Blue Diamond Growers will expand its local operations with an 80,000-square-foot warehouse at McClellan Business Park, making it the sixth lease the former air force base has attracted during the past two months.
The Sacramento-based almond cooperative, the fifth company to come to McClellan in as many weeks, will use the space for cold storage in order to meet the fast-growing demand for its products — and its increasing production.
Terms of the lease were not disclosed.
It’s not clear how many, if any, jobs the expansion will generate.
“We have to assess the types of jobs that will be needed and whether they’ll come from our existing work force,” said Susan Brauner, director of public affairs for Blue Diamond.
Once a supply house for the U.S. Air Force, the rail-served building is well insulated, with a 4-inch-thick concrete ceiling and 8-inch-thick concrete walls.
“We have cold storage, but need additional storage for larger crops to come,” Brauner said.
California grows about 80 percent of the world’s almonds — and all of the production in the United States. California’s annual almond production has doubled from about 750 million pounds in 1998 to 1.5 billion pounds last season, Brauner said..
McClellan is planning extensive interior and exterior renovations to accommodate the almond company, the world’s largest nut processor and marketer. The company will move into the warehouse in June.
“We’re completely renovating the offices and restroom core, adding new truck dock doors, and most importantly, upgrading the building’s cooling system to meet Blue Diamond’s specifications,” Ken Giannotti, McClellan Park’s senior vice president of leasing, said in a news release.
The company agreed to a long-term lease at the site in large part because of the proximity to its main plant and headquarters in downtown Sacramento, said Bruce Lish, general manager of industrial operations for Blue Diamond Growers.
The Blue Diamond deal, which was brokered by Todd Sanfilippo of CB Richard Ellis, falls on the heels of five leases announced last month at McClellan, including a lease signed by solar module maker N Solar Inc. for 128,000 square feet.
A newly incorporated U.S. company and subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea-based Millinet, N Solar is expected to begin solar module manufacturing operations in September and ramp up to 150 employees. It’s not clear how big the staff will be to start.
“New leases such as (Blue Diamond) reflect the continuing efforts of the county and McClellan Park to successfully transform the former Air Force base into an economic and jobs center for the region,” Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson wrote in an e-mail.
Seventy percent of McClellan Business Park’s available space is now occupied. The park has 361 tenants.
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