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Centre Point moving to EIR stage
Project may add 4M square feet of industrial space to Manteca
The proposed 273-acre Center Point project located between Roth Road on the north, Airport Way on the east, Louise Avenue on the south and railroad tracks on the west. - photo by RYAN BALBUENA
CenterPoint Properties is getting ready to spend $360,000 on environmental and master plan studies needed to turn empty fields into a teeming employment complex with 4 million square feet.

The project is different than most business parks as it has easy access to rail and is next door to the Union Pacific intermodal facility that loads and unloads truck trailers on flat beds for transportation via rail. More and more cargo is being moved by a combination of train and truck making the location appealing for distribution centers.

It would create enough square feet to accommodate eight operations the size of the Manteca Ford Auto Parts Distribution Center in Spreckels Park. The space is also equivalent to 53 stores the size of Manteca’s Wal-Mart.

The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a $255,300 agreement with Michael Brandman Associates to prepare an environmental impact report for the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. They also are expected to pass an amendment to an agreement with Strategic Planning Collaborative for $104,450 to master plan the area surrounding the proposed project.

That is keeping with a promise by the City Council and staff to make sure all large projects planned in the future encompass the entire area impacted so street patterns and other improvements will easily flow when adjacent land is developed.

The developer was required to post money required for the studies with the city. The city then solicits proposals for the work and picks the firm they want to do the work using the developer’s money to cover the bill.

The project consists of:

•annexing 18 parcels comprising of 392 acres.

•general plan amendments including changing the designation of a 78-acre parcel north of Lathrop Road from light industrial to general commercial.

•prezoning 16 parcels.

•approving a development agreement.

•creating a tentative parcel map for the development of 273 acres into an intermodal center that will be accessed from Roth Road and Airport Way.

•developing a master plan for buildings that have a combined 4 million square feet.

Developers are preparing to do a traffic study for the complex that includes 980 parking spaces for truck trailers and 769 loading dock doors.

What makes the Center Point project unique is that it is a being designed as a true intermodal distribution center.  That means every building would have rail service.

The location is especially advantageous for two reasons.

First it is just a few hundred yards from the southeast edge of the Union Pacific intermodal operation and with 10 miles of the Santa Fe intermodal operation that puts truck trailers on and of railroad flat bed cars for long distance transportation. The plus of having the two intermodal railroad operations nearby — one a four minute drive, if that — and the other 25 minutes away means whatever companies locate there have the capability of moving goods to and from virtually every major market west of the Mississippi River in a  time efficient manner.

Manteca is also at the heart of the third largest market — 17 million consumers — within a 100-mile radius behind New York-Long Island and Los Angeles. It is what attracted Bass Pro Shops to Manteca. That means trucks can travel to and from the distribution center to stores serving 17 million consumers easily within an eight-hour workday.

The site is virtually smack dab at the midway point Highway 99 and Interstate 5 accessed by Lathrop Road. It is also connected to the Highway 120 Bypass directly via Airport Way, which also provides access to Stockton Metro Airport.

If the distribution center materializes, it will be one of a kind in terms of location and size in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

The site still has to be annexed to the City of Manteca. It is within Manteca’s sphere of influence and is continuous to the city limits.