By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mantecas biggest project ever
Adds 4,198 housing units, 8M square feet of industrial
The area west of Austin Road - yellow and orange on the map - is planned for residential uses. The area east of Austin Road includes general commercial and commercial mixed use - shown in pink and burnt orange - as well as Business Park and heavy industry uses depicted by the blues.
Manteca’s next “big thing” will replace grape vineyards, almond orchards and strawberry fields just southeast of the existing city limits.

The 1,049-acre project now going through the draft environmental impact report stage is known as the Austin Road Business Park. It straddles Austin Road south of the existing Highway 99 interchange and borders the railroad and freeway on the east.

It is the largest development ever envisioned for Manteca.

Among what it involves includes:
•3.5 million square feet of general commercial or about 26 times the square footage of the Manteca Costco store.
•At least 2,358 traditional single family homes and 1,840 multi-family dwelling units such as townhouses, apartments, and condos  that can accommodate up to 10,200 people ore just under a seventh of the city’s existing population.
•8 million square feet of industrial/business park, and office use or space equal to 17 times the coverage area of the Ford Motor Parts distribution center on Spreckels Avenue,
•A 5,000-seat amphitheater plus Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau events center.
•The potential to create up to 13,000 jobs - or close to 50 percent of the existing jobs in the city - with between 3,000 and 6,000 jobs coming from the industrial and business park portion and up to 13,000 jobs from possible retail uses.
•Five parks with just over 49 acres compared to the nearby 52-acre Woodard Community Park.
•A new $150 million Austin Road/McKinley on Highway 99 located south of the existing Austin Road interchange on Highway 99.
•The potential for school-age children who will live in homes that are within the Manteca city limits to attend school at Ripon Unified School District campuses. Some 849 acres of the project are in the boundaries of the Ripon Unified School District while 202 acres are within Manteca Unified School District boundaries.
•Eighty-four acres that are zoned for mixed commercial and retail uses which means it could involve condos above stores or large condo, apartment, or townhouse projects interwoven with commercial uses.
•Zoning for up to 1,840 units of apartments or other high residential uses including 828 units possible in the mixed commercial zoning depending up how that ends up panning out. That’s about 1,600 less than all existing apartments now in place in Manteca.

Besides tying up the land, the consortium of local investors - led by Bill Filios of AKF Development and Ton Raymus of Raymus Homes: The Next Generation - have already advanced the city roughly $600,000 to conduct environmental studies and annexation proceedings. The city requires developers to pay for such studies but the city picks the consulting firm they want to do the work. That expenditure doesn’t count the money that the group has invested on engineering and planning to date.

The residential portion alone represents $1.02 billion in potential value in today’s dollars.

That underscores what is at stake both financially for both the developers and for the Manteca economy.

The project also will require construction of a new Austin Road interchange at a site closer to Ripon at a cost of $150 million in today’s dollars.

The existing interchange is too close to the Highway 120 Bypass interchange under current Caltrans design standards. Once the interchange is moved farther to the south the existing one can be removed and allow the state to install a second transition lane from eastbound Highway 120 to southbound Highway 99. That is the only way they can eliminate the constant back-up during heavy traffic.

The high cost factor for the interchange is attributed to two things. The future six-lane bridge deck would have to also cross the railroad tracks and the freeway at the same time much like the design at Jack Tone Road and Highway 99.

It would also require shifting the existing freeway lanes to the east to accommodate the new interchange.

Comments on the draft environmental document are due by May 27. The next step is then preparing the final environmental impact report followed by general plan amendments, prezoning, annexation, and adoption of a master plan and development agreement.

Larger projects have been encouraged by smart growth advocates to allow more detailed planning that give jurisdictions a much better overall look at how land will develop instead of through a piecemeal approach.

The Manteca Planning Commission will be brought up to date on Austin Road Business Park progress during Tuesday’s 7 p.m., meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.