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Lathrop leasing 9 acres to Tesla for $1 for parking for 1,500 workers
tesla aerial
This is an aerial view of Tesla’s Lathrop operations.

Tesla has been slowly expanding its footprint in Lathrop ever since the company – which became the most valuable automotive corporation in the world in 2020 – came to the city in 2014 with hopes of converting an old Mopar distribution center into a manufacturing facility for car parts.

And now that the Silicon Valley darling has built an additional 870,000 square foot warehouse and plans on manufacturing battery packs intended to store excess power from the grid in the community, the city is once again working with Tesla – this time to ensure that the estimated 1,500 employees working in two shifts at the Megapack facility on D’Arcy Parkway have a place to park their cars.

Last week the Lathrop City Council voted unanimously to lease nine acres of city-owned land off Christopher Way adjacent to the city’s wastewater treatment plant to help provide employee parking for the new manufacturing facility once its operational.

The cost? Only $1-a-year.

“Tesla' s presence in Lathrop promotes growth throughout the City by providing jobs, and tax revenue,” the city wrote in a staff report prepared for the council. “The manufacturing facility at 700 D' Arcy will create roughly 1,500 jobs in the City as well as additional tax revenue and therefore staff is working to facilitate the maximum operation by providing a parking solution for Tesla employees.”

And it’s not the first time that the company – which manufacturers electric vehicles as well as battery pack for home and commercial use – has used a vacant lot in Lathrop for parking purposes.

Before the company built a nearly 900,000 square foot warehouse behind what was the Libbey-Owens-Ford/Pilkington glass plant they had contracted with the property owner of the shuttered facility to temporarily store vehicles that had been completed at the Fremont plant – leading to thousands of brand new Tesla vehicles sitting outside along Louise Avenue in rows.

That warehouse, which totals 870,000 square feet, serves as a shipping and receiving center for the parts used to make Tesla vehicles and positions Lathrop as a destination for trucks bringing the parts from other parts of the country – including the company’s massive Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

In addition to their existing footprint in the community, Tesla has also attracted other companies that help provide parts needed for the manufacturing process – parts that are then taking over to the Fremont Assembly Plant and used in the manufacturing of Tesla vehicles.

The notoriously secretive company worked closely with Lathrop city staff in 2014 to bring the initial manufacturing facility to fruition, and the city and Tesla have maintained close ties ever since.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.