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350,000 more square feet of commercial & industrial

The 135,000 square foot outlet center in Lathrop that is now known as the Lathrop Business Park was supposed to be the first phase of a two-part development that would have included an additional 200,000 square feet of commercial space.

But after the initial project failed to gain the audience it was hoping for, and Tracy constructed its own outlet center, plans for the second phase were scrapped shortly thereafter.

Now the city appears to have a developer that’s willing to come in and construct a building that will serve the community.

The catch? It’s not going to be retail or commercial space. And the owner of the original outlet center turned business park is none too happy about that.

While the Lathrop City Council gave its blessing for the LBA North project – a 350,560 dual-use commercial and industrial warehouse building – to proceed and authorized a general plan amendment to rezone the existing parcel from highway commercial to light industrial, Attorney Steve Herum of the Stockton-based firm of Herum, Crabtree and Suntag spoke in opposition to the project on behalf of the ownership of the Lathrop Business Park. According to Herum, the “consolidated conditions of approval render the Development Plan irrelevant for purposes of the pending request to change the General Plan and Zoning Classification” – penned in the cover letter of a packet that was distributed to the council prior to the start of last Monday’s meeting. He also said that the hearing last week was improperly noticed, and stressed that changing the zoning restriction could open the door to an unwanted business coming in and operating in a manner outside of what was being initially proposed once the zoning change was made.

The council acted on the unanimous recommendation of the Lathrop Planning Commission to approve the proposal.

While an attempt to get council approval at this project failed in 2009, with aesthetics and circulation being major issues contributing to the council’s decision not to grant it, most of those issues were addressed by the developer before the current proposal was submitted. A combination of high windows, a metal canopy, decorative lighting fixtures and enhanced paint will accent the Harlan Road frontage of the building to create a more streamlined look, and the circulation element was redesigned to route all truck traffic towards the southeast corner of the property accessible by Murphy Parkway.

Extensive landscaping will also be used to create a natural buffer from the building and adjacent properties, including the Lathrop Business Park.

And it won’t be the only light industrial in the area.

According to a letter submitted by the applicant, Kevin Coleman of Net Development Co., an 800,000 square foot industrial building is being constructed by Buzz Oates next door, and additional buildings are planned for the remnants of the former Pilkington glass plant nearby.


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.