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Manteca loves dirty laundry

55 million pounds plus of it means 81 new jobs

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Manteca loves dirty laundry

Breaking ground for the new commercial laundry are, from left, Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford, CentgerPoint Properties Chief Development Officer Michael Murphy, and Crothall Facilities Management...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED November 15, 2013 1:17 a.m.

More than 55 million pounds of dirty linen will pass through Crothall Laundry Services’ 60,000 square-foot facility once it’s completed next year.

And the building, the first in the sprawling CenterPoint Intermodal Center along Airport Way, will end up bringing an estimated 81 jobs thanks to contracts with healthcare facilities and hospitals up and down the Central Valley.

On Thursday morning representatives from each of the companies involved with the project as well as the cities of Manteca and Lathrop gathered to break ground on the 5.9-acre site. It is the first structure being constructed as part of the 190-acre project involving 3.1 million square feet of building being built between Airport Way and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

Things started off slightly rocky between the two neighboring communities that had differing opinions over whether traffic patterns to-and-from the massive complex would impact local traffic – litigation was even involved – but both are now on-board and anxious about what the future may hold.

“When we look at both Lathrop and Manteca we can see that this project is a benefit to both communities,” Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore said. “It’s going to bring jobs to the region and it’s going to provide lots of opportunities for a variety of businesses. We’ve always supported the project 100 percent, but it was just some mitigating factors that dealt with traffic issues that we wanted to iron out.

“Any business that opens in Manteca is going to be good for Lathrop residents as well.”

Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford said that the city couldn’t get on board with the entire CenterPoint concept fast enough – recognizing it as a huge boost to the local economy. Individual companies like Crothall, he said, would bring jobs to the community and help generate tax revenue for the city.

“It provided an opportunity for us to expand the economic base of the community,” he said. “Manteca has always been known primarily as a bedroom community. And when the idea of Center Point came, it quickly became a matter of ‘What can we do to get this off the ground?’”

Once fully completed, CenterPoint could bring as many as 1,400 jobs to the immediate area. The California Public Employees Retirement System owns the rights to the business park and is planning on investing as much as $175 million into the project to get it up and running.

Trucks from the Port of Oakland looking to ship containers to points throughout the United States are expected to make Center Point a strategic stop on their map.

Crothall, in particular, will follow the business plan that they utilized in a similarly-sized project outside of Milwaukee and plans on incorporating state-of-the-art systems – as well as energy-efficient techniques – into the operation that will service the laundry needs for most area hospitals.

“We were very interested in the area – it’s right in the heart of California and its right in the middle of a lot of hospitals,” said Compass Group Communications Manager Rebecca Monroe. “We really appreciated that small-town family feeling that we got here. It’s great for our workers.”

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