This Thursday the Fresno City Council will vote on a proposal for a major new industrial development in south Fresno. Covering 110 acres at Central and Cedar Avenues, the development would allow up to 2,000,000 square feet of new construction for heavy industry. However, developer Richard Caglia is likely to target a very specific type of tenant for the project – warehouse operations known as distribution or fulfillment centers. Nearby, retail giant Amazon and cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty are finishing work on their own distribution warehouses, which promise to employ thousands of Fresno residents. And mayor Brand says negotiations are already underway for a similar project on the Caglia property.
But while the new distribution and fulfillment centers are key to Brand's plan to reduce unemployment in the city, they also may have a downside. They could result in increased air pollution from all the trucks that bring goods in and out of the facilities. The San Joaquin Valley just had one of its worst wintertime air pollution events in decades, and according to the state, south Fresno is one of the most polluted areas in all of California. Those pollution concerns have led a group of residents and environmental groups to challenge the city's approval of the development. To learn more we spoke with both Brand and critics of the proposed project on Valley Edition.
On this program:
Lee Brand - Mayor of Fresno
Ashley Werner - Leadership Counsel For Justice and Accountability