Friday, March 11, 2011

Crows Landing Developer Gets 15 Month Extension to Start Project

The developer behind the Central Valley’s Crows Landing freight development wrangled a 3-2 vote in the Stanilaus County Board of Supervisors allowing him 15 additional months to move forward with a now scaled-down version of the project.

As the head of PCCP West Park LLC, developer Gerry Kamalos has been fighting for more than three years to get the Crows Landing project to the construction phase and argued to the supervisors that he needs the 15-month extension to complete environmental documents needed before construction can begin.

Earlier this month Kamilos revealed sizable changes to the scope of the project.

PCCP’s original plan sought to remake the Crows Landing Naval Air Station into a 4,800-acre modern rail and industrial complex. A major component of the project was $52 million short-haul rail plan seeking to upgrade existing trackage along an 80-mile-long route running from Crows Landing to the Port of Oakland and back.

The rail component remains part of the project's first phase of construction and would likely take several years to complete. The original rail plan forecast for the completed complex to handle several 50-car trains or more per day via the proposed route between the Oakland port and the project site in Northern San Joaquin Valley.

Once the containers reached the Crows Landing complex, the plan envisioned the containers being loaded onto trucks for distribution throughout the Central Valley.

According to PCCP, Central Valley agricultural products and other regional products could be returned via the same rail line to the port for export.

Parts of the project have received heavy criticism from the local residents who worry about potential noise, congestion and pollution due to the complex's operations.

Kamalos addressed some of those concerns with the announcement of the scaled back version of the total plan.

The revised plan presented by Kamalos to the supervisors calls for two trains a day instead of six and a reduction of the total project size from 4,800 acres to 2,800 acres.

Kamalos also added an 850-acre solar power to be located on some of the 2,000 acres not included in the revised plans. Kamalos also said that an additional $7.5 million, $4 million from PCCP West Park and $3.5 million from outside investor Spinnaker Energy Group, has been acquired.