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Visalia could see a 1.1 million-square foot industrial complex next to UPS

Visalia could see a 1.1 million-square foot industrial complex next to UPS

Visalia site plan review reveals CapRock Partners early plans to build 1.1 million-square foot complex at Riggin and Plaza

By John Lindt
Sierra 2 the Sea News Service

VISALIA – Visalia’s geography has made them a burgeoning player in California’s shipping game. And it is starting to show as industrial businesses are picking the city as their central shipping hub in California. 

As of late, Newport-based developer CapRock Partners who owns over 400 acres at Riggin and Plaza Drive are working on plans to build a 1.1 million-square foot industrial warehouse, what would be the largest building in town.

“We expect to be underway with construction by early next year,” says partner with the firm Pat Daniels.

The company’s big project was the subject of a City of Visalia Site Plan Review hearing Aug. 14, the second hearing on the project this year.

The site would be just east of the new 350,000-square foot UPS ground shipment facility under construction right now. UPS bought 58 acres from Daniel’s firm a few years back and started construction on a new “super hub” complex earlier this year.

CapRock’s new 1.1 million-square foot building would be just slightly larger than retail giant VF Outdoor’s clothing distribution facility – one of Visalia largest private employers. Daniels says there is no deal yet with a tenant for his huge building.

The new UPS ‘super hub’ in Visalia is not expected to open completely until 2020, says spokesperson Kim Krebs. The Visalia complex is just one of many sites across the US and California that UPS is investing hundreds of millions of dollars on to speed packages to their destination, both by air and by ground.

The Visalia UPS super hub’s location is critical says Daniels because, “Only the Visalia/Fresno area can reach 99% of California with overnight shipments. “UPS’s Fresno facility is landlocked for growth and the current Visalia UPS terminal is quite small.”

City of Visalia officials have been told by UPS that the big new facility could employ around 600.

Krebs adds that, “UPS is in the midst of a multi-year capital investment program to construct and renovate facilities with higher levels of automation, acquire new aircraft and ground fleet vehicles, and enhance information technology platforms. In 2019, we plan to add even more capacity at 20 new and retro-fitted facilities globally, and welcome an additional 11 aircraft to our fleet.”

In 2018, UPS opened 22 new and retrofitted facilities globally, adding 5 million square feet with additional sorting capacity of 400,000 packages per hour across its network.

Krebs says his year there has been a major expansion by UPS in their hubs in Southern California.

New facilities like Visalia “will drive 30-35% improved productivity in the new sites; increasing the percentage of eligible packages sorted with automated technology to near 100% by 2021,” Krebs said.

Daniels said he is confident in plans to add this much ‘spec’ space before actual commitments are being made. That’s because of the strength of demand near any big UPS hub that so any large businesses increasingly depend on. “Retailers are demanding their products move even faster to the customers front door” boosted by the popularity of internet-based shopping.

CapRock is not the only ones expanding here ahead of firm leasing commitments. Another developer, Diversified Development of Fresno, has permitted two new large industrial buildings this summer to be built right across the street from CapRock and UPS.

Big employers are singing the city’s praises. “VF chose to do business in Visalia in large part because of its central location to the ports of Los Angeles and Oakland. Visalia represents the ideal location from which to receive and process goods.” says Nancy Kawenda, Senior Director of Distribution, VF Outdoor.

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