Industrial park grows by leaps and bounds
VISALIA – Another 2,000 jobs might be capping off the recent industrial boom as a familiar developer continues to expand the boundaries of the Visalia Industrial Park. After luring Amazon into two, million square plus warehouses in the industrial park, Newport Beach-based CapRock is now planning an even larger complex west of Plaza Drive and a mile north of Riggin Avenue. The industrial park’s largest developer plans to build four concrete tilt-up buildings totalling 2.7 million square feet on the 155-acre parcel. Principal owner Pat Daniels said CapRock would break ground on the first phase of the project next year. While the tenants for the buildings are speculative, the plan suggests they could employ around 2,000 workers with some 2,100 parking places for cars. The plan says they want to feed inbound trucks into the new cluster of buildings off of Plaza.
The huge parcel, considered phase 3 of the Caprock’s industrial park developments, will be sandwiched in between Kibler Avenue (Avenue 320) on the north, Plaza Drive on the east, American Street (Road 76) to the west and Riverway Drive on the south – one mile north of Riggin along Modoc Ditch. Full buildout and signalization of the Kibler Ave. and Plaza Dr. intersection is required with the development of the new Amazon center now nearing completion just north of the first Amazon, part of Phase 2A of the Caprock projects. Caprock’s overall plan also includes another 1 million square feet planned for a vacant lot at the southeast corner of Kibler and Plaza as part of its Phase 2b. Now Daniels has leapt over Plaza to begin and build Phase 3 before Phase 2b starts in a few years. The reason could be Daniels has a different LLC who looks to invest in Phase 3 and perhaps a proposed tenant who has selected this location a mile closer to Highway 99. This new project is breaking new ground in this area as it will require all off-site infrastructure to be in place before development is done, a time consuming process. Phase 3 was submitted for Site Plan Review in January and has incorporated changes received from the city through subsequent meetings on Jan. 21 and March 29, 2022. The city has required the project be built out in phases and is not allowing cars or commercial vehicles to access Building 1 from American (Road 76). Other changes include reducing the size of Building 1 by 34,000 sf and shifting it 110 feet to the south, relocating a retention basin, splitting a 1.3 million square foot Building 2 into three smaller buildings of 322,000, 598,000 and 510,000 square feet.
CapRock kicked off the Visalia logistics boom when it sold acreage to UPS that became a 450,000 square-foot package distribution hub opening in 2020. That was followed by construction of the 1.1 million square-foot Amazon fulfillment center, operational as of last September. About 1,700 people are employed between the two locations. A handful of large players are building or planning to build. Phoenix based Seefried Industries is nearing completion on the new Ace Hardware distribution center and planning another 535,00 sf spec building. Just last week, YS Industries filed plans for a 1.55 million sf development. Fowler Packing is planing to break ground early next year on a 312,000 square foot warehouse. American Air’s Butch Oldfield, busy with a slew of new industrial projects, and Irvine-based Greenfield Partners are working on a 2 million sf complex at Kelsey and 198. Also in the works is the Ritchie/Vidovich partnership’s plan to develop a massive new section of industrial land north of Riggin and west of Shirk totaling 280 acres and adding about 3,000 new jobs. Besides these big projects, the industrial park is also laying out new mom and pop industrial parcels from 5 to 10 acres mostly south of Goshen Avenue along American. Investor Santokh Toor has filed preliminary plans for an 80-acre development with 10 small parcels at the corner of American and Hurley, west of Plaza.