Category: New Developments

UPS & Amazon offer huge boost to Visalia Industrial Park

-September 9,2020-

After 2 years of construction activity United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to open their new 450,000sf distribution hub on Plaza at Riggin in the Visalia Industrial Park early next month. UPS spokesperson Kim Krebs says when it opens the “new Visalia package sortation and distribution center will create more than 625 new full-and part-time well-paying jobs.”

Contractors are packing up now after erecting the 88 acre complex that includes several outbuildings, a truck maintenance facility, fuel center, customer service center and entrance station besides the main tilt-up concrete building with its advanced package sorting conveyor system. UPS bought the land in summer of 2017 from CapRock Partners adding 30 acres last fall from the same party. But wait,as they say ..there’s more.

Right next door to UPS there is some surprise news from another mega-shipper. Amazon is the unnamed mystery logistics center that is now under construction with a 1.3 million square ft distribution center of their own – one of their “fulfillment centers” that typically employ 1000 or more. Amazon has not announced the Visalia project but the contractor on the job Gray Construction based in Kentucky is an Amazon contractor and at the job site today.The company secured the city building permit.

Blake Steel with Gray Construction says this will be the third Amazon center he has worked on and says they will be complete in 11 months. Some 300 construction workers will be needed during the busiest months of the Visalia project.

A typical scenario played out in Fresno with the distribution center built and open in less than a year. In Fresno’s case “During peak times, the fulfillment center ships over 1 million packages per day and has created over 3,500 jobs within the immediate area” says a report. If Fresno has one, Bakersfield too now has seen completion of a 4-story Amazon complex near their airport, expected to open September 6,according to the Bakersfield Californian.

The new general manager told the press there “This is one of the most advanced buildings that Amazon has,” he said, adding that the building — four stories, each about the size of 11 football fields — is the company’s 26th “fulfillment center” in California.” Make that the 27th – counting Visalia. Like UPS, Amazon is not just hiring robots to do the work. Amazon has more than 110 active fulfillment centers in the US and more than 185 centers globally. Now we are on the map

Property owner Newport-based CapRock Partners has been working on this 1.3 million “spec building” for over a year and just received City of Visalia approval to begin construction with grading of the empty site starting last week. Electric power to the site for construction is being added this week to the new address- 3315 N Kelsey.The building has a million sf at ground level and a 300,000sf mezzanine.

CapRocks’ President Patrick Daniels said he could not comment who the tenant was for the big building, what will be by far Visalia’s largest – almost 10 Costcos for comparison. Daniels has been working on their 640 acre industrial park – they call it the Visalia Logistics Center – since 2006 when he first visited Visalia drawn by developer Richard Allen and his successful effort to bring in VF Corp to Visalia in 2005. VF, a major local employer, is another big UPS customer who came to town because UPS ships by ground from Visalia to most of California in less time than almost all other competitive locations. Scores of other firms have suggested that is why, they too, chose Visalia.

With the coming of these two new shippers, the City of Visalia already is planning to widen Riggin from Plaza to Shirk in coming months as well as punching Kelsey north that will allow Amazon street access.The Riggin and Kelsey intersection will now be signaled. Riggin is already busy with truck traffic with the new connection to Highway 99 ( Betty Drive Interchange) that fully opened in the past year.

As for jobs at Amazon the Bakersfield location is a close model, offering warehousing jobs paying $15 to start, the company says, and full-time employees immediately qualify for comprehensive health benefits as well as a 401(k) program with a 50 percent company match. Amazon also offers to pay 95 percent of tuition for college courses in in-demand fields, regardless of whether that education relates to their current job with Amazon.

Amazon.com also said last week it received federal approval to establish a fleet of drones and will begin limited tests of package deliveries to customers in the U.S., although a number of key steps remain before widespread use of the technology will be allowed. Besides drones, both UPS and Amazon promises a green fleet of delivery vehicles based in the Visalia Industrial Park.

What will be the impact on government of a new Amazon logistic center here? A summary of Amazon’s 2019 U.S. taxes they reported includes:

•Over $1 billion in federal income tax expense.
•More than $2.4 billion in other federal taxes, including payroll taxes and customs duties.
•More than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, including payroll taxes, property taxes, state income taxes, and gross receipts taxes.
•Last year alone, Amazon collected and remitted nearly $9 billion in sales and use taxes to states and localities throughout the U.S. The recent enactment of “marketplace laws” by 40 states allows Amazon to legally collect state and local sales and use taxes on behalf of third-party sellers who sell their goods on their platform.

If Amazon is the golden boy company, UPS and their stock has been on a tear recently as well, propelled by a surge in e-commerce activity this year as a result of COVID. UPS stock has doubled since May.

UPS is developing more so-called super-hubs across the US handling more shipments using highly automated technology.The trend is continuing as demand for same-day service accelerates fueled by more internet shopping and door-to-door delivery. The company is gearing up for the holiday shipping season 2020 in Visalia a year earlier than Amazon will do here – for the holiday season of 2021. With all those internet orders a recent analysis expects that e-commerce will require more than 3x the logistics space of brick-and-mortar sales, according to 2019 data.

Global e-commerce sales are projected to more than double to $6.5 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The Boston Consulting Group estimates U.S. e-commerce sales will double too, to $1 trillion, growing at six times the rate of all retail transactions.

Those projections came before the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted an explosion in online shopping by people avoiding brick-and-mortar stores because of stay-home orders or fear of being infected by the virus. Best Buy recently reported that e-commerce sales grew 242% from the year-ago quarter and now represent 53% of total sales. VF Corp recently posted e-commerce earnings enjoying a surge as well.

The side-by-side locations of UPS and Amazon in Visalia may encourage a mutual feeding frenzy in our future. Amazon is UPS’ largest customer, accounting for almost 12% of UPS’ $74 billion in revenue last year. Besides taxes, payroll and the job impacts of the double powerhouses of UPS and Amazon, the developments will clearly draw more companies to Visalia say officials. Already 5 more spec buildings are nearing completion within a country block of the two centers.

CapRock itself has 300 more acres just to the north of the Amazon/UPS sites and Fresno developer John Brelsford ,who already has a dozen tenant-filled big buildings in the industrial park, has 150 acres at the NWC of Plaza and Riggin. CapRock too has plans to build another 500,000sf spec building just north of Amazon.

The coming of all this new industry along the city’s northern edge is going to further juice homebuilding in this area and spur other development along Riggin that now ties to Hwy 99 – a continuous 4-lane artery.To the west of Plaza, Brelsford plans several million square feet of new industrial space and sources say Tevelde has long range plans to annex land not yet in the city north of Riggin,plenty more land almost to Hwy 99.

http://sierra2thesea.net/central-valley/double-double-combo-in-visalia

Aemetis provide updates of RNG, cellulosic ethanol projects

By Erin Voegele | March 13, 2020
Aemestis Inc. released fourth quarter financial results on March 12, reporting increased revenues and progress with the development of its cellulosic ethanol and renewable natural gas (RNG) projects. During an earnings call, Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis, said the company has signed participation agreements with 17 dairies for its RNG project. The company has also built and tested two dairy lagoon digesters, and has designed and permitted a 4-mile pipeline that is now under construction to connect the dairy digesters to its corn ethanol plant in Keyes, California. The RNG project is currently expected to begin generating revenue for Aemetis during the second quarter of this year. According to McAfee, the company plans to complete construction of the next 15 digesters by the end of 2021.

McAfee also provided an update of the company’s proposed 12 MMgy cellulosic ethanol plant in Riverbank, California, that will employ LanzaTech gas microbe ethanol production technology. Last year, Aemetis signed three significant financings related to the Riverbank project, including a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commision, a $12.5 million tax waiver that offsets equity funding required for the project, and the signing of a $125 million United States Department of Agriculture conditional commitment letter for a 20-year debt financing under the 9003 biorefinery program, according to McAfee. Currently, he said the company is focused on completing engineering of the plant required for the negotiation of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. McAfee said financial closing to being construction of the Riverbank plant is dependent on completing the engineering and procurement work required for the signing of the construction contract. During the call, McAfee also described several upgrades that are being made to the company’s Keyes ethanol plant. One upgrade involves the development of a carbon dioxide liquification plant by Linde Gas adjacent to the Keyes plant. McAfee said construction on the CO2 capture equipment and piping for the Keyes plant was complete in January. Once the project becomes fully operational in the second quarter, the new liquification plant is expected to convert approximately 150,000 tons per year of CO2 produced by the Keyes plant into liquid CO2 for sale to local food processors, beverage producers and other industrial users.

The Keyes plant is also adding a Mitsubishi membrane dehydration system to the Keyes plant. That dehydration unit was delivered to the Keyes plant in late February, McAfee said, and is currently being installed. Aemetis is also working to add a solar microarray, high-efficiency heat exchanger, and mechanical vapor recompression system to the Keyes plant. Aemetis also operates a biodiesel plant in India. The company reported revenues of $52.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, up from $38.8 million for the same period of last year. Gross profit was $5.8 million, compared to a gross loss of $1.9 million. Operating profit was $1 million, compared to an operating loss of $6.7 million reported for the same period of 2018. Net loss attributable to Aemetis was $6.7 million, compared to a net loss of $11.4 million for the fourth quarter of the previous year. For the full year, revenues reached $202 million, up from $171.5 million in 2018. Gross profit was $12.7 million, up from $5.4 million. Operating loss for 2019 reached $4.9 million, compared to an operating loss of $10.9 million for 2018.

http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/16886/aemetis-provide-updates-of-rng-cellulosic-ethanol-projects

Drive-in movies light up Merced County. Local group brings mobile cinema to Los Banos

Once a symbol of a bygone era, the drive-in movie has come roaring back in the Central Valley spurred on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, its ensuing shutdowns and subsequent desire for safe family outings. Now a local group is committed to bringing the concept to Los Banos and beyond. The Nightlight, a new mobile outdoor drive-in cinema and concert project, launches this weekend at the Los Banos Fairgrounds. Started by two cousins, one a valley native and one who spent his summers here growing up, the idea started when both saw their normal industries paused because of the COVID-19 outbreak. “We were reminiscing about early childhood movie marathon nights and we got an idea to get a drive-in together,” said Los Banos native Gia La Salvia, who is spearheading the project along with cousin Brian Perry.

Drive-in movies returned to Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties last month, with success and sold-out screenings. The Nightlight held an invitation-only preview at the fairgrounds last weekend, and opens it public slate this weekend Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13, with the beloved childhood movie “The Sandlot,” a 1993 coming-of-age classic about a group of friends who spend their summer playing baseball together. La Salvia works as a film producer in London, but when the coronavirus halted normal life and work, she returned to the region. Her cousin, Perry, works in construction in the Bay Area and also saw his work slow down. Together they have engineered a concept using shipping containers, available FM technology and the fairgrounds in Los Banos to recreate the classic drive-in experience.

https://www.modbee.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/biz-beat/article243430066.html

New Patterson manufacturing facility to fill jobs, boost economy

BY KRISTIN LAM

A technology company expects to hire 250 workers to run new Patterson facilities scheduled to open by the end of this year.

The full-time openings will include construction, sales, engineering and architecture jobs, said John Rowland, President and Co-founder of S²A Modular, a sustainable building company. S²A Modular plans to begin construction in July, Rowland said, creating a Patterson manufacturing factory where workers will build high-tech single family homes, apartments and hotels. The site plans shows the company will take up 1.15 million square feet along Park Center Drive, directly across the street from the Amazon Fulfillment Center. The addition to Patterson’s industrial area could boost the regional economy by $85 million, according to an analysis by Opportunity Stanislaus, which helped bring S²A Modular to the county. The business got its permit approved May 14, Rowland said, about four months after Opportunity Stainslaus CEO David White pitched potential locations to executives. “In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, this announcement couldn’t have come at a better time,” White said in a city of Patterson press release.

HOW WILL THE BUSINESS BOOST STANISLAUS COUNTY’S ECONOMY?

The estimated impact of $85 million accounts for the time it takes to build the facility and the first year 250 people are employed, April Henderson Potter, director of market research, said in an email. The total in the Opportunity Stanislaus analysis includes employee compensation and construction costs, as well as taxes such as sales tax, personal income tax and taxes on production and imports.

Demand and business in other industries may also increase, Henderson Potter said, as workers spend their income on local housing, restaurants and medical services. Beyond new employees, Rowland said S²A Modular will also source local delivery firms. “The impact reaches much further than just within the factory,” Rowland said. “It really spreads out into the community and even the surrounding communities that we do work in.”

The company has already hired three people to staff the Patterson facilities, but when mass hiring will begin has yet to be announced.

WHAT IS S²A MODULAR?

Founded in 2018, the company headquartered in Palo Alto manufactures smart, sustainable residential and commercial buildings. It constructs buildings with solar panels, battery storage and energy management systems, allowing home or building owners to disconnect from utility company power grids and gas lines. S²A Modular buildings are custom-made in factories instead of on-site. In addition to the Patterson facility, another factory is being built in Hemet in Southern California.

The company is the latest to move into the business park in western Stanislaus County, which has easy access to Interstate 5. Companies that added distribution centers to the area in the past 10 years or so include Amazon, Restoration Hardware and Grainger.

http://modbee.com/news/business/article242932481.html

Madera Drive-in Reopens to Sold-out Crowd

MADERA, California (KSEE) – The Madera Drive-in reopened to moviegoers Friday to a packed audience. Vice President of Operations Bob Gran Jr. said they were just about to kick off the season when the pandemic hit. “We’ve worked hand in hand with the Madera County Health Department to mitigate all those measures against the virus,” he said.

The more than 300 car capacity lot has been cut to about 200, allowing at least ten feet between vehicles. Markers for social distancing were placed leading to the now outdoor snack bar and everyone is asked to stay inside their vehicles unless they have to get out (then masks are required). Despite all the new rules, the crowd still came. “Oh, it’s going to be a sell out,” Gran Jr. said. He was right, a line of moviegoers wrapped around the block. Among them was Ralph Westcott, who says the rules are worth the reward. “This, not having to set anything up yourself at home, it’s just the family time,” he said.

“It is nice to see them reopen – especially with a lot of people taking safety precautions, so that way we’re still conscious of other people’s health and safety, so that’s why I think this is way better than sitting in a regular movie theater,” said Erica Chuvichien. Gran said he wants everyone to willingly comply with the new guidelines, but they will be enforced, and people who don’t follow will be asked to leave. “If you can, please wait until we return to normal. You can come out and enjoy the normal drive-in experience. Right now it’s a special drive-in experience,,” Gran Jr. said.

This week the theater is playing Trolls World Tour and Doolittle on side one, and Knives Out and the Hunt on side two.

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/local-news/madera-drive-in-reopens-to-sold-out-crowd/#:~:text=MADERA%2C%20California%20(KSEE)%20%E2%80%93,season%20when%20the%20pandemic%20hit.

Plans for Valley medical program moving closer to fruition, says Assemblyman Gray

Assembly member Adam Gray, D-Merced, this week convened the San Joaquin Valley Coalition for Medical Education at UC Merced to discuss burgeoning plans of a San Joaquin Valley medical school. The program’s plans have been on the drawing board for decades, but until recently they’ve been largely conceptual. Gray and other program proponents were recently given a boost of $15 million from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who included those funds as part of his proposed 2020-21 state budget.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/plans-for-valley-medical-program-moving-closer-to-fruition-says-assemblyman-gray/ar-BB103IYh

NEW DEVELOPMENT COMING TO CLOVIS PARCEL

A long-vacant parcel of land in Clovis will be getting several new leases on life over the next three years, with construction officially under way on a pair of buildings. The land — stretching 2.3 acres on the corner of Herndon and Peach avenues in Clovis — was purchased in parcels by Marihart Properties between 2017 and 2019. According to John, James and Falina Marihart, the family business started construction on phase one in November, which they expect to complete in the summer. Once completed, 4,000 square feet of the 10,000-square-foot building will house the new headquarters for PC Solutions. PC Solutions was founded by John D. Marihart.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/new-development-coming-to-clovis-parcel/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=b3e3ea97e6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_05_08_40&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-b3e3ea97e6-78934409&mc_cid=b3e3ea97e6&mc_eid=a126ded657

New construction plan in Clovis to help businesses rise

Construction workers are taking advantage of the good weather to hammer out a 10,000 square foot office building. A portion of the space will be the new home of PC Solutions, a networking and data security business. “PC Solutions started out of my brother’s garage 15 years ago with one employee and just fixing computers straightaway to customers, and we’ve actually grown to 13 employees now,” says Managing Partner James Marihart. The business is looking to expand even more once they move into their new home at Peach at Herndon.

New warehouses, hotels, restaurants coming to Visalia’s Industrial Park

Rod Jurbina remembers a time, perhaps just 15 years ago, when there wasn’t much to see in parts of Visalia’s industrial park. At the time, he was working for a gas company. “We put in a four-inch plastic gas main in there and I was asking myself, ‘I wonder why they need this here because there’s really nothing out here for now,'” Jurbina said. “And now look what it’s developed into.” In a January economic update, city employees describe an industrial park that is growing substantially. The reason for the growth? The city says it’s multiple factors, including the cost and availability of land, Visalia’s central location in the state, and the expansion of the UPS’ ground hub at this massive facility at Riggin Avenue and Plaza Drive.The city expects UPS will add another 250 jobs but predicts it will also spur new development and more jobs.

Renewable natural gas producer announces Pixley expansion

The Calgren facility now collects methane— a potent greenhouse gas that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change — from more than 66,000 cows at 10 area dairy farms. The additional dairies are projected to nearly double the amount of RNG produced at the facility, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing more traditional natural gas. Calgren partnered with Maas Energy Works to develop these four new dairy digesters as well as the previous six dairy digesters that have been operating since 2018.