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 UPS Buys 58 Acres In Visalia Industrial Park

September 14,2017-

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 3.17.03 PMFresno has had recent success in attracting large industrial users and now – maybe it is Visalia’s turn.

United Parcel Service (UPS) purchased 58 acres in the Visalia Industrial Park in August, 2017. The big block of land was bought from developer Central California Logistics Center who has some 480 acres of land north of Riggin, on both sides Plaza Drive, available.

Principal with the Irvine company- Pat Daniels of MSJ Partners says this would be the first sale since the pre-zoned center was envisioned in 2006. The land got fully entitled in 2008 “just as Lehman Bros declared bankruptcy”, of course, the start of the multi-year economic downturn.

”We had a deal with Target brewing back then but after the collapse of the the economy that year – Target never built another major logistics center.”

UPS ,however, is  a different matter. Both the UPS distribution hubs in Fresno and Visalia are very busy but are impacted by nearby development that has boxed them in – thwarting any kind of future major expansion.

“If UPS sees the need for a major new expansion in their future  in the Central Valley – hopefully other companies with strong relationships with UPS, will want to be located nearby”  expects Daniels.

No one from UPS would comment on the purchase.

Now that we are all getting our goods delivered in a box at our front door – there is continuing interest in setting up e-commerce distribution centers

Visalia UPS hub,small and landlocked

Visalia UPS hub, small and landlocked

For years Visalia has promoted its center-state location and the presence of a major UPS transportation  hub with access to 98% of California population via overnight delivery. That population totals 95 million consumers. This presence is also credited with attracting scores of other distribution centers who use UPS for overnight shipping, claims that both Visalia and Fresno boast about.

With e-commerce only getting stronger, interest on co-locating with a major player like UPS is not likely to slow down.

“Now that we are all getting our goods delivered in a box at our front door – there is continuing interest in setting up e-commerce distribution centers” observes  Daniels.

One former prospect Daniels does not expect to locate in the Central Valley any time soon is Nordstrom’s, who over a year ago was looking to locate a an e-commerce hub in Visalia or Fresno but put off the decision. ”Now it looks like they will go private” and have other matters to worry about, he figures.

However there are plenty of other conversations with other prospective tenants, adds Daniels, after about a decade of waiting to land that first big one.

Fresno UPS hub next to Hwy99

Fresno UPS hub next to Hwy 99

Helping to highlight the location for this property is the near term  completion of the new $36 million Betty Drive interchange, less than 2 miles away at Hwy 99. This should speed truck traffic in and out of the industrial park.The Caltrans project is expected to be complete in 2019.

Visalia’s economic development chief recently told the publication Global Trade a little secret about Visalia.

“Geographically, we’re in the sweet-spot, so to speak,” says Devon Jones, the city’s Economic Development manager. “We have a high quality industrial area with infrastructure in place.”

Visalia currently has 1,000 acres of land “zoned and ready to go,” according to Jones, who also boasts about one of the most streamlined permitting processes in the Golden State, a sizeable investment in roads over the past few years and a “very efficient connection” to Highway 99 and the rest of California.

The September article in this trade magazine concludes “Smaller cities are often a far better value, offering all of the same technology as bigger cities but with less traffic on the lines. As for workers, smaller cities often have just as many qualified workers as big cities do, but they often require lower wages than equally qualified workers in larger metropolitan areas.“

Two huge e-commerce distribution centers,Amazon and Ulta Beauty, have broken ground in urban Fresno eating up what was available industrial acreage in that town. As Jones said – Visalia has about 1000 acres available in what is a rural but sprawling industrial area, some 12 million square feet, located away from the congestion of Fresno.

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