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Status report on Mantecas $15 million investment
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Manteca’s elected leaders are meeting behind closed doors this evening to discuss the price and terms for 67 acres the city owns. Colorado-based McWhinney Development has been working for nearly seven  years to secure a major indoor waterpark operator for the land as a partner for an investment that could easily exceed $250 million.
The site is part of 210 acres of the Manteca wastewater treatment plant site that the city wants to develop into a family entertainment zone.
There may — or may not — be any reportable action from the session that starts at 5 p.m., some two hours before the start of tonight’s 7’oclock council meeting. The city staff, however, will be making a progress report to the public on the South Manteca Infrastructure and Manteca Conference Center-Hotel & Waterpark projects.
 The report notes the city is investing $15 million — primarily from redevelopment bond proceeds — to  make the 210 acres “shovel ready” for private sector development by installing storm drains as well as water and sewer lines. The infrastructure project was originally conceived in 2004 to serve the areas south of the 120 Bypass including the southwest portion of Manteca where developers are gearing up to build as many as 3,000 homes.
The proposal to pursue a waterpark resort surfaced in 2010 followed shortly by the concept of developing the rest of the area as a family entertainment zone.
What the city has done so far includes:
Securing a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to remove six acres of wetlands and a canal.
Obtained all state, federal and local environmental permits that included Caltrans approval to tunnel under the 120 Bypass, Fish and Game approval of a habitat mitigation plan, approval from  the State Water Quality Control Board to dewater the site due to the high table, secured South San Joaquin Irrigation District approval to modify drainage canals, and removed lead tainted soil from the former police firing range.
Certified and adopted the environmental impact report for infrastructure as well as the conference center/hotel, indoor aterpark, and family entertainment zone.
Dewatered and removed wetland area.
Installed 48-inch gravity sewer line down 28 feet. When the gravity line is completely functional to Woodward Park and is put into use, the existing forced pump line will be cleaned and turned into a gravity line to carry treated wastewater to parks and other locales to water landscape south of the 20 Bypass.
Installed storm drain pipe to replace open ditches.
Installed new portable and recycled water lines within the project site.
Prepared a hotel and conference center study with San Joaquin County and local cities.
Analyzed the financial feasibility of a conference center, hotel, and waterpark, including other recreation commercial, and visitor amenities.
Produced a master plan for the conference center/hotel and family entertainment zone in conjunction with Manteca Development Group.
Completed the EIR for a 500-room hotel along with a  conference center and waterpark.
What the city is now working on includes:
Conducting final inspections and beginning operation of the new sewer and storm drain systems.
Completing the second phase of the storm drain pipe installation.
Designing and extending Milo Candini Drive from the edge of the Big league Dreams complex to West Yosemite Avenue.
Designing and extending Daniels Street from where it ends at Costco to McKinley Avenue.
Completing the McKinley Avenue and acquisition and build the interchange at the 120 Bypass and McKinley Avenue.
Evaluating the feasibility of relocating the Lathrop-Manteca Altamont Corridor Express station from its current location on  West Yosemite Avenue to the FEZ site.
Re-evaluating options for land development.
The presentation will indicate “what’s next” for the conference center and hotel as follows:
Reviewing all financing option and alternatives making sure there is minimal risk to the city’s general fund, basing incentives to the developer on job creation and new revenues, developing it in conjunction with adjacent uses including the BLD sports complex, and making sure the FEZ is family friendly and accessible to all.
Building the McKinley Avenue interchange to improve access. The interchange is needed under an agreement with Caltrans if anything larger than a  500-room hotel is built. One of the contenders for the water park has been building hotels as large as 977 rooms with 230,000-square-foot conference centers, and 220,000-square-foot indoor water parks.
Capitalizing on demographics that are even better in 2017 than they were in 2010 when indoor waterpark operators started looking at Manteca.
Capitalizing on Manteca’s strong position of having an approved site with all of the infrastructure in place for a waterpark resort with a major hotel and conference center.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email