It’s not by accident that Manteca-Lathrop has scored the trifecta when it comes to economic growth, quality of life, and business opportunities.
And the 350-member Manteca Chamber of Commerce led by Executive Director Taylor Hasal is dedicated to pointing that out to those that seek to locate a business or their families here.
“The time is right (for business) in Manteca,” Hasal said.
He noted the chamber works with:
* members to grow their business.
*newcomers to familiarize themselves with local offerings.
* visitors so they can thoroughly enjoy their stay in Manteca.
The chamber also stages a number of community endeavors including the upcoming Christmas in the Park and twilight holiday parade as well as the Crossroads Street Fair and Watermelon Festival the first weekend in June.
The chamber works not just to improve the economic opportunities and quality in Manteca but also in Lathrop.
Planned growth with the commitment in infrastructure has allowed the two communities that are perennially among California’s fastest growing cities to take full advantage of their unique location at the commerce crossroads for 18 million consumers anchored by San Jose, Sacramento, and San Francisco.
In the past seven years, housing growth has allowed Manteca to enjoy an 88 percent increase in taxable sales that have now surpassed the $2.04 billion mark.
And that will keep growing.
Manteca was chosen for the original Northern California Bass Pro Shops due to its ideal location to snag consumers willing to travel up to 100 miles for specialty shopping.
Manteca-Lathrop is also ideally situated at the center of the growing submarket of 800,000 consumers (Tracy, Mountain House, Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, Modesto, and Stockton).
It is why Living Spaces opened up a massive 120,000-square-foot showroom in Manteca and Ashley Furniture is building a 1.5 million square foot distribution center along with a 110,000-suare-foot furniture showroom in Lathrop.
The location is also what drew Big League Dreams sports complex as well as the 500-room Great Wolf indoor water park opted to build in Manteca.
Manteca is a city that also is innovative.
*It is the first California municipality to put in place a green program that keeps the air clean and has a long range strategy to reduce costs by taking food waste and methane generated by the wastewater treatment process to reduce emissions to zero to use the compressed liquid gas produced to power solid waste collection trucks.
*It is the first California city to put in place a diverging diamond interchange that reduces the potential for collisions, moves traffic quicker, and costs less to build that a traditional cloverleaf interchange.
It also has what one might reference as somewhat more “stepped” up amenities than its neighbors.
*Two hospitals— Doctors Hospital of Manteca of the Tenet Healthcare organization and Kaiser Permanente. Both have strong working relationships with even large medical facilities in Modesto and Stockton that are just a niche below full-scale trauma centers.
*A state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant designed to allow for easy expansion.
*A combined water system utilizing well and surface water. The state-of-the-water treatment plant run by the South San Joaquin Irrigation District is designed for a second phase with access to water that could easily allow the city’s population to double.
Housing & support amenities
The two cities in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2023 issued more than 1,600 permits for new homes. That is an increase of 100 more homes built in the previous year.
And the rooftops keep coming.
River Islands at Lathrop has sold more than 3,200 homes since the first sales contract was inked in 2017.
River Islands is a planned community of 15,001 homes with three town centers that will be developed including one that will do double duty as a transit village on the planned Valley Link rail system designed to connect with BART at the Dublin-Pleasanton station.
Manteca has been building housing units at an annual pace ranging from 500 to 815 during the same time period.
Manteca has more than 8,000 units in various stages of planning from full entitlements for projects that are now underway and are preparing to break ground to other subdivisions and apartment complexes moving through the planning process.
The reason is simple.
Manteca-Lathrop have the infrastructure to support growth.
Growth, that starting in 2024, will include the start of sales at the area’s second Del Webb community. The 900-home River Islands Del Webb will join the completed 1,401-home Del Webb at Woodbridge in Manteca.
It is also adding the amenities and enhancing what it already has.
The 800-student River Islands High campus will open in August.
Meanwhile, Manteca Unified between $600 million in bond issues, development fees, and community facilities districts has undertaken a districtwide modernization effort driven by education programming that is also adding capacity for growth.
It’s two oldest high school campuses — the 103 year-old Manteca High and 54 year-old East Union High — by the time 2025 rolls around will be for all practical purposes new campuses.
Manteca is closing in on 80 parks.
The list includes the unique Big League Dreams Sports Complex with six replica Major League fields with stadium-style seating along with two restaurants.
Manteca also boosts of an 18-hole municipal golf course with an accompanying tennis center. The city also has a BMX track that is considered one of the best in California. It’s location near the heart of the community is along a section of Manteca’s 7 miles plus of growing separates bike trails that connect neighborhoods to downtown, various parks, and the Manteca Transit Center where you will be able to catch commuter trains to San Jose and Sacramento starting in 2025.
Lathrop’s amenities are heading for a level that will be unmatched elsewhere in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
River Islands is being encircled with an 18-mile greenbelt park that will include a bicycle/jogging trail atop levees that will have universal access with unparalleled river and wild land views.
Unparalleled transit system
for commuting by rail
Manteca-Lathrop are at the epicenter of transit.
There are the freeways including Interstate 5 that runs goods from Canada to Mexico, Highway 99 that is considered California’s freeway of commerce, and Interstate 205 that connects to the Bay Area via the Altamont Pass.
And that freeway system is about to get better.
Work is now underway adding an interchange on the 120 Bypass at McKinley Avenue that gives access to the two cities.
It includes Manteca’s growing family entertainment zone bookended by the Big League Dreams Sports Complex and the largest hotel in the Central Valley in the form of the 500-room Great Wolf Indoor Water Park as well as major business park now being built in Lathrop.
Once completed in late 2024, it will give Manteca four interchanges a mile apart on the 120 Bypass that serves as a major commute, vacation, and goods movement route connecting Highway 99 and Interstate 5.
In spring of 2024, ground is breaking on a three-phase $157 million upgrade of the Highway 99/120 Bypass interchange that will also include a new Austin Road interchange to open up access to a future 1,080-acre business park project.
Manteca-Lathrop also holds a lot of ACEs in their hand of transit options.
Starting in 2026, ACE trains that have been running commuter passenger service to San Jose will start a major expansion.
And it is an expansion that will take full advantage of Manteca-Lathrop being located at the hubs of Northern California rail service.
ACE service will extend to Sacramento in addition to San Jose.
Over the course of 10 years, service will be expanded to the point you can catch a train in downtown Manteca or the new transfer station being built in north Lathrop to reach Merced or Chico.
The Lathrop transfer station will also tie into Valley Link rail that will connect to the BART station in Dublin-Pleasanton.
All of the rail service will tie into high speed rail in Merced.
That is in addition to Amtrak service down the valley and to the Bay Area.
You will be able to catch an ACE train or a Valley Link train that will take you to the BART station at Pleasanton/Dublin where you can access San Francisco, Oakland, and the entire San Francisco Peninsula.
It will mean living in South San Joaquin Valley and taking advantage of more robust Bay Area paychecks won’t take 2-6 hours a day on the road in bumper-to-bumper traffic or on commute buses.
Instead, you can grab a seat in modern passenger cars, catch a nap, access WiFi to do work, or simply kick back and relax instead of gripping the steering wheel and watching brake lights non-stop.
Besides less wear and tear on the body it means less wear and tear on a vehicle to reduce commute costs.
And since you’re not frazzled when you get home it means a higher quality of family life. You could even catch you son’s school night concert or daughter’s Wednesday night volleyball game as it affords the chance for you to stay up later occasionally and get shut eye on the train instead of getting hours ahead of the first crow of a rooster to head west over the Altamont and deal with what is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 worst commuters with congestion that makes it the No. 1 super-commuter corridors where 13.7 percent of the commuters spend at least 90 minutes in one direction getting to or from work.
You’ll be able to hop on a train in downtown Manteca or north Lathrop for seamless transfers.
And although it is a few years off, you’ll be able access high-speed rail on the ACE system in Merced to reach Bakersfield and beyond to Southern California until such time high speed rail can tunnel beneath Pacheco Pass.
Ground zero for NorCal
South San Joaquin County between Lathrop, Tracy, Stockton, and Manteca is firmly established as the Northern California equivalent of the Inland Empire distribution hub in Southern California’s Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
*Manteca-Lathrop sits at the crossroads of the Northern California Metroplex with 18 million plus consumers within a 45-minute drive.
*Manteca-Lathrop is 73 miles by freeway to San Jose.
*Manteca-Lathrop is 76 miles by freeway to San Francisco
*Manteca-Lathrop is 59 miles by freeway to Sacramento
*Manteca-Lathrop is 111 miles by freeway to Fresno.
*Manteca-Lathrop is 90 miles to Yosemite National Park.
Nestled between the cities of Manteca and Lathrop is the Union Pacific intermodal facility that’s is now being expanded.
Just eight miles to the northeast of Manteca is the Santa Fe Railroad intermodal first facility.
That means those moving goods whether they are distribution centers, manufacturing, or agricultural products have close access to the two freight railroads that connect California to the rest of the United States.
Manteca-Lathrop can also move goods by air and water.
Just under three miles from both cities is Stockton Metro Airport.
It is playing a key role for Amazon as it connects the eight Amazon distribution centers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley with the world via a half dozen or so daily Amazon Prime flights.
Both cities are also within 20 minutes of the West Coast’s eastern most seaport located in Stockton.
You will find a wide variety of firms that have located in the two communities including Tesla, Ford Motor Parts, In-n-Out Burger, Home Depot, Penske Logistics/Lowe’s Home Improvement, 5.11 Tactical, Medline, Amazon, Wayfair, Millard Refrigeration Services, Ghirardelli Chocolate, United Parcel Service, and many other concerns.
Between the two there is more than 4 million square e feet of distribution style business park space either under construction, just completed, or moving toward groundbreaking including several projects designed for specific tenants that have already been lined up.