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Chowchilla making a push for industrial expansion

Chowchilla’s City Council has taken steps to try to attract e-fulfillment centers, industrial plants and food-processing companies to some 2,000 acres of land near the northwest corner of the confluence of State Routes 152 and 99.

At its recent Council meeting, the Council voted to work with the California planning and design firm QK in developing a Specific Plan for more than 2,000 acres of industrial land.

The parcel’s location provides easy access easy access to the Bay Area and major Valley cities, said Chowchilla City Administrator Brian Haddix in a news release.

Haddix said QK would help the city develop a Specific Plan, “which is essentially a blueprint for future development, will provide for major wet and dry utilities, types of industries compatible with the region, location and design of future roads, access to multimodal transportation, architectural guidelines for the region, proximity to public safety, and more.”

He said the plan would be “modeled after the highly successful Westside Industrial Specific Plan of the City of Turlock. Chowchilla’s plan should effectively establish this city as a 21st century industrial hub.”

He said Chowchilla also plans to partner with its community college in developing a locally trained labor force to meet the needs of industries.

“This is a major step towards making our industrial lands shovel ready,” Mayor Mary Gaumnitz said. “We have already honed a business friendly environment with economic incentives that make Chowchilla very competitive. We have cut our permit turnaround time to under three weeks, and our staff bring a friendly, hands-on approach to guiding business though the development process.”

As the Specific Plan is being assembled, Haddix and members of the City Council plan to travel to corporate offices, marketing Chowchilla’s industrial potential.

“In concert with major industrial landowners, they will be marketing the Chowchilla Industrial Region in Silicon Valley, as well as visiting major e-commerce businesses throughout the country to promote the benefits of locating in Chowchilla,” said the news release.

“This industrial region is like a hidden jewel,” Haddix said. “It is well positioned geographically, it has competitive land values, all it has needed is a blueprint for growth — and the new Chowchilla Industrial Specific Plan will provide just that.”

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