Category: Top Stories

$8.4 billion realty deal includes 29 Northern California properties

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

Prologis, DCT Industrial Trust
Prologis, DCT Industrial Trust

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

PUBLISHED: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$8.4 billion realty deal includes 29 Northern California properties

CCVEDC Conducts Annual Mission to State Capitol

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

CONTACT:

Lee Ann Eager, Co-Chair CCVEDC, 559-476-2513

Mark Hendrickson, Co-Chair CCVEDC 209-385-7686

Jennifer Faughn, Executive Director, 661-366-0756

CCVEDC Conducts Annual Mission to State Capitol

 

Photo 1: Left to Right: Asm. Jim Patterson, Mike Ammann, Asm. Devon Mathis, John Lehn, Asm. Dr. Joaquin Arambula, Lee Ann Eager, Richard Chapman, Asm. Rudy Salas, Bobby Kahn, Asm. Vince Fong, Tyler Richardson.

Photo 2: CCVEDC External Affairs Chairman Lee Ann Eager with Governor Jerry Brown.

April 5, 2018 Representatives from EDC’s throughout the Valley met with more than 20 legislators and top government officials to bring the voice of Central Valley businesses to the Capital.

”This annual effort helps to keep the needs of the Valley forefront in the minds of legislators from throughout the state. Needed infrastructure, regulatory reform and assisting all of California’s communities were primary topic of discussion,” according to Lee Ann Eager, External Affairs Chairman for the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation, comprised of the eight EDC’s from San Joaquin to Kern.

Infrastructure Development for Business was the primary theme of the visit. The priorities list included Upstream Water Storage in Central Valley, Regulatory Reform, Workforce Development and Assistance for Disadvantaged Communities.

“The legislators from the San Joaquin Valley have a deep understanding of the need for upstream water storage, however, it is unfortunate that Sacramento politics are preventing the construction of this critical infrastructure. Water should be the number one concern of all Californians and we cannot conserve our way out of the situation we are in, we need to have additional storage. We were encouraged that the Temperance Flat upstream storage project seems to be a strong contender for Proposition 1A funding to help retain valuable water for use during California’s cycles of recent drought,” noted Bobby Kahn, CCVEDC Board Member and Treasurer.

The Central Valley is a prime location for advanced manufacturing, distribution, energy development, water technology and other industry sectors which support California’s identity as an innovation leader. With available land, buildings and the workforce to support industry, the CCVEDC members work daily to promote the Valley and all of California for business expansion and location.

“As Representatives from the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation, we were very pleased with the support received from local legislators. Discussions of common issues were extremely productive and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that the Central Valley is the best place to live, work and thrive,” stated Eager.

In addition to valley legislators, the group met with the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy; the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz), and California Manufacturing & Technology Association officials.

CCVEDC is a not-for-profit Corporation supported by the 8-county region in the Central Valley, PG&E and Central Calif/Central Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) Partnership, whose mission is to attract and retain jobs and investment in the Central San Joaquin Valley counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern.

2018 Legislative Priorities

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT for Business

Infrastructure is a foundational aspect of job creation. California’s most disadvantaged communities struggle to develop the public infrastructure needed to attract and grow jobs and private investment. Needs based funding and incentives are required for public infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. The Central Valley region will benefit from a ‘hand-up’, resulting in full participation in our state’s economic recovery.

a.      Upstream Water Storage

Background:  California will continue to struggle with drought conditions until additional upstream water storage is developed to support people and agriculture. The Water Bond of 2014 provided funding to develop upstream storage at Temperance Flat for agricultural and municipal water storage to serve the Central San Joaquin Valley and all of California.

Action needed:

  • Support administrative and legislative efforts to develop water storage at Temperance Flat and other water infrastructure projects throughout the state.

b.      Regulatory Reform

Background: Of California’s 4 million businesses, 3.1 million are sole proprietorships. 87% of companies have 20 or fewer employees. Environmental regulations in California are a burden on our small businesses, causing them to leave or expand outside of our state. Following are some areas that pose the greatest burden to business:

  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): Litigation brought about under CEQA has resulted in delaying and killing projects that met all environmental protection requirements.
  • AB 32 Cap and Trade costs are significant, and collected fees are ‘invested’ into programs with ‘modest’ ties to air quality improvements.
  • California’s minimum wage and leave laws: The wage and leave costs placed on businesses is a competitive disadvantage, and renders a California location or expansion unsustainable for many.

Action needed:

  • Reform CEQA to limit appeals and delays after the public review process.
  • Review the AB 32 fees distributed over the past 24 months to determine whether they are having the intended effect to reduce pollution.
  • Allow costs related to minimum wage, personal leave laws and wage and hour regulations to stabilize before adding new economic burdens.
  • Evaluate California’s competitiveness with states such as Nevada, Arizona and Texas to determine how we can improve our attractiveness on major projects we have lost to these neighboring states.

c.      Workforce Development

Background:  The Central San Joaquin Valley counties are focused on the development of training and retraining in advanced manufacturing. Partnerships with business and education have been forged to develop a globally competitive workforce. We must raise the academic achievement of Central Valley students in STEM disciplines.

Action needed: 

  • Direct workforce development resources to disadvantaged regions and communities. Support the development and rollout of curriculum that supports advanced manufacturing, including tuition reduction for graduates who go on to teach these skills.
  • Address the lack of qualified teachers in Fundamental Sciences in the Valley. Incentivize STEM graduates to pursue a career path in teaching.

d.      Assistance for Disadvantaged Communities

Background:  California’s most disadvantaged communities are in desperate need of tools and resources to develop the public infrastructure required to attract and expand business. Logistics firms locate out of state to avoid California transportation and fuel requirements and costs. These firms transport cargo from the Ports out of state, and then bring many of those goods back to California for sale.

Action needed: 

  • Grant full sales and use tax elimination on manufacturing equipment purchases in counties or regions with annual unemployment rates equal to or greater than 130% of the average statewide unemployment rate or other defined economic characteristics.
  • Extend the applicability of the Sales & Use tax exemption to logistics and distribution centers (possibly through amendment of AB 398). This would incentivize the location of these facilities within impoverished communities in California and reduce pollution by reducing out of state truck miles and the utilization of cleaner diesel required by CA companies.

 

Faraday Future makes headway in Hanford

  • Updated 
Faraday Future sign
Electric car company Faraday Future has a sign with its name outside the old Pirelli Tire plant at 10700 Idaho Ave. in Hanford’s Industrial Park.

HANFORD — It’s been a relatively quiet seven months since electric car company Faraday Future announced its plans to locate in Hanford, but the company seems to be slowly but surely moving forward with its plans.

“Things are absolutely moving forward,” said John Lehn, president and CEO of Kings County Economic Development Corporation (Kings EDC).

Lehn said he is in contact with Faraday officials multiple times a week. He said his office continues to be impressed by the quality of people who work for Faraday Future and has complete confidence in the company’s dedication to Hanford.

Faraday Future signed a lease in August 2017 to locate in a manufacturing facility in the old Pirelli tire plant at 10700 Idaho Ave. in Hanford’s Industrial Park. The company immediately hosted a clean-up event to prepare the 1 million square-foot new site for the move-in of manufacturing equipment.

The facility is supposed to be used to manufacture the company’s first electronic vehicle, the FF 91, and hopefully bring it to market.

Little tidbits of information have surfaced every once in a while since the announcement. Dag Reckhorn, Faraday Future’s senior vice president of global manufacturing, visited Hanford in September and October 2017 to talk publicly about the car and the company’s goals.

Faraday Future said it wanted a turn-key facility that offers a faster path to production, and picked the site in Hanford because it is strategically located between the country’s two largest electronic vehicle markets: Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

But there have also been troublesome news surrounding the company as well, including shake-ups and departures within the company’s top executives and funding difficulties.

Lehn said he understands the skepticism the news has elicited, especially taking into account the scope and scale of what the company is trying to do.

Darlene Mata, Hanford’s community development director, said Faraday was recently issued a demolition permit for the inside of the plant and has been doing asbestos removal and lead paint remediation.

Mata said Faraday is also currently in the site plan review process with the city, meaning the department is making sure the entire site has the proper access and parking spaces that meet city standards.

“No building permit application has been submitted yet,” Mata said. “I don’t know when one will be submitted, but they said soon.”

Requests for comment from Faraday Future were not returned.

Lehn said Faraday is moving forward with the hiring process and is currently taking applications online only. He said his office has been involved with facilitating a few interviews already.

Faraday’s website has posts for several job openings in Hanford, including administrative positions, various “team member” positions and even a few management positions.

In addition to working with both Tulare and Fresno counties’ workforce boards, Lehn also said Kings EDC and Faraday are working in conjunction with West Hills Community College District to offer some type of introductory manufacturing course.

“A lot of things are happening all at once,” Lehn said. “Everything’s moving full speed ahead.”

http://hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/faraday-future-makes-headway-in-hanford/article_06b04ce2-7f91-529e-8c9c-61aea192edc2.html

Dollar General to Expand Distribution Operations at Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC)

Dollar General leases additional space in new industrial building developed by Tejon Ranch Co. and Majestic Realty Co.

TEJON RANCH, Calif.

The partnership of Tejon Ranch Co. (NYSE: TRC) and Majestic Realty Co. today announced major discount retailer Dollar General (NYSE: DG) is leasing more than 240,000 square feet of warehouse space in a new building the partnership developed at the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC). Dollar General will use the new facility to support its operations in California.

Dollar General currently operates out of a separate building at TRCC, and with the expansion, will be increasing its footprint by nearly 40 percent.

“We are happy for Dollar General’s success in California and are pleased the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center is able to meet the company’s need for additional distribution space,” said Joseph N. Rentfro, executive vice president of real estate at Tejon Ranch Co. “Dollar General’s decision to expand here underscores Tejon Ranch’s value as proven and opportune place for companies wanting to locate and/or expand in California.”

“Majestic Realty is proud to welcome Dollar General as the inaugural tenant of the first building developed in partnership with Tejon Ranch Co.,” said Brett Tremaine, senior vice president at Majestic Realty Co. “This is just the beginning, as we believe the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center’s strategic location and outstanding labor pool will prove to be advantageous for many more companies in the future.”

Dollar General has used the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center as the hub of its California distribution operations for the last six years. With its expansion into the new Tejon Ranch-Majestic Realty developed facility, it will now occupy a total of more than 850,000 square feet of space within TRCC.

“It makes perfect sense for Dollar General to expand its operations at Tejon Ranch,” says John DeGrinis, SIOR, Senior Executive Vice President of Colliers International, who represents TRCC. “Its central location directly on Interstate 5 allows them to serve stores in both northern and southern California; the large pool of employees with a great work ethic has led to a stable workforce with a low turnover rate; and the fact that total operating costs are among the lowest in the state, all add up to some pretty compelling reasons why TRCC represented a great opportunity for Dollar General,” he added.

The Tejon Ranch Commerce Center is Tejon Ranch Co.’s 1,450-acre master planned commercial/industrial development located at the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99, about an hour north of the Los Angeles basin. The Commerce Center is also home to major distribution centers for IKEA, Famous Footwear and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT).

An additional 240,000 square feet of space is available in the new building to be occupied by Dollar General. The building is a Class A cross dock industrial building featuring a 36-foot clear height, seven-inch floor slab and an ESFR sprinkler system. Overall, the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center has nearly 16 million square feet of entitled space available for sale, lease or build-to-suit, with sites ranging from 20,000 square feet to more than 2,000,000. All of the industrial sites at TRCC are included in Foreign Trade Zone #276, and additionally, companies locating there are eligible to apply for tax rebate incentives being offered by Kern County.

About Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE: TRC)

Tejon Ranch Company is a diversified real estate development and agribusiness company, whose principal asset is its 270,000-acre land holding located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Bakersfield. For more information on the company, please go to www.tejonranch.com. For more information on the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center, please go to www.tejoncommerce.com.

About Majestic Realty Co.

Celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 2018, Majestic Realty Co. is the largest, privately-held developer and owner of master-planned business parks in the United States. With more than 78-million-square-feet in its portfolio, Majestic provides real estate solutions for tenants large and small, creating jobs, tax revenue and community benefits across the country. Headquartered in Southern California, Majestic has regional offices in Atlanta, Bethlehem, Penn., Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth and Laredo, Texas, Las Vegas and Phoenix, Ariz.

https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/businesswire/press_releases/California/2018/03/26/20180326005180

Merced County Hopes A Deal With Port Of L.A. Turns Former Air Force Base Into Manufacturing Hub

  MAR 6, 2018

Just outside the city of Merced, slightly east of Highway 99 is what used to be Castle Air Force Base. Like most areas of the Valley, it’s rural. Across the road from the center are train tracks, and you can hear the railroad crossing signals ding. This unincorporated area of Merced County will soon become an inland port.

Now, there isn’t any water around; we’re still in the Central Valley. It won’t be the kind of port that serves ships and boats. It will be a place for products to be built and materials consolidated, and then sent to the Port of Los Angeles.

Today, two-thirds of the nearly-2,000 acre base is still an airfield, but the rest of it is the Castle Commerce Center.

“This is a site that has roughly about 75 tenants, about a 100 different lease holds,” says Mark Hendrickson, directory of community and economic development for Merced County. “We generate about $2.9 million in lease revenue.”

Merced County is hoping to use a portion of the former Castle Air Force Base as a hub for manufacturing and distribution in the Central Valley.
CREDIT MERCED COUNTY COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

  Hendrickson says their goal is to redevelop Castle “to really turn it into a site where we can focus some solid attention on manufacturing. We a want to be a place where things are made because when things are made people are working.”

Back in October, Merced County’s Board of Supervisors developed an agreement with the Port of L.A. formalizing what Hendrickson calls a “hub and spokes” development. Merced will become a place of manufacturing and distribution, and use the nearby rail line and freeways to bring goods to L.A. to be shipped around the world. In kind, Castle may also become a place where the Port can send products for distribution.

Merced County isn’t the only Valley county building ties with the Port of L.A. Kern County recently got approval to expand their Foreign Trade Zone at TejonRanch. They also will move the zone’s affiliation to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of L.A. The expansion means all of the industrial areas of Tejon Ranch are now within their foreign trade zone. Companies operating there will receive a break on import duties and fees. Tejon Ranch has announced the expansion will bring jobs to Kern County.

Hendrickson says the same could happen in Merced, when it comes to job creation.

“Using today’s workforce numbers, about one out of every nine jobs would be right here at Castle in about twenty years.”

There is one drawback though. More shipping could mean more air pollution.

Dean Florez is a member of the California Air Resources Board and a former state senator from Kern County.

“The kinds of jobs and economic growth this brings are very large diesel trucks that are running a lot of things that make the air a lot worse,” says Florez. “You know, that balance is really important between jobs, growth, and air mitigation.”

One issue is that companies send their trucks full of goods to a port, and then the truck typically returns to the distribution center, empty. If that truck is coming to Merced’s inland port, that could mean hundreds of miles driven just to return the truck.

“Companies need to figure out how to send items to wherever, but that these cargo trucks not come back empty.”

Florez says the Air Resources Board should come up with ways to incentivize companies to share their trucks, and reduce the total number on the road. He also says this is really an opportunity for outside groups to develop something like an Uber for trucks, where they share cargo going to the port and returning to the Valley.

“I doubt it will be state government that comes up with that,” Florez says. “But I do think it will be some outside force that will come in and say, ‘This is the way, really trucks should be running in California, we have this sharing mechanism and it actually would work very, very well.’”

Florez says he plans to bring this up with CARB later this year.

In Merced County, Hendrickson says they plan to use trains to mitigate truck pollution.

“We see our using our rail connectivity on-site to get trucks off the road, improve air quality, open up shipping opportunities for folks not only through Merced County and really throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley to places all over the world,” says Hendrickson.

Finding the best shipping practices from an inland port will take time. And developing an inland port in the first place has been a long time coming.

Mike Dozier is the former Community and Economic Development Director for the city of Clovis. He says that these sorts of deals don’t just happen overnight.

“What happens is you have this vision, and it might be ten years before that vision starts to materialize,” says Dozier.

Dozier says it takes time for infrastructure to develop, and to convince groups to believe in the project’s potential.

“You know, you just build on it, you just have to have things ready for when the time is right.”

For Merced County, officials hope that time is now.

http://kvpr.org/post/merced-county-hopes-deal-port-la-turns-former-air-force-base-manufacturing-hub

 

Plastics manufacturer will bring 120 jobs to Dinuba

Arkansas-based Delta Plastics has announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in the Tulare County town of Dinuba. Photo via Delta Plastics website

published on November 2, 2017 – 1:33 PM

Written by David Castellon

 

The world’s leading manufacturer of irrigation polytube for the agricultural industry has chosen land north of Dinuba as the location for its new manufacturing plant.

“Tulare County was chosen after an extensive search throughout California for the best location for their venture,” according to a press release issued today by the Economic Development Corp. of Tulare County.

The agency reports that Arkansas-based Delta Plastics plans to build a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in an industrial park off Road 68 in the area of Avenue 430 and employ up to 120 people there.

EDC President Paul Saldana said, “120 manufacturing jobs are pretty significant,” adding that he sees a lot of opportunity for Delta plastics to grow its operation in the coming years.

The new plant, operating under Delta’s Revolution Plastics division, will produce polytubes — hollow, high-grade plastic tubes that can be rolled out into fields and have holes punched into them to insert water emitters. The tubes are filled with water and expand, much like a fire hose, except the water shoots out of the emitters, irrigating nearby crops.

The plant also will produce Revolution Bag trash can liners made from recycled polytube material and other plastics that the company plans to collect from agricultural operations throughout the state to process at the Dinuba plant.

Delta Plastics officials couldn’t be reached immediately for comment, but a video on its website states that a portion of the recycled plastics are sold to other manufacturing businesses.

Delta currently has two manufacturing plants in Little Rock, Arkansas and Mesquite, Texas, along with a recycling plant in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

“We look forward to our growth and partnering with the agriculture industry in California as we expand our commitment to waste diversion and recycling throughout the state,” Louis Vasquez, Delta Plastic’s director of corporate development, said in a press release.

“We are excited about Revolution Plastics coming to the Dinuba area and look forward to having their employees live, shop and dine in our community,” Dinuba Mayor Scott Harness said in the same release.

Saldana said EDC representatives spent a long time showing Delta officials developed and undeveloped sites in Tulare County, and he believes that variety of available space helped sway the company to choose the Dinuba area, along with its central location in the state.

Plastics manufacturer will bring 120 jobs to Dinuba

 

State controller: Central Valley could become tech hub for water-saving technology

Central Valley

State controller: Central Valley could become tech hub for water-saving technology

NOVEMBER 3, 2016 4:43 PM
BY BONHIA LEE

California State Controller Betty Yee was in Fresno on Thursday encouraging Central Valley entrepreneurs to build a healthy business community in the Fresno area that would rival other well-known technology and science hubs in the state.

“You don’t need to be Silicon Valley to look for opportunities,” Yee said as the keynote speaker for the Central Valley Venture Forum, an annual conference for businesses and investors that was held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

The event is a collaboration between the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Fresno State Craig School of Business and the Central Valley Fund. It allows entrepreneurs an opportunity to network and learn from angel investors, venture capitalists, business and banking leaders, and elected officials.

Five start-ups also made presentations at the event to a panel of investors in bids for the title of best in show and prospective investments in their businesses.

Yee, whose job is to manage the state’s money and to make sure its bills are paid, shared with attendees a positive report on California’s economic recovery and its future, which is projected to have some job growth, wage increases and increased consumer confidence next year.

But some factors stand in the way of building healthy business communities, she warned, such as the lack of affordable housing in relation to jobs and the lack of access in some communities to the internet, which is considered a tool people need to be successful in the local economy.

The Valley, however, is a desirable place to live because home prices and land prices remain low and the possibility of creating partnerships between businesses, schools and government agencies is high. And the agricultural resources of the region set it apart from the rest of the state, she said.

“I’ve always considered the Central Valley as the heart of the state of California,” Yee said. When you look at “what makes California thrive, there’s so much that comes out of this region, and so much promise that can still come out of this region.”

Yee contends that the Valley could lead the creation of more water-saving technology.

She offered some ways to achieve success. First, is to focus on what Yee calls “our human capital.” That means to “train and attract top talent” for your company. Second is to invest in school science and technology programs and apprenticeships to fill the green jobs of tomorrow.

The Central Valley “has shown to have the guts, the drive and the desire to put in place the structures needed for success.”

Read more HERE

Madera almond processor to break ground on $10 million plant

Madera

Madera almond processor to break ground on $10 million plant

NOVEMBER 7, 2016 12:20 PM

A $10 million almond processing plant is being built in Madera to meet the growing demand for nut processing services in the region.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at 2725 Falcon Drive in Madera. The plant will be owned and operated by California Custom Processing.

The owners of the company, Grant Willits and Sonya Trevino, have more than 75 years of experience, collectively, in the fruit and nut processing industry. Span Construction and Engineering will be the general contractor of the 83,000-square-foot building on 8.5 acres.

California Custom Processing has 40 employees and that number is expected to double with the opening of the new plant.

Founded in 2012, the processing company is one of the San Joaquin Valley’s leading almond processors and is a certified organic processor. Earlier this year, the company installed a $1 million cool steam pasteurization system that allows the company to naturally pasteurize 10,000 pounds an hour of almonds and other nuts.

Read more HERE

Rubber recycling plant coming to Stockton

STOCKTON

Rubber recycling plant coming to Stockton

Nov 11, 2016
By Joe Goldeen

STOCKTON — A national producer of crumb rubber made from recycled tires and used for rubberized asphalt and sports fields is in the process of converting its Stockton warehouse into a full-fledged manufacturing facility that eventually could employ 20 workers or more.

Newport Beach-based CRM Rubber credited a $286,000 sales tax exemption made possible by AB199, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, and signed by the governor in 2015, in part for its choice to expand its presence at the Port of Stockton.

“Assemblymember Eggman’s bill was extremely helpful in bringing our company to the Stockton area. We had been considering an additional tire recycling plant in Northern California for some time and the promise of a sales tax exemption in AB199 was important in that decision,” said Brian Wong, CRM Rubber’s chief financial officer.

Eggman said creating new jobs in the recycling industry “is the point of the whole bill. This has been and will continue to be one of my legislative focuses.”

She said CRM Rubber had been getting ready to go to Canada before the tax exemption was made possible.

“We feel like this program will be pumping $200 million into the local economy. Everybody who applies (for the exemption) must demonstrate that it will be a net gain for the state of California,” Eggman said. To date this year, more than $16 million in tax exemptions has been granted statewide. By the end of the year, that could rise to between $18 and $20 million.

Wong said CRM Rubber’s current Stockton warehouse at 1404 S. Fresno Ave. — site of the former Hormel Foods processing plant — is currently being used as a transit station with three employees. No manufacturing is going on there yet.

Fresno looks to win cosmetics company’s distribution center – and jobs that go with it.

Fresno

Fresno looks to win cosmetics company’s distribution center – and jobs that go with it.

NOVEMBER 15, 2016 3:12 PM
BY TIM SHEEHAN

ULTA Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., a major retailer of cosmetics and fragrances, is eying Fresno as the site for a 670,000-square-foot distribution center that could employ as many as 1,300 workers and fulfill internet sales orders throughout the West.

And on Thursday, the Fresno City Council is being asked to approve up to $18 million in economic incentives over the next 30 years to help seal the deal with the Illinois-based company.

A 38-acre patch of vacant land at the northeast corner of East and Central avenues, in southern Fresno’s industrial fringe, is under consideration for the project, said Larry Westerlund, Fresno’s economic development director.

The financial incentives would be in the form of partial rebates of property taxes paid by ULTA Inc. on the improved site, as well as partial rebates of sales taxes on goods sold through the center. But the package is contingent upon ULTA not only developing the site at an estimated $110 million, but also making good on creating new, long-term, full-time jobs for workers at the site.

ULTA Inc. is the division of the company that deals with distribution centers and e-commerce. To qualify for the incentives, ULTA would have to create the equivalent of at least 500 full-time jobs; if the company fails to reach that mark by the end of 2022, ULTA would have to repay whatever rebates it had received to that point.

“The company estimates that their initial workforce would consist of 642 full-time employees with up to 700 part-time employees at peak times of the year,” according to a staff report to the City Council.

ULTA SALON, COSMETICS AND FRAGRANCE INC. IS THE LARGEST BEAUTY RETAILER IN THE NATION WITH MORE THAN 900 STORES IN 48 STATES.

The property is currently just outside the Fresno city limits. But Fresno County’s Local Agency Formation Commission last week approved Fresno’s application to annex the site, clearing the way for the city to offer the economic incentives.

An economic analysis commissioned by the city estimates that even after paying the incentives, Fresno stands to realize $42 million in additional sales and property taxes over the next 25 years.

“The thing that sometimes gets lost in the mix is that currently that property provides very little economic benefit to the county or to the city,” Westerlund said. “It’s an empty field. Everything we’re doing is contingent on having that property built up with a $100 million facility.”

“If we don’t do the project, the amount (of tax revenue) is still almost zero,” he added. “All of this is on a net-gain basis.”

The property is owned by G3 Development Co., which also built the nearby North Pointe Business Park, which was being pitched by the city as the site for Nordstrom to operate a much-sought-after e-commerce fulfillment center. But in June, Nordstrom cited “the pace of change in retail” in delaying its plans for at least four years.

Westerlund said the city has been working with the Parnagian family, owners of G3 Development, on the annexation plans. Earlier this year, the City Council approved “pre-zoning” the site from its agricultural designation under the county’s zoning rules to industrial purposes in anticipation of bringing the property into the city’s jurisdiction.

Consultants for ULTA reached out to the city several months ago to inquire about available sites, but Westerlund said officials didn’t learn who the potential client was until this fall. Of several sites that were examined throughout the western U.S., Fresno has now been deemed ULTA’s preferred site, setting the stage for the company’s request for the incentives.

“We’re first up,” Westerlund said. “If some of the contingencies don’t hit, they could go to a second or third site.” Among those other contingencies are coming to terms on a deal for the property; approval by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for discounted energy rates for new or expanding businesses; and approval of $8 million in CalCompetes state tax credits by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The CalCompetes committee is expected to approve those tax credits at a meeting in Sacramento on Thursday afternoon.

ULTA Salon, Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc. is the largest beauty retailer in the nation with more than 900 stores in 48 states. The company’s stock is publicly traded on Nasdaq under the stock symbol ULTA. Its net sales through the first six months of 2016 were more than $2.1 billion, a 22.8 percent increase from 2015’s first half. ULTA operates distribution centers in Illinois, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas. Its net profit for the first half of 2016 was $181.9 million, compared to $141.1 million in the first half of 2015.

The company’s second-quarter earnings report also included ULTA’s projected outlook to grow its e-commerce sales by about 40 percent.

“When you look at them, you realize they’re pretty big, and they’re growing like crazy,” Westerlund said. “And one of the big things they’re working on is growing their internet business.”

The company told the city it expected sales through a Fresno e-commerce and distribution center to amount to about $66 million in the first year of operation in 2018, according to a staff report to the City Council.

The ULTA proposal is the first big project to come through the city’s development pipeline since the City Council approved Councilman Lee Brand’s Economic Expansion Act, which includes the tax rebates and other economic incentives for major job-creating projects that are being considered for ULTA.

The $18 million cap on incentives for ULTA shows just how far Fresno has come in the types of inducements it wields for big-time developments that hold the potential for creating hundreds, if not thousa
nds, of jobs.

About 20 years ago, when Fresno was fighting to lure Gap Inc.