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Potential firm for new biz park may bring 500 new jobs

Almost 5-million-square-feet of warehouses and light-industrial development is coming to Lathrop.

And the first of three buildings in excess of 1-million-square-feet that will anchor the South Lathrop Commerce Center could be up and occupied as early as next summer.

On Monday the Lathrop City Council approved a number of proposals that will allow the developer of the property – Dallas-based Crow Holdings Industrial – to move forward with the next phases of development.

According to Jeff Hill of Crow Holdings, the firm already has a potential tenant for one of the three large buildings – a tenant that could bring as many as 500 new jobs to the community as well as a point-of-sale element that would add additional sales tax revenue to the city’s growing base.

In addition to the parcel map, the council action on Monday included a subdivision improvement agreement, a revised storm drain design, revised mitigation measures for transportation, a memorandum of understanding with Reclamation District 17 for joint-use of the land adjacent to the existing levee.

But work on the massive property – which will occupy the space between the San Joaquin River, I-5, the Highway 120 Bypass and the existing railroad tracks – has been underway for some time with $13 million of improvements to both the site and the existing infrastructure that will serve it completed, and another $14 million in improvements planned for the coming months.

In all, the project – which was initially proposed by Richland Developments and acquired by Crow Holdings – will cost the developer somewhere around $500 million to build to completion, and will include a number of infrastructure upgrades that are improvements over the tentative agreements that were already in place when the current developer acquired the property.

Already-completed upgrades include an extension of existing waterlines, the joining of a pair of waterlines to allow for enhanced pressure and to aid in the installation of sprinklers at a later date, an extension of an existing gas line and the preliminary steps to a state-of-the-art storm drainage system that will pump water through a filtration system and out into the San Joaquin River.

That storm drain system and the necessary permits to allow river discharge, according to Hill, took almost a decade and millions of dollars to acquire, and will be built to allow for other neighboring projects to pump their storm water out to the Delta as well.

Once completed, the storm drain system will be capable of handling all of the water that a 100-year storm would dump in a 24-hour period according to rating, but because of the size of the massive pipes that are being installed, actually be able to contain much more water – something that Lathrop City Engineer Glen Gebhardt said that the city requires of all large projects that include self-contained discharge systems.

According to Hill, it was the city’s involvement and their diligence that allowed a project of this magnitude to be fast-tracked – noting that he wishes that every community that he has worked with was as thorough and efficient as Lathrop was – and that his firm, which flew out all of their top executives to meet with city officials, is happy to be partners with a community that values relationships and business.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.