New warehouses, hotels, restaurants coming to Visalia's Industrial Park

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rod Jurbina remembers a time, perhaps just 15 years ago, when there wasn't much to see in parts of Visalia's industrial park.

At the time, he was working for a gas company.

"We put in a four-inch plastic gas main in there and I was asking myself, 'I wonder why they need this here because there's really nothing out here for now,'" Jurbina said. "And now look what it's developed into."

In a January economic update, city employees describe an industrial park that is growing substantially. The reason for the growth?

The city says it's multiple factors, including the cost and availability of land, Visalia's central location in the state, and the expansion of the UPS' ground hub at this massive facility at Riggin Avenue and Plaza Drive.

The city expects UPS will add another 250 jobs but predicts it will also spur new development and more jobs.

"So now other companies that are in that kind of a business model will now look at Visalia, and say 'Hey, we can service the state, we can go south, we can go north, one-shift kind of thing,'" Visalia Councilmember Steve Nelsen said.

Millipore Sigma, an east-coast based life-sciences company, is now up and running in their west coast distribution center on Riggin Avenue.

The city says construction will start soon on even more massive warehouses in that area.

Closer to the freeway, in the business research park, a large new development has been proposed with space for offices, stores, and a park in the middle.

A Residence Inn recently opened across the street, and two more hotels are planned.

Jurbina, who now works in the industrial park, is supportive of its rapid expansion.

More people will have jobs, he says, and the city will benefit by way of tax revenue.

"Any time there's growth, there's always a good opportunity for everybody," he said.

The industrial park is getting close to meeting its current growth boundary established in 2013.

On Thursday night, the Visalia planning commission and city councilmembers will consider moving it into another tier where more land could be developed.
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