Searching for Project Y:
Developer aims to capture another large employer
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
May 23, 2013 | 3767 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction on Amazon.com's 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center, which is slated to open this summer, is underway on Park Center Drive near Sperry Avenue. The former owners of that property, including City Councilman Larry Buehner, are suing the City of Patterson for more than $1 million over a dispute about a developer agreement made four years ago.--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
Construction on Amazon.com's 1-million-square-foot fulfillment center, which is slated to open this summer, is underway on Park Center Drive near Sperry Avenue. The former owners of that property, including City Councilman Larry Buehner, are suing the City of Patterson for more than $1 million over a dispute about a developer agreement made four years ago.--Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator --Photo by Jonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrigator
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Ever since news first broke of Amazon.com’s landing in west Patterson last year, speculation has arisen of a second big company locating nearby.

Another 1 million-square-foot facility, dubbed by some folks as Project Y, was being planned on land owned by the Buzz Oates Companies off of Sperry Avenue just west of where Amazon.com is building a facility of the same size.

As it turned out, Amazon was behind that project, too, but plans had not been submitted to the city for a building of that size, so the Seattle-based online retailer decided to build the facility in Tracy instead, according to Scott Cable, chief investment officer for Buzz Oates.

“These companies want to move fast and the land has to be ready,” he said. “If you’re not ready, they move on to where the land is ready.”

Now, Buzz Oates has an amendment approved by city staff to allow construction of a 1 million-square-foot building on its land on the 2500 block of Sperry Avenue, which formerly housed the Patterson Airport. The real estate company previously had planned seven smaller buildings for that area, but there appears to be more demand for larger structures these days, Cable said.

“We’ll still have room for a few smaller facilities, but the companies that are building right now want to build big,” Cable said.

There are at least four other companies looking for facilities in the 1 million-square-foot range in the Stockton, Manteca Tracy and Patterson areas right now, Cable said, though he said he could not publicly identify them.

Given that Kohls, CVS and Grainger already have warehousing operations in Patterson and given that Amazon.com will have one soon, it just makes sense to locate here, Cable said.

Amazon.com officials have said its Patterson center will handle larger items, such as barbecues and television sets, while the Tracy center will handle smaller items, such as books and compact discs. Both facilities are slated to open this fall in time for the holiday shopping season.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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