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Goal: 8,000 industrial jobs

Manteca betting job growth on 2 projects

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POSTED February 7, 2010 2:31 a.m.
By DENNIS WYATT
Managing editor of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
More than 12 million square feet – the equivalent of 15 Manteca Walmarts - of industrial space, business parks, and office uses are moving through the planning process at Manteca City Hall.

Developers are betting millions out of their pockets that the Austin Road Business Park on 1,049 acres southwest of Austin Road and Highway 99 as well as the 236-acre Centerpoint project between Roth Road and Lathrop Road west of Airport Way will bring upwards of 8,000 jobs to Manteca.

The two projects are betting heavily on the Manteca-Lathrop area’s growing appeal for distribution centers serving Northern California and the Bay Area as well as for offices and service firms eager to centralize operations in the Northern San Joaquin Valley in a bid to increase efficiency and access.

Of the two, Centerpoint is expected to have major appeal for mega-distribution center uses. It is designed to have rail spur access and is also located adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad intermodal yard that loads and unloads tractor trailers onto flatbed rail cars.

Centerpoint will have 4 million square feet of warehouse distribution space with direct rail access making it unique among business parks.

The city, though, opted to do wider planning and included adjoining 154 acres as part of the Centerpoint master plan that has been completed. That way the city will already know how the adjoining land will develop eventually so as it prepares the environmental impact report it can be done as thoroughly as possible at once and not on a piecemeal basis as development actually occurs.

Austin Road Business Park is the biggest development ever planned in Manteca in terms of residential, industrial and even commercial. It also includes the site of the proposed 5,000-seat amphitheatre envisioned by the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 1,049 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.

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.

The project also will require construction of a new Austin Road interchange at a site closer to Ripon at a cost of $150 million in today’s dollars.

The existing interchange is too close to the Highway 120 Bypass interchange under current Caltrans design standards. Once the interchange is moved farther to the south the existing one can be removed and allow the state to install a second transition lane from eastbound Highway 120 to southbound Highway 99. That is the only way they can eliminate the constant back-up during heavy traffic.

The high cost factor for the interchange is attributed to two things. The future six-lane bridge deck would have to also cross the railroad tracks and the freeway at the same time much like the design at Jack Tone Road and Highway 99.

It would also require shifting the existing freeway lanes to the east to accommodate the new interchange.

The project is currently in the environmental review stage and has yet to be annexed to the city. The master plan draft has been completed.

Other projects that the Community Development Department is currently juggling include the:

•24-lot single family home Diego Country Estates at 9308 E. Woodward Ave. that is now being prepared for a San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission hearing for annexation.

•updating of the state-required housing element.

•586-lot single family home Evans Estates project at 2101 S. Manteca Road that is now moving toward annexation.

•575-lot Machado Estates single family home project on the southwest corner of Airport Way and Woodward Avenue that is now at the draft development agreement phase.

•275-lot Pillsbury Estates single family residential project at 21014 Pillsbury Road that is being prepared for annexation.

•amending of the Union Ranch specific plan for the Del Webb project to accommodate a fire station on North Union Road.

•88-lot Silva Estates single family residential project on the southeast corner of Woodward Avenue and Union Road that is at the draft environmental impact report stage.

•Stadium Square project anchored by the proposed Lowe’s Home Improvement Center on the southeast corner of Airport Way and Daniels Street is being modified to accommodate a forthcoming drug store and fast food restaurant.

• 299-lot Terra Ranch single family residential project that also includes up to 250 apartment units on the southeast corner of Woodward and McKinley avenues currently in the environmental review process.

•1,178-lot The Trails at Manteca single family residential project that includes integrated open space plus 475 townhouses and apartments on the southwest corner of McKinley and Woodward avenues that is ready to move into the environmental review stage.

•40-lot Winter Colonial Estates single family residential project at 9202 East Woodward is moving toward annexation.

•updating of Manteca’s zoning ordinance.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com



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