Amazon opens a Visalia distribution center
Avelar said he “had heard the rumors” that there would be a second Amazon warehouse in the industrial park to be built – but so far “it’s just that, a rumor”.
The same owner, CapRock, who landed on Amazon over 18 months ago to start the construction process, is making construction drawings on another 1.1 million square foot warehouse in Kelsey and Avenue 320, just at north of the current center. The case actually calls for twin side-by-side warehouses on 150 acres in a second phase, totaling 2.2 million square feet.
It was Newport Beach-based CapRock that in 2017 sold 58 acres to UPS for a new distribution center that now sits just west of the Visalia Amazon center. The project is now considered the start of a logistics boom in Visalia. Today, around ten additional industrial warehouses are being built, under construction or on the drawing board. Visalia’s success in attracting new logistics companies has worried nearby Fresno, according to news reports, as they watch the most recent announcement that Ace Hardware will build a massive facility here, bringing in 400 jobs.
Amazon generally does not announce plans. In January, this reporter wrote: “Visalia’s biggest building permit in 2020 was $ 105 million issued to Gray Construction to build a logistics center in Riggin and Kelsey in the Visalia industrial park. The permit is for the new 1.3 million square foot Amazon warehouse which is expected to open at the end of next summer. Despite all the dirt theft, Amazon did not announce the project.
This week, Paul Bernal, Visalia’s new director of community development, confirmed that plans for the new logistics center were being reviewed by the city, noting that “we just sent them back for correction,” a common practice. The fact that the same contractor, Gray Construction, is listed on the plans, fuels the idea that this is a second Amazon.
Before starting operations at Visalia, the company announced that it had invested more than $ 81 billion in California (between 2010 and 2020), including infrastructure and employee compensation. Other direct and statewide impacts include more than 153,000 full-time and part-time jobs created in California. According to the company, it added more than $ 80 billion to the state’s gross domestic profit based on its investments.