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285,644 more square feet of business park at end of palms

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POSTED February 3, 2009 4:35 a.m.
Palm Avenue just south of Manteca off Austin Road is aptly named.
It is a narrow two-lane stretch of pavement bordered on both sides by towering palm trees leading up to a small business park nestled against Union Pacific railroad tracks where a water tower displaying the KAT Country radio billboard greets travelers along Highway 99.
There are currently eight existing buildings with a combined space of 147,417 square feet including private stables and strawberry plant storage.
M & L Commodities in 2004 obtained a site approval to expand the warehouse use to 319,219 square feet for wholesaling and distribution. The additional structures, however, were not built and the site approval has expired.
The owner of the  28.45-acre parcel is back before the San Joaquin County Planning Commission on Thursday with a new plan aimed at taking advantage of the region emerging from the recession. The plan calls for three more warehouses totaling 285,644 square feet to be built.
Overall, the development will end up with 431 automobile parking places and 41 truck parking places.
The plan calls the development to be built over 10.5 years.
 The Palm Avenue complex adjoins the 1,050-acre Austin Road Business Park.
The 1,050 acres abuts Woodward Avenue and Highway 99 to the north, an imaginary line if Highway 99 ran due south at the interchange with the 120 Bypass instead of angling off to the southeast, and future Ripon city limits on the south as well as the east.
It would have 3.5 million square feet of general commercial or about four times the amount of square footage as The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley that is now under construction. It would also have 8 million square feet of industrial, business park, and office use plus 3,400 homes. This is also where the proposed Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau events center and 5,000-seat amphitheater is proposed.
The industrial uses would generate between 3,000 and 6,000 jobs while the retail portion could yield up to 7,000 jobs.
The homes could accommodate up to 10,200 residents are just under a sixth of the city’s current population.
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