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Corridor now ground zero for economic growth

Fifteen years ago the half mile between Manteca’s city limits with Lathrop along the Union Pacific Railroad that heads over the Altamont Pass and Airport Way hadn’t seen new construction for decades save for the last expansion of the municipal wastewater treatment plant.

It was mostly small, aging semi-country homes, vacant fields, a cheese factory, a dairy and the Manteca Unified School District office adjacent to the old World War II magnesium plant that was in the process of being demolished.

The year 2006, though, marked the start of a whole new ball game with construction getting underway on the Big League Dreams sports complex leveraged with $28 million in redevelopment agency money.

Today the finishing touches are being put on what will be the city’s largest and second largest structures ever built — the 565,580-square-foot distribution center that Medline will occupy where the magnesium plant once stood and a 551,475-square-foot spec building for distribution at the southwest corner of Airport Way and Roth Road. The spec building ultimately will have a footprint of 1.2 million square feet.

Just to the south of the spec building is the 404,657-square-foot 5.11 Tactical distribution warehouse completed this year as well as Crothall Healthcare Laundry. They are all part of the CenterPoint Business Park that ultimately will add 3.1 million square feet of business park style space

The spec building is already drawing a lot of interest from potential tenants.

During the past 12 years Stadium Retail Center and Costco have opened west of Airport Way. Dirksen Freight and Sunnyvalley Meats built new locations along Yosemite Avenue along with two small business parks. The first part of Pacific Business Park where Medline is locating was built and now houses an Amazon Prime distribution center.

In the coming weeks the biggest project ever to break ground in Manteca — the Great Wolf Lodge — will be underway. The $150 million project will involve a 500-room hotel, indoor waterpark, a family amusement center, restaurants, and a conference center.

The half-mile wide area boxed in by Airport Way, the railroad, the 120 Bypass, and Roth Road by 2020 will be supporting in excess of 2,400 jobs.

The area — between Medline and the spec building — accounts for just over $60 million of the $147.2 million worth of new construction that has started in Manteca during the first six months of the year.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email