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Historical plaza is Mantecas de facto homeless park
A transient passing through Manteca is shown with his dog at the Spreckels Park Historical Plaza behind the Chevron station on East Yosemite Avenue earlier this year. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca has an “unofficial” park for the homeless.

It’s the $200,000 plus gift to the citizens of Manteca in memory of Speckels Sugar provided by AKF Development and maintained by a private landscape maintenance  district.

Since the Manteca Police crackdown on homeless pushing shopping carts and for other municipal rules infractions, the number of homeless hanging out at the Spreckels Historical Plaza off Spreckels Avenue behind Chevron has skyrocketed. On Sunday afternoon, there were a dozen present complete with five shopping carts serving as personal trailers.

The four upended galvanized drainage pipes are designed to represent the four 15-story silos that were leveled when the developers started Spreckels Park. The bricks used in the landscaping are from the old Speckels warehouse.

The plans originally called for an office building designed to look like a replica of the Speckels warehouse to be built on an adjacent parcel. But when the recession hit those plans fell through.

Police don’t receive a lot off complaints about the homeless at the historical plaza since it is rarely used by the public. The only time in the past has been when the partnership, that is paying to maintain the plaza directly north of Target, gets upset when they drop by and discover homeless have set up housekeeping along with piles of trash in the landscaping as well as the use of areas behind shrubs as free range toilets.