New Stockton Amazon facility will create hundreds of jobs in SJ region

STOCKTON – There were smiles all around Tuesday as the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved a lease with e-commerce giant Amazon to develop property at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport, creating hundreds of jobs and bringing significant new activity to the region. “This is great for the county, great for jobs and great for the airport’s expansion,” Supervisor Tom Patti said following a presentation of the lease proposal by Airport Director Russell Stark at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Stark said the development is expected to generate 240 jobs for Services LLC, the company that will support Amazon at the airport. Amazon already has several large distribution centers in the region, making it the largest private sector industrial employer in San Joaquin County. The services company will lease 9.569 acres from the county-owned airport in order to build a $10-15 million, 56,000-square-foot building, along with parking for trucks and employees. The building will allow Amazon to more than double the current capacity of cargo that can be processed at the airport.

Amazon began operations there in 2016, using multiple air cargo service providers to transport products to and from it site in a temporary 20,000-square-foot sprung structure. To date, Amazon has moved 205,830 tons through the airport, according to Stark.

The initial term of the lease is five years, with nine five-year options for a total of 49 years providing the airport with $54,187 in annual revenue, or $270,937 over the first five-year period. The agreement includes a 5% escalator every five years until year 21, and, if the options are exercised, a fair market value assessment will be conducted and the rent will be adjusted according to the assessment findings. In addition, the airport will see an estimated $300,00 in annual revenue generated through increased fuel flowage fees and landing fees. The future calls for expanding daily aircraft capacity to eight large cargo jets.


Published On July 1, 2020 – 3:05 PM
Written By The Business Journal Staff

Vie-Del Co., one of the largest and the oldest grape processors in the U.S., has announced it intends to acquire Constellation Brands U.S. Operations, Inc. (CBUSO) grape concentrate and high-color concentrate business. Under the agreement, the terms of which were undisclosed, Vie-Del, which is headquartered in Fresno, will be acquiring CBUSO’s Mega Purple, Mega Red, MegaNatural, and Canandaigua Concentrates brands used in the high color concentrate business. The agreement also includes CBUSO’s certain intellectual property, inventory, goodwill, interests in certain contracts, assets and liabilities.

Vie-Del plans to incorporate the MegaNatural High Color concentrate produced under the corporate Vie-Del Co. brand and legacy product lines. “This acquisition provides a seamless complement to our existing lines of grape juice concentrates, allowing our operation to further build upon the success we’ve created for more than 70 years,” said Dianne Nury, president of Vie-Del Company. “We look forward to continuing to serve the needs and help fuel growth for our industry partners with the same personalized business approach our family-owned company has become known for.” Constellation Brands is one of the largest distributors of beer, wine and spirits in the world.

Malouf Expands Distribution Network to 5.3 Million Square Feet with Acquisition of California Property

LOGAN, Utah—Malouf™ recently acquired a new warehouse distribution property in Delano, California. The strategically located building adds 1.2 million square feet to the company’s distribution network and will allow the company to better serve its clientele in the Western United States. “Based on feedback from our retail partners, we know that efficient shipping and proper inventory levels are essential to their success,” said Malouf™ VP of Sales Mike Douglas. “As our company continues to grow, we will strengthen our capabilities to meet our customers’ needs.”

The new warehouse is fitted with a storage racking system and 185 dock doors, and miles of conveyers connect through the building to promote increased productivity and efficiency. Prior to the acquisition, the facility functioned as a distribution center for Sears. With this new property, Malouf’s distribution centers total 5.3 million square feet, and the company can now offer next-day ground shipping to 35 percent of the continental United States. Ryan Egbert, national director of distribution for Malouf™, commented, “With an ever-evolving product mix and the addition of Salt Flat furniture, this new facility provides ample space for future growth and allows us to increase our outbound capacity for our customers.” With the acquisition, Malouf™ also expects to create 100 local jobs within the next two years. Egbert explained, “We’re excited to be in an area with an excellent labor pool with a strong work ethic, and we look forward to welcoming them to our family.”

Malouf™ is currently preparing the building for operations and plans to start shipping product out of the facility later this year. The company will transition the majority of its West Coast distribution to California. Malouf™ was represented by Eric Dienstbach with Binswanger, and the property owner was represented by Stephen Haupt, an industrial specialist with Colliers International.

California’s Recovery Must Focus on its “Essential” Central Valley

California State Assembly, 34th District

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Crises have a way of revealing what’s important. And Californians adjusting to life in the age of COVID-19 are learning the importance of the Central Valley. The Central Valley is home to many parts of the economy that continue to operate during the crisis producing products and providing services that we all rely on. It’s a place where food is grown, where warehouses and fleets of trucks distribute essential goods, and where the energy to power our state is made. Without these things, Californians would not be able to persevere through this pandemic.

The question Governor Newsom and the rest of the state’s leaders must ask themselves, does California have a future without essential places like the Central Valley? This crisis is proving once and for all that our state’s recovery can’t fully take hold unless we support essential regions.Right now, we recognize the everyday heroes of this crisis in the Central Valley and throughout California. However, over the years, the State of California has imposed challenges on these same professions from expensive mandates and complex rules that hinder the growing of our food and delivery of products. That can’t continue. Post-COVID-19, our laws must change to reflect our new reality.

Governor Newsom convened a task force charged with developing strategies for economic recovery, both short-term and long-term. It’s vitally important that this task force, which is dominated by individuals who represent large urban areas, provide adequate attention to the importance and needs of essential Central Valley industries. In a head-scratching decision, the co-chair is former Democratic presidential candidate, Tom Steyer, who wants to eliminate entire industries like oil and gas. My hope is the task force can aside old political agendas, and find a new way forward.

Like the rest of California, the Central Valley is hurting from unprecedented job losses. Many workers in the energy industry are out of jobs due to the downturn in oil prices, farms are hurting from lost demand from restaurants, and countless entrepreneurs are unsure if they will ever open their doors again. Short-term, the top priority must be supporting businesses, especially small ones, because people need to get back to work first. The best place to start is a moratorium on new state regulations, taxes or fees on businesses unless they are a COVID-19-related. Hitting the pause button will benefit the job recovery in the entire state, not just the Central Valley. If we want jobs to bounce back, the state needs to do everything in its power to reduce burdens so local businesses can rehire and expand.

Long-term, California is fortunate to be home to the Central Valley that feeds not only our state but the world. The state can’t continue to ignore the needs of agriculture and the importance of having a local, reliable food supply is. Sacramento needs to deliver on overdue water solutions for Central Valley farmers and create more sensible regulations that preserve the environment while keeping us competitive with other countries. This is also an opportunity to bolster domestic manufacturing in the Central Valley and other inland areas, so we are never dependent on foreign suppliers for crucial things like medical equipment. Those priorities will both create jobs and make our state more resilient to future disasters.

The COVID-19 crisis is a reminder of how reliant other parts of the state are on their inland neighbors for food and other essential goods. The resilience of our food supply and proximity to California-grown food has allowed grocery store shelves to stay stocked, but what if those shelves went empty? Other parts of the US are preparing for food shortages, but local supply chains have spared us similar shortages. That may not always be the case in the future if inland areas remain neglected by Sacramento. There are a lot of lessons to learn from the COVID-19 crisis, and none more important than realizing what’s essential. What’s clear is that the Central Valley’s success also is essential for California’s future and recovery.

Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th California Assembly District which includes portions of Kern County.

Wonderful: Delivering Flexible Solutions to Meet Tenant Needs in Evolving Times

By Dennis Kaiser

It might be easy to focus on the agricultural and western ranch activities of California’s Southern Central Valley and overlook the region’s growing commercial real estate activity. But, the fact remains, there is an important industrial core emerging in the Bakersfield market. The southern reaches of what has often been called Americas breadbasket, sits outside of the hustle and bustle of Southern California’s urban fabric. That location provides industrial occupiers a distinct logistics advantage for a host of factors.

First, the Bakersfield area is unencumbered by the transit snarls that clog Los Angeles’ freeways. Goods are able to move in and out of the Southern Central Valley with ease. Second, and perhaps most important for logistics and supply chain operators, the location allows them to serve vast consumer bases, while remaining close enough to the ports to expedite goods movement. “The Central Valley is ideally located to move goods around the West Coast,” says Joe Vargas, president at Wonderful Real Estate Development, which develops and manages several industrial projects in the Central Valley. He notes the Central Valley location allows companies to serve the Western United States in a single-day turn. This means the entire population of California is reachable in that time frame, and on two-day turns the delivery reach expands to 70 million people, encompassing every Western state.

In Q1 2020, Wonderful delivered a one million square foot speculative facility at Wonderful Industrial Park, a 1,625-acre fully-entitled logistics park located in Shafter, CA, just north of Bakersfield. The park is entitled for 25 million square feet of development, and currently has roughly nine million square feet of occupancy, either leased or owned. Vargas says the project stands out because there are fewer than 20 like it in the entire United States. Ross Stores, Inc. leased the park’s previous one million square foot speculative facility upon completion in 2018.

Wonderful’s other Bakersfield area projects include Crossroads Business Park, which currently has 40,000 square feet of office and retail condominium units developed and an additional 40 acres of land available for office, retail, and industrial development; and the 180-acre North Meadows Business Park, located near the Bakersfield Airport. Wonderful Real Estate’s Central Valley projects place them within two and one-half hours from the critical ports in SoCal of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as Port Hueneme, a vital entry point for vehicles and fresh produce. Additionally, a Bakersfield/Shafter location is just four hours from the Bay Area’s key port in Oakland.

Overall, industrial market activity in Southern California and nationally continues to be robust. That fact is highlighted by the low vacancy rate of 2.1% across SoCal’s roughly one billion square feet of industrial space. “Factor in the functionally obsolete space and high demand, it is easy to see why the region continues to report record lease rates and sales prices,” notes Vargas. Currently, there’s about four million square feet of space under construction, and even though the market added 5.2 million square feet, Vargas says, it was such a small amount that it “didn’t make a dent,” in market fundamentals.

What is making a difference in space absorption is the fact that owners and users are seeking new, state-of-the-art facilities that feature 40-foot or higher clear heights, large truck courts, 60-foot speed bays, large column spacing, and a host of modern “bells and whistles,” says Vargas, which have all been factored into Wonderful’s projects. “It is vital that maximum rack-to-clear heights are achieved today,” he says, “because occupiers are packing more product into buildings.” The evolution of the warehouse facility has advanced to include sophisticated technologies used to pick product, as well as mezzanine space to maximize every square inch of a facility.

Wonderful delivers the trophy buildings tenants seek, along with attributes that appeal to today’s supply chain logistics user. “Wonderful offers modern facilities with 300-foot truck courts, loading capabilities, and the ability to park up to 1,000 employee cars because our Central Valley projects are not land constrained. There is plenty of room for trailer parking and storage of up to 350 to 400 trailers, and that appeals to ecommerce users who’ve been land constrained in the Los Angeles Basin, unable to expand or accommodate parking for additional employees,” Vargas says. “Many tenants are realizing it is difficult to find land with expansion opportunities in an urban market.”

The Central Valley’s economic growth has also fueled its emergence as a quality place to live. Once thought of as only an agricultural economy, the market has blossomed with highly-skilled jobs, affordable communities for families and a growing base of businesses. In fact, Vargas says companies that locate in the region have discovered a strong labor pool, noting tenants at Wonderful’s properties report their employee turnover averages about 5% annually, which significantly reduces onboarding costs and turnover risks.

Enhancing the quality of life in the Central Valley hasn’t escaped the notice of the Resnick family, owners of Wonderful Real Estate Development, which is part of The Wonderful Company. The $4.5 billion consumer goods family of companies is led by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, whose philanthropic endeavors to improve their local Central Valley communities are widespread. Through its award winning charter schools and other community-wide scholarship, career pathway, and grant programs, the Wonderful Company’s educational efforts have reached more than 55,000 students across 83 schools in 24 districts.

The Wonderful Company’s motto, “Doing Well, By Doing Good,” has certainly been evidenced by its efforts to help its local communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has responded by providing internet service so more than 4,500 students could continue distance-learning in rural towns. Wonderful has also provided more than 500,000 grab-and-go meals for employees and their families, delivered more than 72,000 baskets of essential supplies and food to employees, sourced and delivered more than 50,000 N95 masks to UCLA, and provided more than 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. The company has also donated 1.6 million Halos to Kern County schools, Central Valley hospitals and local food banks.