Proposed development could bring 3,000 jobs to Visalia

Larry Ritchie, family propose development that could build out to 4.4 million square feet

VISALIA – The logistics boom continues in the Visalia Industrial Park with the addition of the Ritchie family proposing to build on the northern edge of Visalia, adjacent to the Visalia Industrial Park at the north-west corner of Shirk and Riggin.

Larry Ritchie, one of the members proposing the development is president of Shannon and Ritchie, an old-time farming and development group. Larry is the son of legendary Visalia farmer, cowboy and land owner Clarence Ritchie whose holdings also cover the Westside of the Valley, now full of solar farms.

Larry is also a partner with John Vidovich on a number of projects including some land holdings in the industrial park being sold off now, totaling around 100 acres. The land for the new 120,000-square foot Millipore building was purchased from this partnership as well as the YS Industries land.

The project will require annexation into the city limits putting it a way off until development can happen.

The scale of the project, as described in a preliminary profile dated Sept. 15 is huge with a site-plan filed by the developer saying it could employ nearly 3,000 and build out to 4.4 million square feet. That is the size of four Amazons.

In their filing, the developer suggests they want to also have some smaller size developments, such as 150,657 square feet of light industrial uses, to be part of the project also including a retail or restaurant area at the corner of Shirk and Riggin.

Altogether, the plan calls for about 4,400 parking places at what will be a busy corner in the future.

The Ritchie family along with the Doe family have had longstanding land holdings on relatively low-value field crop land in this part of Tulare County—now the subject of a logistics frenzy of new development luckily located on the outskirts of town adjacent Highway 99.

The Visalia Industrial Park is booming after adding 2.3 million square feet last year, bringing the total under roof to about 15 million square feet. Before 2021 is over, the park is likely to permit another 2 million plus square feet including the new 1.2 million-square foot Ace complex and another 1.3 million-square foot logistics complex just behind Amazon along Avenue 320—the north most frontage for the new Ritchie Park as well—just to the east.

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