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Lathrop effort adding 4.8M square feet

Work has started on what will be the biggest business park ever built east of the San Joaquin River — the South Lathrop Commerce Center.

Earth moving equipment this past week leveled the project site smuggled against the southeast corner of the 120 Bypass and eastbound transition lanes from Interstate 5, the San Joaquin River and the railroad tracks that run along the northern boundary of the Oakwood Shores gated community.

And if the Lathrop Planning Commission concurs Wednesday, the development will be even bigger.

The Planning Commission on Wednesday, Aug. 8, will consider several changes to the existing agreement for the South Lathrop Commerce Center that will eventually house upwards of 10 warehouse and light-industrial buildings totaling nearly 5 million square feet of space – including three buildings that are larger than a million square feet. 

Being constructed south of the Highway 120 Bypass near the East Yosemite Avenue interchange, the 315-acre project – which is being built on speculation – was originally set to include six buildings totaling just shy of 4.3 million square feet of space. The proposal before the commission on Wednesday would expand the total footprint of available space to just over 4.8 million square feet, and add four additional buildings totaling more than 520,000 square feet to bring the number of available buildings to 10. 

The additional buildings, which will be added in a second phase of development, will include 521,578 square feet of limited industrial warehousing in three buildings over a nearly 31-acre footprint and almost 150,000 square feet of clean light industrial in one building on a nearly 10-acre parcel. 

And it will take a whole host of upgrades in order to cater to such a large development that will bolster Lathrop’s growing light industrial warehouse sector that continues to attract corporations that appreciate the business-friendly environment and the quick and easy freeway access. In addition to access to I-5 – California’s arterial north-south interstate route – the site provides access to the 120 Bypass for easy access to Highway 99, and is only a stone’s throw from the I-205 access point to allow for quick trips to the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The Lathrop City Council had previously approved a series of capital facilities fees for the area being referred to as the South Lathrop Specific Plan that will help generate the money needed for infrastructure and transportation upgrades necessary to service the sprawling development. 

A million-gallon storage tank and booster pump for Well 21 is also needed for the site. It will cost approximately $3.3 million – 62 percent of which, or $2.1 million, is the responsibility of the SLSP and will be funded through water system fees. Of the $1.7 million storm drainage capacity needed, SLSP will be responsible for $574,000 of the project and will cover that through storm drainage fees. 

A new interchange for the 120 Bypass and Yosemite Avenue capable of handling the tractor-trailer traffic that the project will generate is also something that is on the horizon, and other transportation upgrades – including intersection improvements for Yosemite and McKinley Avenues – will be completed in order to improve access to the remote location. 

The Lathrop Planning Commission traditionally meets on the third Wednesday of every month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – at 6 p.m., but Wednesday’s special meeting is being held specifically to handle the issues pertinent to the large development. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.