New logistics development could be first in Bakersfield

Kern’s logistics boom is reaching into the city of Bakersfield with an industrial park proposed at the southwest corner of Mount Vernon Avenue and East Belle Terrace. With two of three buildings measuring more than 1 million square feet, the project is being marketed as having convenient access to a large workforce — and in that respect, at least, it may beat larger competitors in Shafter and the Mettler area.

“I would say that’s what makes this project advantageous,” said Director Scott Reynolds at Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the property on behalf of an owner-developer partnership in Southern California. “It’s surrounded by working population.”

Named 58 Logistics Center because of its close access to Highway 58, the project may be the first of its kind located within Bakersfield’s borders. A similar project is underway near Meadows Field Airport, but it lies within unincorporated Kern County territory in Oildale. The 128-acre property is modest in size, compared with other, much larger logistics centers along 7th Standard Road in Shafter and Interstate 5 in the Mettler area. Another distinction is that the project is strictly build-to-suit, whereas others recently have moved forward with speculative construction — successfully — even before signing tenants.

Since kicking off marketing of the property a few months ago, Reynolds said brokers on the project have received “a lot of interest” from potential tenants, even as no leases have been signed. He noted distribution centers that otherwise would have been located in the Inland Empire have begun coming instead to Kern County, where prices are roughly half what’s being charged for industrial property in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The broker who assisted in the property’s November 2021 sale to its current owners, Jack Lees, said he received a lot of calls from potential buyers who wanted to “set up truck depots and that sort of stuff.” He called it a good location for such operations.

“That should be a good project for somebody,” he said.

Bakersfield City Councilman Eric Arias, whose Ward 1 encompasses the project, did not respond to a request for comment Monday. A marketing brochure put out Monday says the largest of three buildings proposed at the site would measure 1.1 million square feet and have 196 dock doors, 590 trailer stalls, parking for 510 automobiles and 40-foot clearance height.

Another building planned for the property would measure a little more than 1 million square feet, with 182 dock doors, 430 trailer stalls, 394 spaces for automobiles and 40-foot clearance, according to the brochure.

The third building, at 128,000 square feet at the property’s northeast corner, is planned to have 16 dock doors, 22 trailer stalls, 130 auto parking spaces and 36-foot clearance height. The entire property is zoned for general manufacturing and general industrial uses.

Cushman & Wakefield’s brochure points out the same kind of assets industrial properties have touted for years: convenient access to major transportation corridors and railroads, four hours from the Bay Area and the Mexican border, a “business friendly” permitting environment and relatively low taxes and labor costs. “58 Logistics Center,” the brochure states, “gives fulfillment (distribution and logistics) businesses efficient access to more consumers and end users than any other site in Southern California.”

Solar energy project extending onto Edwards Air Force Base becomes Kern’s largest

A new solar energy project combining almost 2 million photovoltaic arrays with more than 120,000 batteries has become the largest installation of its kind in Kern County. The $2 billion Edwards Sanborn Solar and Energy Storage Project, 57 percent of which is located on the northwest corner of Edwards Air Force Base, began generating 807 megawatts of electricity late last year for clients including every Starbucks location in Southern California. A ribbon-cutting took place last week at the military base east of Rosamond.

When the project’s energy storage component comes fully online later this year, it will be capable of delivering 3,287 megawatt-hours for a total interconnection capacity of 1,300 megawatts, according to the project’s New York-based developer, Terra-Gen Inc. The project stands out as the biggest in a county known for its extensive solar-power assets. The second-largest, according to Director Lorelei Oviatt of the Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Department, is the battery-less Berkshire Hathaway Energy Solar Star straddling Kern and Los Angeles counties.

“Only in America, can we take barren land, embrace the power of the sun and create an engineering marvel,” Brig. Gen. William Kale, Air Force Civil Engineer Center commander, said in a news release. “So, take the time to reflect, see the great work that was done and understand the significance of this project and what it can lead to. Hopefully, this is just the spark.”

The military base will not receive power from the project, but it will benefit from added power-grid resiliency expected to reduce the area’s risk of blackouts of brownouts, said Vice President Simon Day, head of solar development for Terra-Gen. The U.S. Air Force will also receive almost $76 million in lease revenue after signing in November 2018 what’s known as an enhanced-use lease covering 2,600 acres classified as under-utilized at the base. The project’s other 2,000 acres are situated on land owned by Terra-Gen north of the base.

Day said that, during the 35-year term of the lease, the project will pay $135 million in property taxes. That does not include $22 million in sales taxes paid to Kern County or $11 million in sales taxes paid to the state.

Not all of the 17 entities receiving energy from the project have been disclosed. But besides Starbucks, Day said, buyers include a well-known grocery store chain, the city of San Jose, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and the Clean Power Alliance, which provides renewable energy to customers in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Construction on the project employed 890 union workers paid wages totaling $315 million during a period of about two years, Day said. He noted that not one reportable safety incident took place during the more than 1 million construction hours involved. He noted Terra-Gen has almost three dozen operations and maintenance staff stationed in Mojave.


Paying property taxes is no picnic, but according to a new analysis, Central Valley residents receive the best value for their tax dollars in all of California. Financial information firm SmartAsset first calculated changes in property tax rates per capita. It also tracked school district rankings and home value growth for 2022 over a five-year period. It formed an overall index of all those factors to determine where property tax revenue is most effectively spent in the Golden State.

No. 1 was Kings County with an overall index score of 62.25. Home values in Kings County, where the property tax rate was 0.79%, grew by 65.08% in five years (No. 8 overall). Analyzing quality of schools based on math and reading/language arts proficiency scores, Kings County had a 5.00 school rating (No. 3 overall).

Fresno was No. 2 for SmartAsset’s best property tax value list with an index score of 58.56. In Fresno County, with a property tax rate of 0.82%, home values increased by 70.93% over five years (No. 5 overall). The school score index was 7.00 (No. 2 overall). Tulare County came in at No. 5 with an index score of 55.52. Its school rating score was 2.00, with home values increasing by 68.14% (No. 7 overall). It had a 0.75% property tax rate.

Madera County scored at No. 7 with a 53.24 overall index. Home value growth was 71% (No. 4 overall), while the school rating score was 2.00 and the property tax rate was 0.74%. Other counties packing the best overall property tax value list were Imperial at No. 3, Lassen at No. 4 and Merced at No. 6.

Kern developers look to avoid Inland Empire’s logistics problems

The Inland Empire’s overcrowded logistics and warehousing industry presents more to Kern County than just economic opportunity. It offers what some see as an example of how not to proceed. Growing concern about air pollution in San Bernardino and Riverside counties last month prompted dozens of environmental and community organizations to send a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking for a regional moratorium on new warehouse development. He declined, but expectations are that legislation will be reintroduced soon for imposing a 1,000-foot buffer zone between new construction of warehouses and sensitive sites like homes.

As industrial development accelerates in Kern County — in large part, to take up slack created by obstacles to continued expansion in the Inland Empire — developers hope to avoid making the same mistakes in a region that already suffers from air quality that typically ranks as the worst in the country. With its haphazard, inefficient development, the Inland Empire is “not the model that anyone wants to emulate,” said John Guinn, the former Shafter city manager now overseeing private development of the Wonderful Industrial Park, a 1,600-acre, master-planned logistics hub expected to jump from 9,000 employees in Shafter now to 25,000 in the years to come.

The property’s Los Angeles-based owner and developer, The Wonderful Co., for which Guinn works as executive vice president of real estate, says it engages regularly with local environmental justice groups on ensuring sustainability and maximizing community benefit. The company’s Shafter industrial park is located more than a mile from the nearest residence. Wonderful points to investments, existing and planned, for providing renewable energy at the site for operations and transportation fuel. The company also highlights plans for rerouting drayage trucks away from vulnerable communities around Shafter.

“We have carefully planned and worked in collaboration with partners in the region to ensure operations are efficient without adding to those burdens where people live,” Guinn said. “This is where our own employees live, and these communities are our priorities.”

Lebec-based Tejon Ranch Co., another major developer of distribution and industrial space in Kern, with housing proposed within the same commerce center as millions of square feet of warehouse space, sees a “night and day” difference between Kern’s and the Inland Empire’s buildouts, in terms of density and number of projects, spokesman Barry Zoeller said by email.

Under a voluntary agreement with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Zoeller noted, the company has funded regionwide measures estimated to make up for all emissions generated by its Tejon Ranch Commerce Center at full buildout. He emphasized the project’s economic benefits.

“Given the number of jobs and economic opportunity it creates, the logistics industry is an important component of Kern’s economic development and diversification strategy,” he wrote.

Activists in the Inland Empire are less certain. Ana Gonzalez, executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, which co-sponsored a report attached to last month’s letter to the governor, said the group’s health concerns would apply to development of distribution centers in Kern.

“It’s the same folks, same mentality,” she said. “They want to get away with the minimal regulations.”

“They’re putting these developments in low-income communities that don’t even benefit from e-commerce,” she said. “At this point we just need state intervention.”

The report CCAEJ put out with the help of the Sierra Club and the Robert Redford Conservancy called the Inland Empire’s warehousing growth a critical environmental justice issue that, because of diesel engines’ heavy emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, has led to inequities in cardiac, respiratory and reproductive problems in vulnerable communities.

More than 300 warehouses stand 1,000 feet or less from 139 schools in the Inland Empire, the report said, adding that 367,584 people live within a quarter mile of a warehouse, about 60 percent of them Hispanic. Besides calling for a one- to two-year moratorium on development while protective new policies can be crafted, the report recommended raising project approval standards, codifying best industry practices and doing more to enforce existing regulations.

A deputy air pollution control officer with the valley air district said all new development, not just warehouses, introduces new emissions from construction, operation and associated truck traffic. The decision on whether to allow them, he noted, comes down to local agencies’ mandated considerations of environmental impacts.

The district generally suggests local governments condition their approval on investments in zero- or near-zero emission vehicles and other equipment, limitations on engine idling, provision of electrical power for refrigeration trucks and planting of vegetative barriers.

“They don’t adopt every measure we put forth,” Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer Morgan Lambert said.

Based on its experience with communities and land-use agencies in warehouse-heavy places like southwest Fresno, he said, the district suggests government work closely with community members “in trying to help address what those impacts may be in those different communities.”

Assuming distribution work can be done responsibly, warehousing and logistics work is seen as a crucial activity that can make sense in Kern.

Industry wages are seen as low, but applications continue to outpace job openings, Bakersfield industrial property broker Wayne Kress said in an email. He noted warehousing uses far less water than ag, and generates greater property tax revenue, at a time when massive fallowing of farmland in the southern valley is expected in the years ahead.

The free flow of goods by road, rail and air must be a primary consideration, said Executive Director Ahron Hakimi of the Kern Council of Governments, which has responsibility for managing congestion throughout the county.

Kern COG has been working with Wonderful and others, including regional and state agencies, on a plan to smooth the flow of cargo through the county for the benefit of local residents and businesses alike.

Rerouting trucks away from communities is part of the idea, along with greater use of intrastate rail, greater automation of goods movement and development of a large intermodal facility to increase efficiencies. No changes are expected soon, and there remains the question of how to fund changes under consideration.

A spokeswoman for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, a locally active environmental justice group that The Wonderful Co. said it has been working with on equity and sustainability matters in Shafter, said Friday the group could not provide a comment for this story.

Wonderful says it doesn’t plan to move forward in a major way with its development plans in Shafter until it has resolved issues like how to provide renewable energy including truck fuel at the site.

As a company that has made deep investments in different communities in Kern, primarily Lost Hills and Delano, Wonderful says it wants its work in Shafter to help build a community that sustains itself.

“We have a tremendous opportunity,” Guinn said, “to help a lot of people help themselves with better jobs and prospects for their families.”

Tulare cheese plant expansion to make more feta

The world’s largest cheese maker is now hoping to capitalize on America’s fastest growing cheese product by expanding its plant in Tulare. Lactalis, the world’s largest cheese maker, filed plans with the city earlier this month to expand the cheese plant on Highway 99 it acquired in a merger with Kraft in 2021. The company wants to add a new 38,300 square foot building that will produce and package feta cheese. Construction is expected to start soon and be ready for use by December. It will operate on a 24/7 schedule and hire some 22 new employees, according to Lactalis.

The new facility could be the first large commercial production of feta cheese in California other than boutique and artisanal makers. Lactalis already markets its brands of feta cheese under various labels including its top seller, President.

Feta cheese is a pickled curd cheese with a salty and tangy taste due to its coupling with brine solution. Popular in Greek cooking the product has taken off in the US (like Greek yogurt) and now is expanding rapidly due to increased use in the fast food industry. In comparison with other cheeses, Feta is a low-fat variety often used on salads and Mediterranean dishes. In Europe and elsewhere, feta cheese is often a blend of cow milk with goat or sheep milk. Here it will be just cow’s milk.

A recent report says “The global feta cheese market size was valued at $10.5 billion in 2019, and is anticipated to reach $15.6 billion by 2028, with a [compound annual growth rate] of 5.7% during the forecast period. The market is expected to exhibit an incremental revenue opportunity of $5.0 billion from 2019 to 2028.”

Already the world’s leader in cheese production, Lactalis acquired a portfolio of iconic cheese brands from Kraft including Cracker Barrel, Breakstone’s, Knudsen, Hoffman’s and a perpetual license for the use of the Kraft brand in natural, grated and international cheeses. Lactalis also acquired the Cheez Whiz brand outside the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and the Philippines and a license for the use of the Velveeta brand in natural and international cheeses. The acquisition included approximately 750 employees and three production facilities located in Tulare, Calif., Walton, N.Y. and Wausau, Wisc. The Kraft/Lactalis plant in Tulare currently employs around 250 people to make mozzarella and parmesan varieties and now feta.

In 2021 before the acquisition of Kraft, the U.S. Department of Justice required Lactalis to divest itself of Kraft’s Athenos, the top selling feta cheese brand in the U.S., and Polly-O brands. They did that. Now Athenos is owned by a Swiss-based company called The Emmi Group.

The Tulare plant and Lactalis’ other U.S. businesses are operating as Lactalis Heritage Dairy, a newly formed division of Lactalis based in Chicago. Groupe Lactalis, the world’s leading dairy group, is a French-family business founded in 1933 in Laval, France. Present in 51 countries, with 266 dairies and cheese dairies throughout the world, its 85,000 employees promote milk in all its forms: cheese, drinking milk, yogurts, butters and creams, dairy ingredients and nutrition. The company also offers products from emblematic international brands such as Président, Galbani and Parmalat.

Healthgrades announces Kaweah Health is among America’s 100 Best Hospitals

Today, Healthgrades announced America’s 100 Best Hospitals for 2023, naming Kaweah Health Medical Center one of the 20 hospitals in California and the only hospital in the San Joaquin Valley from Kern to Madera counties to earn the distinction, according to new research released by the company. This achievement puts Kaweah Health in the top 2 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance across the most common conditions and procedures.

“This is the first time in our history that we’ve been named one of the best 100, and while what we do is not for the awards or praise, it’s wonderful to see our team get recognized by a third party for the great work they do,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “I know we’re not perfect; it’s an endless journey to get better and better. But our team of physicians, advance practice providers, our staff – they are incredible, amazing, talented, dedicated people who are committed to this community. As a local public non-profit organization, we exist solely to care for our community, something that we are very passionate about.”

To determine America’s 100 Best Hospitals for 2023, Healthgrades evaluated patient mortality and complication rates for 31 of the most common conditions and procedures at nearly 4,500 hospitals across the country to identify the top-performing hospitals. Healthgrades’ analysis revealed significant variation between America’s Best 100 Hospitals and hospitals that did not receive the distinction. In fact, if all hospitals performed similarly to America’s 100 Best, over 158,000 lives could have been saved each year.* Additionally, patients treated at one of the 2023 America’s 100 Best Hospitals have, on average, a 25.5% lower risk of dying than if they were treated at a hospital that did not receive the America’s 100 Best Hospitals award.*

According to the 2023 Healthgrades report to the Nation, Kaweah Health Medical Center is the Central Valley’s most recognized hospital for 2023. Among the many awards received, Kaweah Health is one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery, and is the only hospital in California to be named among the top 5% of hospitals nationwide for Cardiac Surgery for the last six years in a row (2018-2023).

“We’re proud to recognize Kaweah Health as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for 2023,” said Brad MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science at Healthgrades. “As one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals, Kaweah Health consistently delivers better-than-expected outcomes for the patients in their community and is setting a high national standard for clinical excellence.”

This distinction is one in a series of recognitions that Kaweah Health has received in recent months that speaks to quality of care. In November 2022, Kaweah Health received its third consecutive ‘A’ grade from the Leapfrog Group, putting it among the safest hospitals in America, according to the independent national watchdog organization.

Visit for an in-depth look at Kaweah Health’s performance and profile to explore the highest quality care in California’s Central Valley today. Consumers can also visit for more information on how Healthgrades measures hospital quality, and access the complete methodology here. A patient-friendly overview of the complete methodology is available here.

Tesla Presents Its New Megapack Factory In Lathrop, California

Tesla’s all-new battery energy storage system (BESS) factory in Lathrop, California is almost ready and is ramping up production. This week, the company showed a short video, presenting the plant and some of the production processes, on its Linkedin profile. Tesla is now looking for more employees – but that’s not a surprise, as basically the entire EV industry is investing and competing for workers. The site in Lathrop is pretty big as it’s envisioned for an annual output of 40 GWh of Tesla Megapack systems (according to the announcement from 2021).

A single Megapack container has a capacity of about 3 MWh, plus all necessary power electronics. At 40 GWh, Tesla should be able to produce more than 13,000 Megapacks per year. That’s an order of magnitude increase compared to its 2021 output. With the new manufacturing facility, Tesla’s Energy business is now expected to quickly expand. The company recently set a new quarterly record of 2.1 GWh of battery energy storage system deployment (all types).

Once the Lathrop plant is completed, more than 10 GWh to be installed per quarter. That will be a groundbreaking change for the entire industry and potentially a huge help to utilities, which are looking for high-volume and reasonably priced battery systems. Tesla’s advantage will be large BESS like the Megapack, series production at high volume and use of the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry (the company previously announced the switch to LFP cells in entry-level version of its cars – Model 3/Model Y, and energy storage systems).

Currently, BESS accounts for only several percent of Tesla’s total revenues and margins are much lower than in the case of cars. Because the company is quickly expanding its EV business (higher production of cars and new models), we guess that in the foreseeable future, BESS share will remain under 10%.

Amazon’s started to deliver orders by drones in California and Texas

Amazon is now delivering orders by drones in California and Texas with the aim to ultimately fly out packages to customers’ homes within an hour, Ars Technica reports. The retail giant’s drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, already dropped a small number of packages via drone in the backyards of customers in the run-up to Christmas in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas.

“Our aim is to safely introduce our drones to the skies. We are starting in these communities and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers over time,” Amazon Air spokesperson Natalie Banke told KTXL Fox 40.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave Amazon Part 135 approval to send packages by drone in 2020, as well as filing Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision documents for Lockeford on November 14th and College Station on December 12th.

The rural town of Lockeford, California, is located 50 miles southeast of Sacramento and has only about 3,500 residents, while College Station, Texas, is a medium-sized city 100 miles northwest of Houston that’s home to Texas A&M.

Those living in either town are eligible to sign up and place orders, while Amazon will notify customers elsewhere when drone delivery is available in their area. The most recent filings indicate Amazon’s deliveries will be available within 3.73 miles of its delivery center in Texas and within four miles of its drone depot (aka Prime Air Drone Delivery Center, or PADDC) in California.


Operations from the College Station PADDC would occur during daylight hours up to five days per week. The operating area is divided into four sectors, with each sector having a maximum of approximately 50 delivery flights per operating day. Only one aircraft in each sector can be airborne at any time. Operations from the Lockeford PADDC would occur during daylight hours up to five days per week. The operating area is divided into four sectors, with each sector having a maximum of approximately 50 delivery flights per operating day. Only one aircraft in each sector can be airborne at any time.

After placing an order, customers will receive both tracking information and an estimated delivery time they can expect the drone to drop off the package in their backyard.

The drones are intentionally shaped in a hexagonal fashion with six propellers to improve stability and minimize high-frequency sound waves, Amazon claims. Still, though the MK27-2 delivery drones fly autonomously and are programmed to avoid running into obstacles like chimneys, Amazon says it’s currently using humans to monitor deliveries.

Safety will continue to be a consideration, particularly given some setbacks Amazon faced in developing the drone delivery program, including crashes. In one incident at its test site in Pendleton, Oregon, a drone fell 160 feet and sparked a brush fire that stretched across 25 acres, as reported by Insider and Bloomberg.

At current, Amazon is currently working on a new and reportedly safer MK30 drone that will be available to use in 2024. It should be lighter and smaller than MK27-2 delivery drones, handle high temperatures and light rain better, and go further. Amazon is just one of many companies working on their own drone delivery services. Alphabet and Walmart, for example, launched versions of their own in the past year to select customers in certain areas.

Merced Named One of the Coolest Small Cities in the U.S.

Merced, California

Population: 89,308
Imagine you wanted to visit Yosemite, but along the way, you get a chance to live out your retro road trip dreams. Enter Merced, a town just an hour from the national park, with a selection of vintage eras to choose from, spanning old western saloon vibes, 1920s art deco architecture, 1950s neon signs, vinyl or cassette tape shops, and a theater suitable for Back to the Future screenings. Everything here is in with the old and in with the new, since modern remodeling awaits on the insides.

Dig for treasures in the Merced Antique Mall or at Second Time Around. If you’re into old machines, check out the Grapes of Wrath-style farming equipment and old railway machinery at the town’s Agriculture Museum. Or head to the Castle Air Museum in nearby Atwater for retro aircraft. All you’ll be missing at that point is your DeLorean.

Must eat & drink: Merced’s central-California location means you’ll have all your Napa and Sonoma wines in easy reach at Hi-Fi Wine or Vinhos, but kick things up a notch by visiting Vista Ranch, where you can see (and taste!) the magic as it’s happening. Chase it down with cocktails from Native Son and craft beer from 17th Street Public House. Get high-end, seasonal farmers produce turned into clever dishes at Rainbird, or go for traditional Mexican cuisine with vegetarian options at J&R Tacos.

Don’t leave without: Lighting up fresh buds grown right in the valley. In fact, there’s even a convent of nuns in Merced who grow their own cannabis, and are you really gonna pass up a chance to ask a sister to pass the bowl? —Danielle Hallock

Another manufacturing facility for Patterson, boosting jobs for Stanislaus County

A new manufacturing plant in western Stanislaus County will provide more space to make office furniture for high-tech firms and will increase the company’s workforce. HPL Contract of Patterson is proposing the 128,800-square-foot facility in the West Patterson Business Park, according to plans submitted to the city. HPL, based in a facility on Baldwin Road in Patterson, plans the two-story building with robotic equipment on eight acres at 2501 Keystone Pacific Parkway, east of Haggerty Drive.

The project will increase HPL’s workforce in Patterson to between 50 and 80 employees. Founded in 1997, HPL makes office furniture for Silicon Valley businesses and global companies including Facebook and Google. Plans for the new facility call for hours of operation Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The development plans were submitted to City Hall in February. The size of the facility triggers a city requirement for 273 parking spaces, according to city planning reports, but the City Council is considering new parking standards for manufacturing facilities.

If the council approves the new parking standards of one space per 1,000 square feet, the HPL facility will have 152 parking spaces, including 24 for electric vehicles. If the City Council does not approve the parking standard amendments, HPL will need to work 273 spaces into the development plan. Keith Schneider, the applicant, said a fewer number of parking spaces makes sense for the manufacturing plant. “Manufacturing today is more highly sophisticated and more automated with high-skilled employees,” Schneider said. Patterson is looking at updated parking requirements for automated and robotic manufacturing facilities, which employ fewer workers than traditional factories.

A survey found that some other cities have more lenient standards than Patterson’s one parking space per 500 square feet. Fresno’s standard is one space per 1,500 square feet of floor area. Merced and Turlock require one space per 1,000 square feet, while Tracy requires one per 600 square feet. Patterson’s planning commission approved an architectural review of the HPL facility Thursday. The city hasn’t set a council hearing on the parking standards.

After city permits are approved, construction of the HPL facility is expected to be completed in 12 months. The company will move its operations from two locations in Patterson to the new building, Schneider said. HPL’s website says the business is committed to sustainable work environments and business practices based on sound economics, environmental protection and social responsibility.