The City Council will gather for a special meeting Wednesday, Jan. 11, to discuss a business that is considering operating a 1 million-square-foot local distribution center that would employ 1,500 full-time workers and 2,500 or more people seasonally.
The unnamed employer, designated as “Project X,” is considering opening the “warehousing/order fulfillment/distribution facility” in the 120-acre West Ridge Business Park west of Baldwin Road and north of Sperry Avenue, according to a city staff report.
City officials indicate the company, which would employ more people than west Patterson's CVS, Kohl's and Grainger distribution centers combined, hopes to have a center up and running by Sept. 30.
“It’s going to be incredibly fast,” City Manager Rod Butler said Tuesday. “They’re talking about a 24-hour-a-day construction schedule.”
While buzz about the potential employer has ranged from speculation by the Modesto Bee that it could be online retailer Amazon, to local rumors about Target and JC Penney, city officials and project representatives have been mum about the company’s identity.
Typically, major companies that have located in Patterson have kept quiet about their intentions until a formal announcement is reached, as they often look at multiple sites and negotiate with developers in various cities. A city staff report released this week indicated the name would not be revealed in the council’s open session Wednesday. However, Butler pondered Tuesday whether to reveal the company’s identity to council members if they signed a confidentiality agreement Wednesday.
Councilman Larry Buehner would not need to sign such an agreement and will not attend the council meeting, as he and his brother Ken Buehner are partners in Westside Property Management, a landholder in the deal. Buehner could not be reached for comment on the matter Tuesday.
Project officials expect that escrow will close Friday, Jan. 13, and Butler said he hopes the city will be able to name the company by sometime next week.
Atlanta-based industrial development and real estate firm Seefried Properties plans to build the warehouse, and a well-known insurance and financial services company would own it, Butler said. The city manager would not announce who that company was Tuesday, saying he wanted to talk with Seefried representatives first.
Seefried officials could not be reached for comment late Tuesday. The company’s website notes that its past projects include facilities for PepsiCo, Home Depot, Siemens, PetSmart and Verizon Wireless.
This past summer, the industrial developer contacted the city about using two parcels in the business park. Household products manufacturer SC Johnson initially wanted to run a 400,000-square-foot warehouse in the business park, but it has since looked elsewhere, Butler said. However, he said it was his understanding that Seefried still plans to build another project on the unused parcel.
While the unnamed future project owner initially sought up to $1 million in incentives from the City of Patterson, it has since dropped that request and is not seeking any incentives, Butler said.
Seefried anticipates paying for $1.68 million in improvements to Park Center Drive as part of the project, according to the city staff report. In addition, the future owner of the project will pay about $1.2 million in associated permit and impact fees.
The Irrigator will provide an update after Wednesday's meeting, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Plaza.
• Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187 or email@example.com.