E-commerce continues to drive Visalia’s industrial expansion

City receives plans for an additional 3 million square feet of logistics buildings last week, mostly fueled by growing demand for online shopping

VISALIA – The Visalia Industrial Park is developing an additional 3 million square feet of warehouse space this year, further evidence of the online shopping boom capitalized by stay home public health orders during the pandemic.

Plans for three more logistics buildings in the Visalia Industrial Park were reviewed by the city’s Site Plan Review Committee on Jan. 5. The three buildings add up to an amazing 3 million square feet of new business. The new plans barely waited for the holiday break for a hearing, continuing the frenetic pace of industrial activity from 2019 going into 2022.

The largest projects are being submitted by CapRock Partners of Newport Beach, Calif. calling for construction of two, side-by-side concrete tilt-up buildings adding up to 2.68 million square feet. The building would be located west of Plaza Drive and south of Avenue 320, just north of Riggin Avenue. Developer Pat Daniels says they hope to break ground later this year.

CapRock was the company that started Visalia’s logistics boom selling acreage to UPS who built their new 450,000-square foot package distribution hub, now in operation. That was followed by construction of the 1.1 million-square foot Amazon fulfillment center, operational as of last September. Between the two, they employ about 1,700 people.

This past fall CapRock was well under way on construction of another 1.2 million sf building—again with no tenant announced—with some observers speculating it will be another Amazon facility, just north of the existing complex on Kelsey. CapRock plans another twin buildings just north of there, reaching Avenue 320 (Kibler Avenue) between Plaza and Kelsey. These projects east of Plaza are called Center Point Phase 2.

Now leaping across Plaza, CapRock’s Center Point Phase 3 is being proposed.

“Our generation is witnessing a massive shift in how the world economy operates with the integration of e-commerce and highly sophisticated technology in the industrial sector—CapRock is at the forefront of this evolution with a wave of support from some of the world’s leading institutional investment groups,” CapRock co-founder and CEO Patrick Daniels said.

Besides Visalia, the company is busy in Las Vegas, Texas, Phoenix and Southern California. Founded in 2009, CapRock Partners is one of the leading private industrial real estate investment and development firms in the western U.S. The company specializes in acquiring middle-market, value-add industrial assets, developing large-scale, institutional-quality, Class A industrial warehouse facilities in key locations, and providing third-party asset management services for investors. The firm is actively acquiring land for development across the western U.S. and Texas. Since inception, CapRock’s total investment, entitlement, and development pipeline is nearly 30 million square feet of industrial real estate.

CapRock has an estimated 6.5 million square feet either built or in the pipeline in Visalia. It took 60 years, 1958 to 2018, for the Visalia Industrial Park to get to 16.6 million square feet.

CapRock is not the only game in town. Another 1.1 million-square foot complex is being built on Plaza north of Goshen Avenue for Ace Hardware. The distribution facility is being developed by Seefrid Industries and should be ready late this year. The facility will employ 400 people. This week two new projects moved forward as well.

G4 Enterprises

Also on last week’s site plan review docket was a project to build a 320,000-square foot building on Kelsey south of Goshen being proposed by Fowler Packing’s Parnagian family (G4 Enterprises Ltd.) who already own MidState 99, a 720,000-square foot warehouse complex in Visalia. G4 has been busy in Fresno where they brought in Amazon west of Highway 99 a few years ago.

More recently, the developer has run into opposition from community groups on plans to expand in West Fresno.

At a hearing last spring, developer Leland Parnagian noted, “The US is really undergoing a shift in how people buy things from in-store to online and that’s really driving changes in employment around the country.”

At the same meeting, Fresno County Board of Supervisors chair Steve Brandau was reported to say, “I’ve just been appalled over and over again at the number of jobs and businesses that our community has lost to other regions, other cities in California.”

The Fresno EDC added several companies unable to find warehouse space in Fresno County over the years have found land to expand in both Visalia and Madera.

YS Industries

Another 365,000-square foot facility has broken ground on Clancy Street south of Riggin Avenue. The “spec” building is being developed by Visalia’s BJ Perch for LA-based YS Industries. YS Industries built its first logistics warehouses last year, two 300,000-square foot behemoths across from Amazon on the south side of Riggin in the Visalia Industrial Park. They are now filled. The buildings were also built by Perch. The new building is just to the east of the twin structures. Spokesperson Freddie Molina says this too would be a spec building expected to be complete in 11 months. Molina says they are negotiating on another parcel for more projects.

Besides these players, the Ritchie-Vidovich partners are working on both smaller and massive industrial projects on land they own as the Visalia Industrial Park continues to march north. They own hundreds of acres just east of CapRock clear to Shirk and north of Riggin.

Also busy is John Brelsford of Fresno (DDG) who will soon begin developing a 160-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Plaza and Riggin, likely following the pattern he has built in the industrial park of clustering medium size buildings on a parcel. His latest is on display at the southeast corner of Riggin and Plaza.

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