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Former glass plant will yield more jobs
glass plant

Kraft-Heinz won’t be the only occupants of the old glass plant on East Louise Avenue.

The Lathrop City Council gave its blessing for the North Crossroads Business Center, approving a tentative parcel map that will subdivide a 69-acre parcel into 11 individual parcels ranging in size from a single acre up to 24-acres – breathing new life into an aging facility that at one time employed hundreds of people and manufactured finished automotive glass for companies like Ford, General Motors and Toyota.

The 185-acre facility, which includes the 1 million square-foot plant, was acquired by development firm Reynolds and Brown, who announced in 2016 that global food and beverage powerhouse Kraft-Heinz would be leasing a 722,000 square foot portion of the existing facility that will become the consolidated distribution facility for the company’s tomato plant processing facilities throughout the area.

Key characteristics left over from the former occupant of the building, like the furnaces used during the glass manufacturing process, were demolished and removed after the sale of the property, and Reynolds and Brown made a significant investment in building improvements on the site.

Home Depot, which operates a distribution center in the Crossroads Business Park, is currently leasing five acres for storage of trucks and trailers, and Tesla – which builds some of its automotive parts nearby – had temporarily stored some of their finished vehicles on the site before they were shipped out to buyers and showrooms across the country.

The tentative parcel map that was approved by council Monday night is a companion project to a separate effort to construct seven new industrial buildings on the existing site with a combined footprint of approximately 1 million square feet. That project will also include 1,000 vehicle and 250 tractor trailer parking spaces to serve the warehouse and manufacturing facilities that will eventually inhabit it. The new construction will take place on undeveloped acreage, and cleared the Lathrop Planning Commission during a special meeting last month.

As part of the agreement, all buildings on the site will be connected to the city’s water system – replacing the on-site wells that previously provided the water necessary for the manufacturing of glass. An on-site wastewater treatment plant that was authorized by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, which disposed of treated sewer and storm drainage by irrigating portions of the site, will be abandoned and replaced with a connection to the Crossroads wastewater treatment facility. According to the staff report prepared for the item, sewage will be collected and then transferred through a private connection through the Buzz Oates development adjacent to the projects south to connect with the public collection system being extended by the Buzz Oates project.

All overhead utilities along Louise Avenue will be undergrounded, with the developer picking up half of the cost associated with the process.

Initial street improvements will be the construction of deceleration right turn lane approaching Cambridge, and landscaping to screen the existing truck parking from motorists along Louise Avenue. Future improvements will include standard street improvements for new development, and the potential for slightly different frontage improvements that will allow commercial sidewalks in driveways may be utilized in case retail businesses locate within the smaller industrial parcels.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.