Visalia prepares for its largest industrial project ever

Environmental process has begun on 3.8 million square foot project north of Riggin Road which could employ 4,100 people

VISALIA – Any thoughts that Visalia’s industrial boom had peaked were deconstructed last week with the announcement of a deal to build the largest project in the city’s industrial park’s history.

National developer Seefried Industrial Properties has come to an agreement with the Ritchie family to build a proposed 3.8 million square foot industrial complex north of Riggin Road between Kelsey Street and Shirk Road. The project is expected to employ 4,100 at build out. 

Seefried representative Bryan Frarey said he couldn’t comment on the project and there is no word if this is a joint venture splitting the build or if this is a single company constructing the massive development.

Whatever the case, Visalia economic development manager Devon Jones said “the news is very exciting.“

As of this week, Visalia has published the first step in a full environmental impact report (EIR) on the development with a Notice of Preparation (NOP) detailing it will have warehouses, distribution, and light manufacturing; six flex industrial buildings; two drive-thru restaurants; a convenience store; a recreational vehicle (RV) and self-storage facility; and a car wash.The retail uses will be clustered at the northwest corner of Shirk and Riggin – across for the street from proposed Costco store, on the northeast corner. The applicant on the NOP is listed as Seefried.

The Ritchie group published a map in the city site-plan process over the past six months suggesting the project would be done in phases with the first big building being erected on Kelsey across from Amazon. 

The project would need to be annexed into the city limits. A scoping conference on the proposed Seefried EIR is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2022 at City Hall East Conference Room, 315 E. Acequia Ave. However, the project will likely have to wait its turn as other annexation requests were filed first. 

Nearby, YS Industries may be the first out of the block on their request for annexation of 78 acres on the southwest corner of Riggin and Shirk. The city hopes to complete this annexation by the end of the year. YS Industries wants to build 1.5 million square feet on this corner which includes an old dairy. 

Seefried has also taken over development of another project on Ritchie family land, a 1 million square foot industrial project at Shirk and Riggin. Atlanta-based Seefried is also building the new Ace Hardware distribution center nearing completion just north of Goshen Avenue on Plaza Drive. The $90 million complex is expected to employ around 400. 

Now Seefried says they will launch a second multi-million dollar project in the Visalia Industrial Park. A new speculative or ‘spec’ building is planned for construction at Road 76 (American Street) and Goshen Avenue this November. Frarey said there is strong interest from potential tenants.

Seefried is a major player in the industrial real estate sector with a portfolio of 190 million square feet of Class A build-to-suit and speculative projects all over the nation but particularly in the West, including a dozen markets in California being managed out of its western hub in Phoenix.

Founded in 1984 by Ferdinand Seefried, Seefried Industrial Properties is a privately owned, nationally-recognized leader in industrial real estate, with over three decades of development, leasing and management experience in core markets throughout the U.S.

Seefried leases and manages approximately 40 million square feet for its institutional and European clients and has developed, or is in the process of developing, approximately 190 million square feet of space valued in excess of $17 billion across more than 120 markets.

-This article was updated at 9:43 a.m. PST on Sept. 6, 2022.

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