INDUSTRIAL PARK UNDERGOING REMARKABLE GROWTH

Robert Rodriguez, region manager for West Coast distribution for Hilti, Inc., a European maker of industrial tools, stands in one of two distribution centers his company has in the Visalia Industrial Park, along with a separate repair building. He said the park is a sweet spot for transporting goods within a day across California and to much of Arizona and Nevada. Photo by David Castellon

Published On March 14, 2018 – 1:50 PM

With work underway to build Amazon and Ulta fulfillment centers in south Fresno, and plans to convert a former tire plant in Hanford into an electric car plant, three new buildings totaling more than 400,000 square feet in the Visalia Industrial Park didn’t grab a lot of attention from the general public.

But among people involved in manufacturing, warehousing and other businesses needing large spaces, the buildings commissioned by Diversified Development Group in Fresno, which has been developing and leasing commercial structures here for more than two decades, has drawn a lot of attention.

So much so that DDG, which built the buildings on spec, had two of the buildings leased or were negotiating leases on them with multiple tenants before construction was done. DDG Vice President Marcus Pignotti said he believes a lease deal for a single business to entirely occupy the 166,000-square foot third building is close at hand.

With that kind of interest among businesses to get into the Visalia Industrial Park, “That explains why we’re in site plan review for our next four buildings,” that would comprise another 689,000 square feet of combined industrial space on a separate, 33-acre parcel in the Industrial Park in northwest Visalia, Pignotti said.

Beyond that, DDG purchased last year another 150 acres of undeveloped land in the Industrial Park, where the company plans to build up to three million more square feet of industrial space, which could include a single, 1 million-square foot building, he said.

DDG isn’t the only business looking to develop or expand in the Visalia Industrial Park.

From 2016-2017, Visalia issued permits for more than 804,000 square feet of new buildings in the Industrial Park. In fact, in terms of new industrial development and expansions, experts say the Visalia Industrial Park and the neighboring Visalia Business Research Park are some the most active commercial real estate spots in the Valley after south Fresno.

Beside what DDG has in store, the former Heller Performance Polymers plant on Doe Avenue has been demolished, the ground leveled and now the owners are planning to build two 400,000 and more than 300,000 square-foot buildings there once they line up tenants, said Marty Zeeb, a Visalia commercial real estate broker.

In addition, UPS, which has had a distribution center in the Industrial Park for decades, has gotten so busy shipping packages that it recently purchased 58 acres, with plans to build a second state-of-the-art distribution center in the Industrial Park, while Golden State Overnight — a regional shipping service — has outgrown its facility, and is building a new, nearly 63,000-square-foot-facility.

Meanwhile, Perfection Pet Food — a division of Goshen’s Western Milling — is building a nearly 152,000-square-foot office and distribution center, while Hydrite Chemical Co. recently completed a more than $16.1 million expansion and capital improvement project.

That doesn’t include the 100-acre Research Park, where a 94-room Marriott Residence Inn and an Arco AM/PM convenience store and gas station are being built near the Fresno Pacific University satellite campus and two car dealerships already on the mostly vacant set of parcels.

It’s a far cry from the area’s modest beginnings in the mid 1960s, when businessmen Al Blain, Dana Clancy and Lloyd Pendergraft spearheaded an effort to widen Visalia’s mostly ag-based economy by creating sites zoned for various sorts of industrial businesses and purchased “not the best farmland” from Florence Doe, recalled Harry Tow, who was city manager at the time.

“They thought we needed an industrial park where industry didn’t have to think about putting in utilities and streets. It was done for them,” he said, adding that Blain, Clancy and Pendergraft had Visalia’s best interests at heart — so much so that as far as Tow knows, Blain, Clancy ad Pendergraft “didn’t make a dime off it.”

In the five decades or so since, the Business Park has grown from a handful of businesses to 379 — from Far West Distributors, which employs just five people, to VF Outdoor, a clothing distribution center employing about 1,200.

It isn’t just your usual industrial park with one big building or several comparable buildings and warehouses occupying one parcel. Instead, the Visalia Industrial Park is like a city in a city comprised of more than 16.6 million square feet of buildings occupying 381 acres spread over multiple blocks, with different buildings constructed in their own, particular styles.

Based on 2015 U.S. Census estimates, the latest figure Visalia officials could provide, 6,932 people worked at the Industrial Park, a third of them Visalia residents. Considering the expansions and new developments since then, the number likely has grown.

Before the recession, new developments were active in the Industrial Park but lulled in the years the economy spiraled, Zeeb said. But as that period passed and the economy improved, developers started actively planning again in 2013 and 2014, and over the last two or three years a lot construction and permitting has followed, he said.

The Industrial Park has several tenants with national and international reach, mostly involved in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, including Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., VF and VWR — the latter a global supplier of lab and pharmaceutical supplies.

One of the main reasons is that Visalia is a “sweet spot” for most businesses with customers on the West Coast, whether they’re individuals ordering items via the web or department stores and other business selling those goods, said Robert Rodriguez, region manager for West Coast distribution for Hilti, Inc., a European maker of industrial tools which operates two distribution buildings and a separate repair center in the Visalia Industrial Park.

“Its a great spot for transit time,” he said.

Of course, Fresno can make the same claim, and Amazon officials have acknowledged that’s a big part of why it’s locating its 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center there.

The Visalia Industrial Park was in consideration for the Amazon and Ulta facilities, as well as a fulfillment center for Nordstrom department stores in 2016, but they all went elsewhere.

“We’re not chasing the big fish only,” said Devon Jones, Visalia’s economic development manager, noting that leasing several 25,000-squre foot buildings can create as many jobs locally as a single “big fish” tenant.

He noted that if an Amazon-sized business or a larger one ever wants to locate here, there remains about 1,000 acres of undeveloped pre-zoned land in the Industrial Park still available, all with sewage and other utilities close by to connect.

In fact, the City of Visalia last year submitted a proposal for Amazon to build its second headquarters in the city, along with numerous other U.S. cities that included Fresno.

Though the ecommerce giant opted not to consider any California sites, Mayor Warren Gubler said Amazon officials indicated they were “surprised” in a positive way by Visalia’s proposal, “and we weren’t even in their radar, and [now] we’re on their radar.

Among the selling points for the Industrial Park that several of the people interviewed noted is its close access to Highways 99 and 198.

In addition, “UPS is our best salesman, because you’ll have large companies that have locations on the East Coast and the South, the Indiana-Ohio area, Dallas. And when they need West Coast, UPS just looks at our area, Visalia being the perfect spot,” and recommends it, said Pignotti, noting that businesses increasingly rely on next-day delivery, and having a UPS hub literally blocks away in the Industrial Park is a big plus, as is having other next-day shippers there, including FedEx, Golden State Overnight and OnTrac.

Pignotti also credited Visalia’s government, which in recent years has streamlined the processes for permitting construction to the point that Jones said some permit applications can be approved within 30 days.

“Sometimes, less than that,” he said. “Because that’s the last thing somebody wants, being in some municipality where it takes forever to get a permit and get started, and they’ve had a delay, and they don’t want to do that again,” Pignotti said.

Among the reasons DDG builds in Visalia is “They’ve always met their timelines, they work with you, they get things going quickly. They don’t just sit around, so it has been good,” Pignotti said, adding that some cities can be extra attentive for Amazon-sized projects but are much less to smaller ones.

Rodriguez agreed, adding that “In the Hilti world — and we are global — Visalia is in discussions, mainly because of the support by the city and the [Visalia] Economic Development Corp.”

So much so that Hilti — which landed in the industrial park in the 1990s; moved later to a larger, 45,000-square-foot distribution center; opened a second, 20,000-sqare-foot distribution center; and opened a separate tool repair shop — is eyeing the industrial park to expand further, possibly tripling the current size of its distribution operations there, he said.

“My own personal perspective is Visalia has an excellent business park, and it’s known and it’s growing. There are warehouses and businesses going up left and right.”