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Buying Qualex property would save district
The former Qualex photo processing building is located at 555 Industrial Park Drive.

Acquiring the former Qualex photo processing property that the city first wanted for a police station and then a homeless shelter would end the need for Manteca Unified taxpayers to pay $300,000 a year for leased storage space.

The Qualex site at 555 Industrial Park Drive is one of several former redevelopment agency properties the City of Manteca was directed by the state more than a decade ago to dispose of when RDAs were shut down across California.

The school district currently spends $300,000 a year leasing warehouse space for nutrition services in the business park immediately to the west of the district office complex. That site, unlike Qualex, lacks a loading dock that can effectively speed up the movement of products.

The instructional materials and general supply warehouses are located at the district office complex. Both are undersized for the district’s needs.

The 57,000-square-foot Qualex complex not only can access the needs of all warehouse operations under one roof and provide for capacity expansion but the large parking lot provides an area that could be utilized for future district needs.

The Qualex site is easily navigated within the district’s delivery system and is accessible to vendors.

Given the Manteca Unified School District is a government agency it has the first right of refusal to acquire surplus RDA property at the market appraisal.

The last time the property was appraised by the city it came in at $1,125,000 in early 2020.

The district, which gave the district formal notice of its intent to acquire the former Qualex property several months ago, under state law, will need to pay the amount of an updated appraisal within six months of the actual purchase date.

Assuming the price is still $1,125,000 the building plus upgrades would likely pay for itself in 5 to 7 years.

If the right procedures are followed in how the city disposes of the RDA property, the school district may be able to afford the sale of Qualex and other RDA locations whose proceeds by law must be distributed on a pro-rated basis to 11 taxing agencies.

The school district’s share is   51 percent.

However given the state controls the level of funding for local schools any increase in property tax receipts is offset by increased property tax revenues meaning it would be a wash for the district. Depending on how the sale is handled, the district could end up having the proceeds “taken away” by an equal decrease in state funding.

If that doesn’t happen, the actual acquisition cost of the Qualex building would be 51 percent less. Then, when coupled with the proposed sale of the South Main property to the city for a homeless center/affordable housing complex, the school district would essentially be gaining ownership of the Qualex building at no cost in terms of tapping into its existing budget.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email i