It’s not your typical summer weather inside Fresno’s US Cold Storage. Temperatures can reach freezing or even as cold as -60 degrees.
US Cold Storage General Manager Kris Sali said, “Normally you can see your breath and glasses fog up, that’s part of the business.”
The Fresno business takes products mostly grown, or made in the Valley, and stores them in cold or freezing temperatures until they’re shipped out to stores.
Workers have to be dressed from head to toe for the cold work.
“It gets pretty cold. The guys do a good job of keeping the work going while in this kind of environment, but we have these heated suits, but its definitely a harsher environment than what people are used to, but in the summer its actually pretty nice,” said Sali.
About 120 million pounds of food is stored on shelves, from Wawona peaches to Challenge butter to McDonald’s hamburgers patties. The cold temperatures are vital to keeping the quality as it travels from the Valley across the nation and even across the world.
“We try to do the best we can to make sure the food is safe because people are going to eat this,” said Sali.
Besides holding the product, they also do flash freezing to -60 degrees.
More than 100 employees help run what is already the biggest cold storage in the Valley, and more will be hired for their new facility.
Because of the demand, US Cold Storage will be expanding. Their second facility in Fresno, just down the road, opens in August.
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
A view of buildings in downtown Madera. Hoping to spur redevelopment and revitalization of parts of downtown Madera, the Madera City Council has voted to waive 75 to 100 percent of city plan review and building permit fees for a period of at least the next one to possibly two years.
Hoping to spur redevelopment and revitalization of parts of downtown Madera, the Madera City Council has voted to waive 75 to 100 percent of city plan review and building permit fees for a period of at least the next one to possibly two years.The affected area is bordered by North Gateway Drive and East Yosemite Avenue business corridors, and by East Central Avenue and North Lake Street.
The City Council voted unanimously for the plan July 18.
City Council Member Will Oliver said the plan, called the Downtown Development Incentive Program, came about after interaction with many residents, business owners and City Council members grappling with high vacancy rates, blight and a long, steady decline of Madera’s downtown business area.
Council Members Jose Rodriguez and Charles Rigby also served on the action subcommittee.
“In my day job as a director of business services, I have been able to see how communities put their best foot forward and become competitive to recruit, and support prospective businesses,” said Oliver. “I really wanted to make this a priority, and began that conversation last year to move forward with incentives, for businesses with aging buildings or in the downtown corridors to reinvest in those spaces,” Oliver said.
The program will allow the waiver of 100 percent of engineering fees and 75 percent of planning and building inspection fees, potentially a savings of $7,000 to $10,000 for a small- to medium-sized commercial business such as a restaurant or retail shop, Oliver said, possibly enough to make or break an improvement project. More in-depth information on the incentive program can be viewed at www.cityofmadera.ca.gov/incentives or contact the city of Madera development department at 661-5430.
The business enterprise zone project will also allow older buildings, 40 years or older, or with those long vacancies anywhere in the city to be remodeled or re purposed with a significant cost savings, designed to provide tax benefits and incentives to business investors.
The program covers the waiver of most city fees for commercial new construction, redevelopment, interior improvements, facade improvements, ADA improvements, or improvements to city streets, sidewalks, or utilities by owners or tenants. Fees are also waived for buildings also used in conjunction with a tax exempt or non profit operation under the new and temporary program.
Oliver said the effort was a good step in the right direction. “We’d like to be a ‘yes, if’ city, not a ‘no because’ city.” he said. “The results of this should be greater occupancy in and more reinvestment in our downtown, leading to more job creation and more reinvestment in Madera. It should show as a City Council we are committed to business prosperity with this incentive. I think it’s going to work (well) for the community,” he said.
A recent report by a municipal consultant revealed that the city of Madera had failed to collect appropriate and high enough development impact fees (DIF’s) from most developers building in the city for the last three decades, likely to incentivize the entire area for growth, but that decision by city officials and councils had been costly and had severely underfunded the city’s ability to maintain or extend it’s essential infrastructure now.
Targeting just the existing, older downtown corridors for improvement should be cost effective, and help spur and revitalize the areas most in need, Oliver said, and should improve the entire atmosphere for area residents and businesses.
Oliver also said that as chair of the Madera Housing Authority he was taking the first steps and looking into multi-million-dollar state grant funding programs available for Madera downtown, mixed-use residential-commercial and affordable housing projects that prioritize walk-ability, ride sharing, transit projects, etc.
“It’s very preliminary, the menu of projects we’ve submitted to the state. But we are right now identifying residential properties downtown that could fall within the mixed use, affordable (residential) housing under the California Cap and Trade Programs. This speaks to (significant funding for) our veterans, our seniors, perhaps even our millennials who are early in their careers for the second and maybe third floor, of our downtown spaces. Madera has a great shot (at these state dollars) as long as we put our name in the hat. And we are preparing, and putting in that effort right now.” Oliver said.
Director of Community Development David Merchen did not respond for comment on the project..
New Kern Venture Group Brings Angel Investing to Our Region
ANNA SMITH For The Californian
For the 1878 Paris Exhibition, a couple of highly prominent chaps named J.P. Morgan and Spencer Trask decided to back a crazy idea called “electricity” that was being pitched by none other than Thomas Edison. His brilliant concept was made possible by these early angel investors. Without their extra capital, we might all still be in the dark.
And it’s a powerful tool. Companies like Uber, Google, Twitter, eBay, Apple, Kinko’s, Starbucks and Amazon all got their start or grew with the help of angel investors.
Angel investing is a process whereby private investors inject capital for startups in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt. It often works like the popular television show “Shark Tank,” but without all of the cameras and hoopla. It’s as simple as groups of real investors funding promising new businesses.
Angel investment funds are located all over the world, and many can be found up and down the California coast. They pool money together and then allocate it to new businesses.
Just imagine you’re a local startup entrepreneur in Bakersfield. You have an exciting idea that you think the market will embrace, but you don’t have access to enough capital. You’ve tapped out your friends and family with small investments, but you need larger sums to get your idea off the ground. What do you do? Most people would either quit or look to a city with stronger startup culture and established funds — places like Palo Alto, Santa Monica, San Diego and San Francisco. The investors there would most likely require you move to their area where they could oversee your progress. This, of course, results in fewer talented entrepreneurs in Kern County and more in places that are already swarming with them. It’s a gain for their local economies and a loss for ours.
This setup also keeps Bakersfield off the investor circuit, removed from the map of places entrepreneurs dream of seeding and growing their ideas.
According to my own research, Kern County has never hosted an organized group of angel investors. But despite his busy schedule and long list of commitments, local business owner John-Paul (“J.P.”) Lake is working to change all that. He is chief operating officer of a hedge fund and manages real estate for his family’s large business, Rain for Rent. The company rents equipment for handling problems with liquids and has 70 global locations. He serves as a trustee for the Panama Buena-Vista Union School District, among other community involvements. His varied business background, deep understanding of our region and local relationships make him the perfect person to bring this platform to Kern County, which will open up access to capital for people with great ideas.
As Lake explains, Kern County has historically been a place where pioneers and risk-takers get their start. Our community has a rich history of innovation in industries like agriculture, oil, gas, renewables and aerospace technology. And now we have another exciting opportunity to pioneer new industries in our region, he notes.
He’s working with a group of local investors to create a fund, called Kern Venture Group, that will provide capital to qualifying startups and existing small businesses.
Lake founded the group with David Higdon, a local business owner with a lot of startup experience as the former president for Ellis Energy Investments.
“I believe that human talent, skill, creativity and passion are equally distributed around the globe,” he explains. “I know there are bright young people who have ideas and want to start a business, but some ingredients are not in place to do that as quickly here. They often leave our community for places where they have a better chance to get their business off the ground.”
I applaud Lake and Higdon for their efforts. The impacts of an angel investment fund will be farther reaching than one might even imagine. Kern Venture Group could help encourage open-mindedness about business opportunities in new industries, increase the local risk tolerance, support an ecosystem to nurture entrepreneurs and their ideas, change the dynamic and help diversify our economy, encourage innovation and push our business community to recognize the value of human capital, not just hard assets. As a result, an angel fund creates a stronger future for our region as a whole.
To seek funding through this group, an entrepreneur with an idea or existing business will reach out to them through the website, kernventuregroup.com. Proposals will be reviewed by a screening committee. Once approved, proponents will present their idea to the full investor group with a 15-minute pitch. Investors will have time to ask questions. The reviewers will take a vote. If successful, the pitch goes to the investment committee. This group will take a deep dive, complete their due diligence and negotiate terms. The committee will take one more vote. If a proposal passes, the managing partners will finalize the investment. The goal is for the fund to raise $2 million to $4 million locally. The plan is to make 15 to 20 investments in this first round.
Eager entrepreneurs are already primed to begin the pitch process. Potential candidates include the owner of a popular local snack food brand who is ready to take his business to the next level with more capital, and locals with ideas for businesses in the oil and gas industry.
Hunting for the elusive unicorn takes a volume of investments and a higher tolerance for risk; the Silicon Valley culture didn’t get that way by chance. One might argue that Silicon Valley’s success was aided by its proximity to San Francisco. But I would argue that the ecosystem created there could exist anyplace in the United States. This “magic” was created with concerted effort and many different components connecting together over time. The area is known for embracing a culture of openness and a free exchange of ideas, but it was not always so. This mentality is much less common in many parts of the country, but why couldn’t we bring a bit of that magic back to Bakersfield?
Angel investors in Silicon Valley know that for every 5,000 crazy ideas, there are some really good businesses waiting to be uncovered and perhaps a few golden opportunities, billion-dollar diamonds-in-the-rough. And for every successful business that is started or grown, many more jobs result. With a higher risk comes a higher reward, both for successful business owners, their investors and the community as a whole.
Angel investors are critical initiators of startups and job creation. Establishment of the Kern Venture Group is a crucial component to creating a local innovation ecosystem and could help usher in a new era of economic growth.
Throughout California and across the nation, the nature of work is changing. Long gone are the days of gold watch retirements after decades at the same company. Instead, the average worker stays in a job for 4.6 years, and just 3.2 years for millennials.
More and more people are forgoing conventional jobs altogether for freelance work in the “gig” economy. But not all “gigs” are created equal.
While ridesharing or delivery may provide good short-term opportunity, skilled independent work is more sustainable and fulfilling. These workers might be graphic designers, copywriters, web developers, digital marketers, wedding musicians, or animators. There are more than 10 million of these independent contractors, but growth in this sector has been concentrated in major metropolitan areas and among those with early access to digital tools.
As the mayors of Stockton and Richmond – cities that may be a stone’s throw from the innovation and wealth of Silicon Valley but often feel worlds away – we believe that all local economies can benefit from growth in the independent economy with the right tools necessary for people to succeed.
That’s why our two cities have partnered to launch the Digital Workforce Development Initiative on Friday in Richmond and July 28 in Stockton to grow our independent economies with training and support, particularly among the underemployed and underserved.
Program participants will have the chance to develop important building blocks to success in the new economy, including the basics of freelancing (everything from writing job proposals and contracts to managing project timelines). They will have access to courses to constantly gain broader skills and to a wide array of digital and live tools, including a mentorship program.
This is forward-thinking workforce development, which is increasingly important as the economy becomes more segmented, specialized and automated. The benefits extend far beyond freelancers themselves to bolstering the creative class and keeping entrepreneurs local.
And by plugging local independent workers into the global marketplace, freelancers can stay in their own communities, near their families. This means more time for civic participation and more time to care for a child or an aging loved one.
Richmond and Stockton are both great places to live, offering many conveniences and advantages to business, both large and small; we’re the California Dream without the congestion or expense. And when you have the tools you need to grow your own business and access the rest of the world, then why ever leave?
Two new employers are coming to San Joaquin County, each promising 500 or more well-paying jobs to a region with an unemployment rate that is 1 percentage higher than the state average.
The city of Tracy on Thursday announced that Katerra, a Menlo Park-based firm, will open a 577,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the first half of 2019. The building is under construction.
Katerra plans to open a high-tech factory that will produce building components including wall panels, floor systems, windows and cabinets.
Downtown Stockton, meanwhile, is the intended home for ConSol USA, a new firm that founder Robert Tibbs said will focus on developing artificial-intelligence technology to be used in the medical and financial sectors.
Of special note concerning ConSol USA is its planned workforce. Tibbs, 63, said he intends to provide jobs to young people from Stockton, giving them opportunities to begin in entry-level positions that will lead to living-wage careers with the company.
“We really have to demonstrate we’re committed to the (geographic) areas that really have the most needs,” said Tibbs, who added that he escaped an impoverished childhood to become a lifelong entrepreneur.
“It’s about zeroing in on communities like Stockton and putting our money where our mouth is. There are thousands of people in the Stockton area that have as much talent, intellect and energy as do I. It’s about giving them an opportunity.”
The ConSol USA plan was announced Thursday at a news conference featuring Mayor Michael Tubbs, the University of the Pacific and Valley Vision, a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization.
The main purpose of the news conference was to publicly release a “workforce development action plan” for Stockton produced with private funds. The 30-page plan offers a road map intended to bring better-paying jobs to Stockton while developing a better-prepared workforce to fill those positions.
“We want to build a future here in Stockton,” Tubbs said. “If we continue the status quo, we will continue to grow low-wage jobs. This report outlines our challenges but it also shows that with the right focus, we can set Stockton on a path toward economic prosperity.”
According to government data, Stockton’s 6.3 percent unemployment rate at the end of May was 2.1 percentage points higher than the state’s jobless rate of 4.2 percent. San Joaquin County’s unemployment rate in the same government report was 5.3 percent. Tracy’s was 3.4 percent.
At roughly the same time as the Stockton announcement, Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman spoke optimistically about the new jobs Katerra will bring to the region beginning next year.
“Tracy’s proximity to workforce talent, affordable land and state-of-the-art building opportunities provide a business-supportive environment for advanced manufacturing companies such as Katerra to thrive,” Rickman said.
Tibbs said he hopes to have a more detailed announcement of ConSol USA’s plan within two months.
HANFORD — After years of seeing empty buildings and storefronts, downtown Hanford seems to be going through a transformation.
“We’ve kind of had a surge of businesses interested in opening in downtown Hanford,” Michelle Brown, executive director of Main Street Hanford, said.
Brown said it’s a great time for downtowns everywhere, not just in Hanford. She said she believes people are really starting to see the uniqueness of downtowns and the benefits of shopping small businesses.
Several changes can be seen in downtown Hanford, including these new businesses:
The Ivy Boutique & Home Décor, 201 N. Douty St. – specializes in women’s apparel and also carries gifts for any occasion.
Habitat for Humanity of Kings/Tulare Counties ReStore, 415 W. Lacey Blvd. – sells donated items like cabinets, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical supplies and more. Proceeds go toward the organization’s home ownership programs.
Board & Brush Creative Studio, 207 N. Irwin St. – this business will celebrate its grand opening on July 26 during Thursday Night Market Place. Board & Brush Creative Studio is a place for creating unique wood decor projects from scratch in an instructor led atmosphere.
Hop Forged Brewing Co., 106 W. Seventh St. – this will open in the fall and be the first brewery located in downtown Hanford. Hop Forged is a family-run business and each batch of beer is hand crafted in small batches right here in Hanford. The taproom will serve its own in-house-brewed beers, starting out with up to 10 options, with hopes to expand that selection to 20 within a couple of years.
Another business that has opened is Finer Thingz, located at 331 W. Seventh St. Owner Jeanette Tackett said the shop has been open since June 1 and things are going well so far.
Finer Thingz shares a space with Tackett’s other business, a print shop called J.H. Tackett Marketing. Tackett uses her printing skills to personalize and customize gifts, like mousepads, frames, cups, cutting boards and pretty much any other thing you can think of.
“The idea is to be able to create and customize and give a unique gift,” Tackett said, adding her products can work for any person or organization.
Tackett, who owns the building her businesses are in, said she loves being a part of bringing downtown Hanford to life.
“I think it’s a great place to be and grow,” Tackett said. “We just love being able to serve and putting smiles on people’s faces when they get that custom gift is priceless.”
One existing downtown business, Fulton Cycle Works, relocated from one downtown spot to another, moving from the Vendome building to a permanent location at 119 W. Seventh St.
Speaking of the Vendome building, three new businesses will open there soon:
Lab Artistry, 215 N. Irwin St. – offers services including lash extensions, lash lifts, body waxing, brow shaping, micro blading and make-up for special occasions.
Employee Benefits, 221 N. Irwin St. – this business specializes in health and life insurance, has been around for 34 years and is relocating to downtown Hanford.
Beautifully Damaged, 219 N. Irwin St. – specializes in hand-painted furniture and vintage home décor. Instructor-led paint classes for all ages will also be offered in the store.
When all three businesses open in early August, Brown said the Vendome building will be completely filled up.
Brown said she has spoken with lots of interested business owners and the only issue is finding the right location for that particular business.
“We’re running out of spaces for people,” Brown said, adding she hopes new restaurants will start to pop up as well.
As far as vacancies are concerned, Brown said 100 W. Seventh St., 118 W. Seventh St. and 210 W. Seventh St. are still open.
Brown would love to see businesses locate in these vacancies and said when they do, Seventh Street will be completely filled up, which has not been the case for many years.
Brown said she hopes this new surge of businesses will bring even more positivity to downtown Hanford and convince people to make their way to the area to shop.
“These business owners are part of the community,” Brown said. “We need to spread the word and show our support by shopping small.”
A new development on the corner of Mooney Boulevard and Walnut Avenue has Visalia residents buzzing.
The nearly-completed building has room for three tenants, one of which has a drive-thru window facing Mooney.
Rumor has it Dunkin’ Donuts will soon be filling the space.
Employees of other businesses in the area also heard a bank and Chick-fil-A are vying for the new space.
But with “available space” signs posted on every corner of the property, for now, the potential list of businesses is just that — a rumor.
A new space
While the location has not been confirmed, a Dunkin’ Donuts is making its way to Visalia.
“A location for Dunkin’ Donuts is currently planned for Visalia, but I can’t confirm any other details at this time,” said Tricia Paulson, an account executive with Fineman PR.
According to the coffee giant’s website, there are more than 12,500 locations worldwide that serve approximately 2 billion cups of hot and iced coffee every year.
Over the long-term, the company plans to grow its U.S. presence resulting in more than 18,000 restaurants, according to the website.
If they do decide to make Visalia their new home, the location on Mooney and Walnut could bring the coffee and doughnut magnate a steady flow of foot traffic.
In July 2016, commercial real estate developers, The Orosco Group, purchased the building formerly home to Weatherby’s furniture.
The Orosco Group, based in Monterey, has several developments throughout the city, including the heavily-visited Packwood Creek shopping center, also on Mooney.
Currently, the company is also working to finish the new Starbucks in Tulare, located at the southwest corner of J Street and Cross Avenue.
The company has kept the list of potential tenants quiet since the start of the project, creating speculation among residents on what businesses will soon take over the corner.
Liz Wynn, a Visalia planning commissioner, said it is normal for developers to keep the lid shut on new developments. Still, she said if they had tenants who had already agreed to move into the building, the public would know.
“If they had it pre-leased, they would have already announced it,” Wynn said.
Wynn, who originally voted against the development because of limited parking and the idea of a drive-through on the busiest intersection in the county, also heard a Dunkin’ Donuts was a probable tenant.
Build it and they will come
Patrick Orosco, a partner with the group, said he could not discuss any businesses looking into the spaces on Mooney and Walnut just yet.
But, community members won’t have to wait much longer.
Visalia residents can expect to find out which businesses will move into the building in about a month, Orosco said.
The building will hold one fast-casual restaurant and two retail spaces.
“We’re getting quite close with two of what will be three tenants,” Orosco said. “We’re not at the point where things are signed yet.”
There are several benefits of building commercial space before leasing to tenants, Orosco said.
“Tenants have more certainty than ground-up projects that can take years,” he said. “For large-scale projects, you find raw dirt, typically ag land. The starting point for them then tends to be more elusive.”
Having a building complete or nearly complete before signing contracts also means all businesses are on the same time frame.
A newly-completed building with modern design also helps bring larger companies to smaller cities like Visalia and Tulare. The design seems “familiar” to companies with locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Orosco said.
“Oftentimes, retailers come from outside of Tulare County,” Orosco said. “They test the concept in larger demographics then backfill smaller markets.”
The new designs can also add a modern look to once-dated areas.
“Our goal is to leave it better than it was before we touched it,” Orosco said. “We want to create best of class projects and bring cutting-edge trends in architect and landscaping.”
Submitted by Geoff Thurner, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Fresno State University
In its first year, the Valley Ventures Accelerator has helped 25 companies attract $10 million in sales and $9 million in investment capital. Participating companies include founders from Fresno as well as Chile, Brazil, and South Korea, with many continuing to maintain business relationships throughout the Central Valley.
The three-year program is coordinated by the International Center for Water Technology at Fresno State and provides guidance on sales, marketing, distribution and venture capital for emerging companies in the water, agriculture and energy technology fields.
Funding was made possible by a $500,000 federal grant through the Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grants competition and the BlueTechValley innovation cluster funded by the California Energy Commission.
Companies accepted into the program must demonstrate the potential to have region and industry economic impact, along with the ability to improve the efficient use of scarce natural resources. Other evaluation criteria include commercial value, environmental impact, fundability, leadership, potential return, personnel skills and scalability.
The previous cohort’s 13 companies included Agri-logix, AjO, Azadi, BioFiltro, BLH Aguatech, BoxPower, HerdDogg, Map Thread, Re-Nuble, Spooky Action, Sweep Energy, Tiny Farms and Waterfind.
“We look forward to continuing to attract a diverse group of new technologies,” said project coordinator Benjamin Francis. “The spring cohort showed great potential and included products and services that addressed problems such as renewable energy for disadvantaged communities, sustainable wastewater treatment, manufacturer equipment optimization, and even a sustainable alternate protein farming method involving crickets.”
One company, HerdDogg, used the campus farm to test its dairy cow ear tag technology that is also found in 10 states and in Australia, Brazil and Norway.
The unit sensor uploads physiological and GPS location data to the cloud online storage provider so managers can better track and monitor health and activity throughout the dairy.
The company’s founder and CEO, Melissa Brandao, fits the entrepreneurial pedigree that the cohort is trying to attract. She has worked the past decade on the development of specialty agriculture technologies; was the first female to found an electric vehicle company; and was one of 32 entrepreneurs and companies invited to participate in a White House Demo Day event in 2015.
“HerdDogg’s passion for animal welfare has helped the company enjoy a successful start, and is now looking to scale sales and increase its strategic activities with dairies throughout California,” Francis said. “HerdDogg utilized the Valley Ventures program to assist with improving sales, building a sales team, and raising a second round of funding.”
The Valley Ventures Accelerator is now accepting applications through August 1 for its third cohort.
The three-month cohort will select eight to 12 companies to participate in three, two-day sessions starting in September. The fall session will culminate in a final open-pitch demonstration in November to the public, industry members, campus faculty and staff and potential investors.
Participants will take part in exercises and learning modules led by professionals, investors, industry experts, successful entrepreneurs and target consumers. Guest speakers will also offer advice about the evolution of their successful companies at similar stages of customer and venture capital development.
“Legacy Air … now is entering a new phase of growth”
The Brea-based HVAC service company known as Legacy Air is expanding its footprint in the Central Valley with the opening of a new office in Bakersfield. Legacy opened a Sacramento office earlier.
“Legacy Air has grown significantly since the company was founded and now is entering a new phase of growth with our expansion in Hawaii and throughout California,” says Jay Parker, president and founder of Legacy Air.
The new Central Valley office in Bakersfield is Legacy Air’s fifth in the state. At present, the company also has California branches in San Diego, Orange County, and in the Sacramento and San Francisco areas. The new office will support the growing demand for Legacy Air’s services in California as well the needs of service technicians in the field.
Donovan Taylor has been named service manager at the new Bakersfield office. Mr. Taylor brings more than 17 years of experience in the HVAC service profession to his new role. He first joined Legacy Air in 2017 after being a college instructor, entrepreneur and residential HVAC professional in Bakersfield. In February 2018, he became an interim service manager in Los Angeles.
Legacy Air’s technicians work on HVAC, refrigeration, kitchen equipment and preventive maintenance projects for customers ranging from restaurants to cell towers to big box and convenience stores.
“Building my dream … that will change the way people view transportation”
Hanford has approved a temporary certificate of occupancy for the factory that is to make the all-electric Faraday Future vehicles.
Faraday expects its model FF 91 to start rolling off the Hanford assembly line by the end of the year. The lease for the 1-million square foot site was signed in August 2017, with major cleanup and infrastructural preparation continuing through the first part of last month when the building permit was given and the contractor signed to lead the construction project.
The TCO is the first step in final approval required from a municipality’s building and safety inspectors before a new occupant can fully take over a site or structure, move in, and start their intended activities full-time as a running business.
“This first TCO, specifically allowing ramp-up for assembly of our FF 91 prototypes in the most finished part of the Hanford site, is a real step forward,” says Faraday Senior VP of Manufacturing Dag Reckhorn.
“The Hanford location is ideal for both Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area for deliveries, among other benefits,” says Faraday Future Founder and Global CEO Y.T. Jia. “It is exciting for me as an entrepreneur to begin with this small step in building my dream of creating the next-generation mobility products that will change the way people view transportation.”
FF Hanford is applying for the Conditional Certificate of Occupancy (CCO), and then the final Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for the first FF 91s. The Hanford plant is expected to create between 1,000 and 1,300 new jobs in the Central Valley when it reaches full operating capacity, the company says.
The company says its FF 91 is an all-purpose fully-connected EV with an estimated 0-60 mph acceleration of under three seconds and an expected range of 300+ miles.