Mayor John Lazar’s vision of having Turlock become the “Silicon Valley of Food Processing” may soon turn into a reality, as two new large food processing factories have started the process to build in Turlock’s Regional Industrial Park.
According to Maryn Pitt, assistant to the City Manager for Housing and Economic Development, the City of Turlock recently received applications from two well-known food processing companies looking to develop large industrial plants in the City’s growing industrial park. Although Pitt said that the City could not yet release the name of the companies, she did share that both would be large projects centered in food processing— an industry that Lazar and the Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force say will play a key role in strengthening the local economy in Turlock’s future.
With agriculture and ag-related industries being imperative for Turlock’s economy, and with the City’s central location in California, members of the economic taskforce strongly recommended that city staff persistently seek out large businesses in the food processing industry, as the City continues attracting new factories to the Turlock Regional Industrial Park. In the City’s 2014 Draft Economic Development Strategic Plan, the industrial park was identified as one of Turlock’s greatest assets as it has continually made the City a strong economic competitor within the region due to its shovel-ready ground that has already attracted companies such as Blue Diamond, Hilmar Cheese Company and U.S. Cold Storage.
“It is essential that Turlock is recognized for its assets and is known as a welcoming and effective city in which to conduct business,” said Lazar. “Our Turlock Regional Industrial Park is a unique asset with which we can uniquely market ourselves as the Silicon Valley of food processing.”
Being home to Blue Diamond’s state-of-the-art almond facility, Hilmar Cheese Company’s future milk processing plant, and now, possibly two new large food processors, Turlock Regional Industrial Park will undoubtedly continue to attract new businesses closely aligning with Turlock’s agriculture-based economy.
“We are very excited about the businesses in the food processing industry that have expressed interest in our industrial park,” said Pitt, who previously shared that the City has consistently remained in discussions with multiple industrial users looking to build in Turlock.
According to Pitt, the City has been working closely with the Stanislaus County Economic Development Action Committee while developing an expansion of the industrial park’s usable area over the coming years. Although the park’s current 2,600 acres still has a large amount of space available for further developments, the $3 million in grant funding recently applied for by the City would allow for infrastructure expansions from West Main Street to Washington Road, and Linwood Avenue to Tegner Road, making all of the parcels in-between also shovel-ready.
An update with the names of the two possible food processors will be provided when more information is released by the City of Turlock.