Press Room

Amazon’s not the only warehouse hiring in Fresno. Ulta Beauty looking for workers, too

Madera County ties for number one for most non-farm job growth

Former farmland is now harvesting economic benefits in Madera County.

Madera County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Bobby Kahn said, “The leading sectors are construction and education, I think they play off each other. Where you have strong construction, you have a lot of growth in your area, of course, your education facilities are going to grow.”

Madera County just ranked number one and tied with Calaveras County for non-farm job growth in the state. Kahn said the education field is hiring more people. Schools have been built and others are underway.

However, a lot of growth has been focused on construction along the Highway 41 corridor

“Riverstone is adding about 35 to 40 homes a month being sold, so that is a tremendous amount of growth out there. Tesoro Viejo is finishing its backbone infrastructure, you’re going to see houses coming out of the ground right there toward the fall of this year,” said Kahn.

Hundreds of people are working on the master-planned communities that will transform the landscape of Madera County. Kahn said in addition to construction, manufacturing is also steady in the county.

“You are seeing a resurgence in the manufacturing sector. All of our manufacturers are going strong and most of them are hiring. We are working with two right now that have substantial plans to add onto their facilities.”

More jobs are bringing more people to Madera County as well.

“Madera County is actually number one in population growth. That population growth also drives jobs,” said Kahn.

In addition to growth along the Highway 41 corridor, experts said construction has increased in Madera and building permits are up in Chowchilla. All positive signs of life after surviving the recession.

Almond acreage in California grows to record total

Gas-tax grant means more trains to Sacramento and a new passenger station in Madera

April 28, 2018 04:27 PM

Updated April 28, 2018 04:30 PM

$8.4 billion realty deal includes 29 Northern California properties

Images from the Prologis web site and from a DCT Industrial Trust earnings
supplement, in a montage. Prologis, a huge player in the industrial real
estate market, has struck a deal worth $8.4 billion to buy DCT Industrial
Trust, a major company in the same sector, in a transaction that includes
dozens of Northern California properties.

Prologis, DCT Industrial Trust
Prologis, DCT Industrial Trust

Images from the Prologis web site and from a DCT Industrial Trust earnings supplement, in a montage. Prologis, a huge player in the industrial real estate market, has struck a deal worth $8.4 billion to buy DCT Industrial Trust, a major company in the same sector, in a transaction that includes dozens of Northern California properties.

PUBLISHED: 

Prologis, a huge player in the industrial real estate market, has struck a deal worth $8.4 billion to buy DCT Industrial Trust, a major company in the same sector, in a transaction that includes dozens of Northern California properties.

San Francisco-based Prologis, through its proposed purchase of Denver-based DCT Industrial, would obtain a portfolio of industrial buildings totaling 71 million square feet — the size equivalent of roughly three-dozen regional shopping malls — along with development projects and vacant sites.

According to information in a supplement to DCT’s first-quarter financial results, DCT’s portfolio includes an estimated 29 properties in Northern California. The properties total 5.13 million square feet, including DCT properties in San Leandro, Hayward and Tracy.

“For some time, we have considered DCT’s realigned portfolio to be the most complementary to our own in terms of product quality, market position and growth potential,” Prologis Chief Executive Officer Hamid Moghadam said in a prepared release.

Both companies specialize in what generically is known as logistics real estate, which includes industrial, warehouse and distribution centers.

“This transaction underscores the exceptional quality of DCT’s portfolio, platform and customer relationships,” DCT Industrial CEO Philip Hawkins said in a prepared release.

The deal also highlights the value of industrial properties in hot markets such as the Bay Area.

Cupertino-based Apple, Menlo Park-based Facebook, Mountain View-based Google and other tech giants have gobbled up huge amounts of space in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, through a combination of property purchases and leases. That activity has, in turn, prevented industrial development on some parcels where it might otherwise have occurred, and increased the value of existing industrial properties.

Seattle-based Amazon also is among the digital commerce companies that hunger for more industrial sites to support their online retailing activity.

“While we are later in the economic cycle, we believe that the industrial market has a long runway given growing e-commerce-related demand and the subsequent modernization of companies’ supply chains to accommodate for this,” Matt Kopsky, an analyst with St. Louis-based investment firm Edward Jones, wrote in a research note to clients regarding the Prologis-DCT deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Among the most high-profile of the Prologis properties in Northern California is a vast fulfillment complex in Tracy that’s leased to Amazon.

“We believe this is a positive strategic acquisition for Prologis,” Kopsky said in the research note. “DCT owns warehouses primarily in high-growth markets, which overlap nicely with Prologis’ portfolio. Additionally, DCT has a robust development pipeline in core markets.”

During 2017, Prologis earned $1.64 billion on revenue of $2.87 billion, while DCT Industrial earned $102.8 million on revenue of $429.7 million.

At the end of March, Prologis owned, or had investments in, 683 million square feet of properties, based on the combined size of the existing buildings and potential square footage of future buildings that could be constructed on vacant properties.

With properties in 19 countries, Prologis serves a base of 5,000 customers.

“This deal diversifies our customer roster through the addition of some 500 new relationships,” Prologis CEO for the Americas Eugene Reilly said in a prepared release.

$8.4 billion realty deal includes 29 Northern California properties

Progress seen in effort to start medical school in Valley

 

  • Legislation clears one hurdle
  • “Today marks a renewed effort to undertake the construction of major new medical infrastructure projects in the Valley”

A proposal to fund creation of a San Joaquin Valley medical school has passed its first committee vote in the state Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support, says the bill’s author, Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced.

Mr. Gray also points to a University of California report that highlights the health care shortages in the San Joaquin Valley and suggests a path towards the establishment of more robust medical infrastructure in the Valley, including the establishment of a fully independent medical school at the University of  California, Merced. The report was funded by a budget item Mr. Gray secured in 2015.

“Today marks a renewed effort to undertake the construction of major new medical infrastructure projects in the Valley,” says Mr. Gray. “The UC’s report highlights the compelling access to care failures that families in the Valley know all too well. We simply are not providing adequate health care for one of the fastest growing, poorest, and least healthy regions of the state.”

His bill, AB 2202, appropriates a currently unspecified sum of money to the UC Regents for the construction of a branch campus of the UCSF School of Medicine in partnership with UC Merced and the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program.

“The establishment of a branch campus is a near-term solution that is a proven pathway to opening a fully accredited medical school,” says Mr. Gray. “In this bill, we have taken the lessons learned from medical schools in other regions and applied what we have learned for the Valley.”

The University of California report details the numerous health challenges faced by the residents of the San Joaquin Valley and provides a number of recommendations to improve access to care. The report highlights the importance of leveraging existing infrastructure at the UCSF Fresno Medical Center to provide new access to care options like telehealth and residency expansion while recommending the establishment of a branch campus as the most proven track to a fully independent medical school.

“This report gives us a road map to follow,” says Mr. Gray. “We will highlight these recommendations at a health summit at UC Merced with Chancellor Leland and President Napolitano in early summer and continue the hard work necessary to ultimately establish a school of medicine at UC Merced.”

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/2acc4d6b-12cc-448d-add4-9e1c6f3451dd.pdf

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

California Resources Corp. acquires full ownership of Elk Hills oil field

  • BY JOSEPH LUIZ
418022508-data.jpg
In this file photo taken at Elk Hills , Matt Wells, Mitch Tate and Steve Northern, left to right, make a connector change.

The California Resources Corp. has acquired 100 percent ownership of the Elk Hills oil and natural gas field in Kern County, according to the company.

The oil company said it purchased Chevron’s interests for $460 million and issued 2.85 million shares of CRC stock to Chevron. The deal went through April 1. Chevron had owned about 20 percent of the field’s assets. CRC had owned the rest of the field and has been its operator.

“We have operated this field for over 20 years and have developed a deep knowledge of the geology and strong operational expertise to deliver robust value from this asset,” said CRC President/Chief Executive Officer Todd Stevens. “We intend to apply this know-how to our newly acquired position, as well as transfer learnings and efficiencies to enhance CRC’s assets across California.”

 In 2017, the interests that Chevron held produced approximately 13,300 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids per day, according to the company.

CRC estimates that based on current prices, the field could provide the company an operating cash flow of around $100 million annually. Elk Hills is now estimated to make up about 43 percent of the company’s total production.

CRC’s acquisition of Chevron’s interests comes after the company went into a joint venture on the Elk Hills field in early 2017 with a portfolio company that is part of the private equity group Ares Management, L.P.

Ares paid $750 million and purchased 2.34 million shares in CRC stock to obtain some of CRC’s Elk Hills assets. The particular interests under the agreement are the Elk Hills power plant, a natural gas-fired power plant and a cryogenic gas-processing plant.

Some of the proceeds from the joint venture were used in purchasing Chevron’s interest in the field, Stevens said.

 “Acquiring sole ownership of such a prolific field is an ideal use of proceeds from our recent midstream joint venture transaction, adding both immediate production and cash flow, while providing for quick synergies and tremendous long-term development opportunities,” he said.

Elk Hills, located west of Bakersfield, was initially discovered in 1911 and has produced more than 2 billion barrels of oil and gas since then, according to CRC.

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.

GAP SECURES $4.25M STATE TAX CREDIT FOR FRESNO EXPANSION

Published On April 12, 2018 – 2:12 PM
Written By Gabriel Dillard

The Gap, Inc. has been awarded a $4.25 million tax credit to support its expansion plans at its Fresno campus, where an e-commerce fulfillment center has been planned.

A committee of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, or GO-Biz, today approved a total of $76 million in tax credits for 63 companies as part of the California Competes program to help businesses create new jobs in the Golden State.

San Francisco-based Gap was awarded a tax credit for the expansion of its San Francisco headquarters as well as a new e-commerce fulfillment center planned near Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The retailer plans to invest $100 million in the expansion, according to its tax credit agreement, which would create an additional 698 jobs. According to the GO-Biz agreement, at least 75 percent of the net increase in full-time employees will work at least 75 percent of the time in Fresno.

The Gap indicates it will add 162 new full-time positions in the 2018 tax year, 502 for 2019 ramping up to 698 by 2021.

Panorea Avdis, GO-Biz director and chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee, said in a statement: “In the last four years, hundreds of companies have made commitments to expand in the state and GO-Biz will continue to host informational workshops and work with our regional and local partners to ensure companies of all sizes know about and apply for these tax credits.”

The City of Fresno announced last month that The Gap would relocate its e-commerce operation to Fresno, bringing at least 515 new full-time employees. Full operation will ramp up over a three-year period.

The agreement is made possible through a 30-year economic incentive agreement that will provide performance-based incentives based on the creation of at least 500 new net jobs, and possibly hundreds more for part-time and seasonal needs.

The agreement will also ensure continued sustainability for the 351 employees currently working at the Fresno Gap distribution center, which opened in 1999.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/gap-secures-4-25m-state-tax-credit-fresno-expansion/