Visalia industrial building boom continues

VISALIA – While most Valley industries struggle to find workers to fill vacant positions, industrial facilities are booming in Visalia bringing with them hundreds of jobs for Tulare County residents. Tulare County has already added more than 3,000 jobs in the “trade, transportation and utilities” sector in the last year, according to the California Employment Development Department.  The latest large-scale facilities to file plans for the Visalia Industrial Park are Seefried Industrial Properties and Fowler Packing. Seefried is a major developer with over 190 million square feet of speculative or “spec” industrial warehouses across the nation and regional offices in southeast, southwest, west and midwest. It is also the same company already underway on construction of the recently announced Ace Hardware distribution center. Ace’s 1.1 million square foot facility is on 80 acres just south of this new 535,540 square foot spec building on 39 acres. The two parcels were acquired at the same time.

Seefried’s latest project, at the northeast corner of Avenue 76 and West Goshen Avenue, is a spec project, so no tenant has been announced. The complex includes parking for 545 cars and 1,760 trailer parking stalls. This facility could accommodate a single tenant or up to four tenants. Access to the site will be from North Plaza Drive to the east and Route 76 to the west. There is a private access road to the north (From Plaza Drive) that will provide two full-access driveways with code required fire access around the perimeter. Construction ground-breaking is estimated in the fourth quarter of 2022 with full completion of the project in 2023.

The second  building project is being  proposed by Fowler Packing, a subsidiary of G4 Enterprises, Ltd., owned by the Parnagian in Fresno. Called the Duarte Industrial project, Fowler Paking’s 15-acre development is located east of North Kelsey Street and south of West Goshen Avenue. This the second filing of the project at site plan review after initial comments were received by the developer. The proposed development consists of the construction and operation of an office/warehouse style, shell building that is approximately 313,000 square feet. The proposed building will have four offices and approximately 48 loading docks on the south side of the building. The project will provide approximately 382 standard parking stalls for employee parking including eight handicap stalls and future EV charging stations. Access to the site is provided off of North Kelsey Street. Operational times are typical of warehouse style facilities and may operate up to 24 hours a day and 7 days a week since it will be a warehouse for distribution of goods.

G4 Enterprises is not new to Visalia having acquired Midstate 99 Distribution Center, a 790,000-square-foot industrial complex in Visalia, for $33.4 million in 2017. G4 has also been busy in Fresno where they brought in Amazon west of Highway 99 a few years ago. Now the developer is being thwarted on expanding in West Fresno due to opposition from community groups. At the same time, negotiations with community groups lead to an agreement from G4 to reinforce homes in south central Fresno in response to added traffic from a second Amazon sorting facility near the first. At a hearing last spring, developer Leland Parnagian noted that “The U.S. is really undergoing a shift in how people buy things from in-store to online and that’s really driving changes in employment around the country.” Also in Fresno, Seefried is breaking ground on a second “last mile delivery” warehouse  in Fresno for Amazon. No such facility is known to be happening in Visalia, as of yet.

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