BY DENNIS WYATT

An e-commerce facility may be coming to Manteca.

It is the subject of a move by one of the nation’s largest construction labor unions challenging whether Manteca did an adequate environmental review for a 746,740-square-foot concrete tilt-up building on North Airport Way proposed between 5.11 Tactical and the Penske operation that serves as Lowe’s Northern California distribution center.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America has appealed a 5-0 Planning Commission decision made on Sept. 25 to let the project proceed. The City Council will consider the appeal, though staff has recommended they deny it.

It is not unusual for the 500,000 member union — that strives to try and make sure new private sector construction projects pay union wages — to appeal EIR decisions. It used the same tactic in August to try and stop a 300-unit apartment project in Sacramento’s South Natomas area.

An overall master plan with an accompanying environmental impact report was certified by the City Council on Nov. 2, 2010 for the 300.3-acre CenterPoint project.

The union contends the project as proposed will have many significant environmental impacts that were not analyzed in the 2010 EIR. They also argue that the 2010 EIR did not analyze the current project as presented and that there are many mitigation measures that are now feasible that weren’t eight years ago.

Staff counters that none of the union’s arguments are valid and that a 2017 addendum to the original California Environmental Quality Act EIR that addressed a proposed e-commerce distribution facility and associated improvements at the time for the CenterPoint Business Park project was found to be similar to — or lesser in significance than — the distribution facility now being pursued.

There were 7,200 average daily vehicle trips — autos and trucks — in October 2017 along Airport Way north of Daisywood Avenue that provides the western access to Del Webb at Woodbridge.

The distribution center moving forward when it is fully utilized will add 5,192 average daily trips (ADT) to that total. When combined with the ultimate traffic impact of the 5.11 Tactical distribution center (2,817 ADT) to the south and Penske/Lowe’s distribution center (3,838 ADT) to the north, traffic on Airport Way north of Daisywood will eventually increase 11,847 ADT or 165 percent to 19,047 ADT based on a traffic consultant’s analysis.

A tenant for the proposed 746,790-square-foot distribution center hasn’t been announced, but it is clear from the analysis that the user Center Point is courting will generate almost as much truck traffic that 5.11 Tactical and Lowe’s will create when the respective distribution centers are operating at 100 percent capacity.

The 746,790-sqwuare-foot building will face the Lovelace Road intersection at Airport Way.

The generation of 11,897 ADT from the three buildings represents complete buildout of just those three building at 100 percent utilization. That means 5.11 Tactical that is now 404,657 square feet would be expanded to 539,057 square feet and the Penske/Lowe’s building from 551,475 square feet to 1,199,997 square feet. Altogether the three buildings would represent 2.34 million square feet.

Under the approved business park plans at least an additional 760,000 square feet of distribution center space can be built. The traffic count for that additional space is unknown as a tenant has yet to be secured to justify construction.

Center Point is also developing a 6.8-acre short-term storage lot for containers and trailers that are transferred to and from Union Pacific Railroad flat cars. It will accommodate 153 trailers and containers and will have a private railroad crossing to the UP facility.

Several years ago, Center Point projected they will ultimately invest $175 million in the business park to generate 600 permanent jobs.

Airport Way along Center Point’s property has been widened to three lanes — two south bound lanes, a median and one northbound lane. The second northbound lane under city policy will be added when property bordering the east side of Airport Way is developed.